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The 5 Best Windshells for Hikers

These featherweight windshells ensure that the weather doesn’t blow your plans away.

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

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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

Montane Lite-Speed

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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

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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

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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

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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