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Sometimes, a hardshell or a softshell is too bulky and overkill. For those days, a packable windshell is the just-enough layer you need. Keep the breeze and the chill out with these five lightweight wind jackets for hikers.
Ortovox Merino Windbreaker
Don’t like the plasticky feel of most windshells? This one feels soft thanks to 55-percent merino construction, which also boosts breathability and wicking. Buy Ortovox Merino Windbreaker Now / Read the Full Review
When gusts gave way to rain, we kept hiking in the Lite-Speed. It offers a longer-than-average grace period for a windshell, fending off a couple of hours of drizzle thanks to an interior acrylic coating (which still feels soft on skin), a dense weave, and DWR. Buy Montane Lite-Speed Now / Read the Full Review
Arc’teryx Incendo SL/Cita SL
Windshells in this weight class usually have so-so breathability, but the Incendo breaks the mold. The 10-denier polyester (with a 40-denier ripstop grid) on its front repels 30-mph gusts and light rain, while air-permeable, 20-denier nylon across the back and in the pits jettisons heat. Buy Arc’teryx Incendo SL/Cita SL Now / Read the Full Review
Patagonia Houdini Air
On cold summits and shoulder-season hikes, we appreciated the Houdini Air’s extra touch of heat. The jacket’s double-weave material combines 90 percent nylon and 10 percent polyester so that the poly forms a slight waffle pattern on the inside, which traps warm air (and also keeps the fabric from sticking to skin). Buy Patagonia Houdini Air Now / Read the Full Review
adidas Agravic Windweave Jacket
Windshell designers are constantly searching for the optimal balance between breathability and protection, since too much of one often means too little of the other. The Agravic’s best-in-test recipe pairs air-permeable polyester (in the lower torso and upper back) with dense, wind-busting poly everywhere else. Buy adidas Agravic Windweave Jacket Now / Read the Full Review