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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
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
Best Shells: Softshell