Salomon Bonatti WP Hardshell Jacket
This ultralight, stripped-down hardshell will be a hit with the fast-and-light crowd looking for simple, effective weather protection at a sweet price.
Model: Bonatti WP Hardshell Jacket
A trim cut means there’s no extra fabric to flap annoyingly in the wind when you’re moving fast, but stretchy, 20-denier nylon and a slightly roomier cut at the shoulders grant total freedom of motion. It fits comfortably over a thin midlayer.
Though it’s light and small enough to serve as a just-in-case shell (it packs into its one chest pocket), the Bonatti did the job on stormy trail runs, bike rides, and a trek across Idaho’s Sawtooths. Gripe: The DWR wore off faster than average, letting water soak into the face fabric (though not inside the shell). You can restore surface water repellency with a wash-in treatment like Nikwax TX.Direct ($13; nikwax.com).
Forget bells and whistles; the minimalist Bonatti is designed to repel weather, end of story. Two short elastic strips at the hips secure the hem against drafts, and elastic bands at the wrists keep drips out. The asymmetrical cut on the cuffs leaves palms free while adding back-of-the-hand coverage. Ding: The streamlined, nonadjustable hood features a thin elastic band across the forehead, but it wasn’t snug enough to keep the hood from slipping down across our eyes.
Testers deemed the 2.5-layer fabric “fairly breathable” during high-intensity outings. Choose this shell if you value weight and packability (it’s softball size) over breathability.