There’s a lot of factors that go into making a great jacket. It has to fit right, it can’t weigh you down, and it can’t be so expensive that it drains your bank account. Perhaps most importantly, it has to work, no matter the weather. To make sure our picks did, we took them out in storms, cold-weather hut trips, and up to the top of windy peaks. These 9 magnificent models passed the test.
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REI Co-op Westwinds GTX Jacket
If you’re tough on your gear, or just don’t want to replace it for a decade, then you’re probably willing to trade a bit more weight and a stiffer feel for a shell that’ll last. If that sounds like you, check out the Westwinds. $199 Buy Now on REI (Men’s and Women’s) / Read the Full Review
Mammut Kento Light HS
This featherweight-yet-functional piece is a great shell when pack space is at a premium but you don’t want to break the bank. $219 Buy Now on Backcountry (Men’s) / Buy Now on REI (Women’s) / Read the Full Review
Arc’teryx Gamma SL Hoody
The Gamma SL was this year’s trail wardrobe MVP: It’s protective against chill winds and light precip, yet ultrabreathable; stretchy enough for bendy activities; and trim-fitting on its own yet comfortable over a few underlayers. $225 Buy Now on REI (Men’s and Women’s) / Buy Now on Amazon (Men’s and Women’s) / Read the Full Review
Mountain Hardwear Exposure/2 Gore-Tex Paclite Plus Jacket & Pant
In the wettest conditions, we’re glad to wear a head-to-toe kit for protection, but are also usually bummed by how bulky and steamy it is. Unlike lesser sets, this twofer delivers exceptional comfort in a package that fits well and weighs less than a pound. $300 (shell); $200 (pant) Buy Shell Now on Backcountry (Men’s and Women’s) / Buy Pant Now on REI (Men’s and Women’s) / Read the Full Review
Mountain Equipment Impellor Shakedry
We’ve been big fans of Gore-Tex Shakedry since its debut in 2016. The Impellor uses a new version of the material with a stronger membrane and a heavier backer that’s meant to handle more wear and tear. $300 Buy Now on Amazon (Men’s) / Buy Now on Backcountry (Men’s) / Read the Full Review
This piece kept the humidor effect at bay on rainy trail runs, hard paddles, and lung-busting climbs, thanks to its highly breathable, three-layer proprietary fabric with a thin PU membrane. $230 Buy Now From Appalachian Outfitters (Men’s and Women’s) / Read the Full Review
Flylow Davis Jacket
The Davis proves that not all windshells are created equal: It’s breathable enough to use as a sun shirt in a pinch, and ultralight enough that we never questioned stuffing it into our packs. $125 Buy Now on Amazon (Men’s) / Buy Now on Backcountry (Men’s) / Read the Full Review
Black Diamond Highline Stretch
Want a hardshell that you can wear with confidence in any season? The Highline Stretch has the breathability for rainy bike rides, the protection for stormy hikes, and the durability for backcountry ski sessions. $299 Buy Now From Black Diamond (Men’s and Women’s) / Read the Full Review
Check out the Editors’ Choice-winning Rab Phantom Pull-On.