Editors' Choice

The 15 Best New Hiking Shells of 2016

Our testers took hardshells and softshells out in every kind of weather. What follows is their favorite storm armor of the season.

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Rain, sleet, snow, wind: Whatever nature throws at you, you can shrug it off with a good shell. Just make sure you pick the right one. If you’re headed out on an aerobic adventure, or the weather isn’t too wet, try a breathable, stretchy softshell. For wet-weather missions and bottom-of-the-pack rain gear, suit up in a hardshell jacket. Check out the best hiking shells of the year in both categories below.

Shell Test Stats

Testers: 48
Days testing: 929
Miles hiked: 3,446
Longest day: 25 miles
Coldest temp: -4°F (Tumalo Mountain, OR)
Hurricanes: 2 (Joaquin and Patricia)
Highest trip: 13,021 ft. (Breckenridge, CO)
Most consecutive days of rain: 7 (New Zealand)
Highest windspeed: 60 mph (Mt. Washington, New Hampshire)

Best Shells: Hardshell

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Best Shells: Softshell

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