Ounce-for-ounce champ shell from the Fall/Winter 2018 Gear Guide.
Of all the lightweight shells we tested, this one is the toughest. Through a strategic combination of 30-denier Gore- Tex Active (one of Gore’s most breathable fabrics) on the torso and 40-denier standard Gore-Tex on the shoulders and hips, the Fleet stayed strong through a winter of backcountry skiing and hiking. “On top of New Hampshire’s Franconia Ridge, a 75-mph gust sent me stumbling off-trail and into jagged boulders that ripped my pants,” says a tester. “But this shell didn’t suffer any tears.”
The Active Shell fabric saved us from constant wardrobe changes. A fully adjustable, head-hugging hood fits over ski helmets, and mesh-lined hand pockets sit above a hipbelt. Bummer: The zipper jammed consistently, requiring two hands to close it.
“I particularly appreciated the cavernous hand pockets on hot laps around Mt. Baker’s Bagley Lakes area,” notes a tester. “I stashed my skins in them to save time as I chased my friends on downhills.”
Weight: 12 oz.
Sizes: Mens’s S-XXL, Women’s XS-XL
See more of the best Hardshell Jackets for Winter 2018
See the entire Winter Gear Guide