Brand: Mountain Equipment
Model: Xeros Jacket
Our take Many women find the typical cut of a technical puffy to be restrictive. Not so with the Xeros, which has a straight cut, rather than a tapered silhouette. The design gave our tester plenty of room to twist and reach as she made kick-turns up Maine’s Moxie Mountain. “Actions like digging ice out of my binding would have been complicated in most other jackets, but not this one,” she says. The hood, while big enough to fit a helmet, stayed put in the wind as she transitioned for the downhill. Elastic cuffs at the wrists and a waist cinch (which, unlike other jackets she tested, didn’t ride up) mitigate the relaxed fit by trapping heat inside, and our tester found the Xeros comfortable down into the 20s.
The details This jacket’s 10-denier Gore-Tex Infinium outer fabric held off light rain, and we appreciated the wind resistance in notoriously breezy northern Maine. (The material isn’t fit for heavy bushwhacking, though.) The 800-fill Xeros packs down to the size of a half-gallon of milk. It has two zippered hand pockets, an uninsulated, zippered chest pocket, and two inner drop pockets for storing skins or gloves.
$475; 1 lb. 2 oz. (m’s L); m’s S-XXL, w’s 8-16