REI Rhyolite Hardshell
This value hardshell gives you the breathability of shells that cost $100 more.
Brand: REI Gear Reviews
Model: Rhyolite Hardshell Jacket
The Rhyolite’s three-layer eVent DVAlpine fabric (eVent’s burliest membrane) delivers top-shelf comfort thanks to minuscule micropores that allow sweat vapor to escape. “It kept clamminess to a minimum so that even after a 1,100-foot climb to a wind-raked summit, I didn’t feel chilled,” reports one tester.
“The Model T of hardshells—just the basics,” says a tester. Mesh-backed pockets positioned clear of backpack straps and hipbelts stand in for pit zips (though we wished for more venting on the steamiest climbs). The adjustable cuffs closed neatly enough to keep water from dripping down one ice climber’s sleeves. Gripe: A single cord at the back of the head adjusts the hood, but it’s not sufficient. The hood doesn’t turn with your head.
We tested the Rhyolite in everything from sleet on New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington to windblown graupel in Colorado’s Park Range. Verdict: “Watertight as a submarine.”
The cut is relaxed enough to fit a medium-weight puffy underneath.