Our take If you backcountry ski with a minimalist kit, get this shell to match. Features are streamlined, but what’s here works, like a three-way adjustable hood that clung to our heads (with and without a helmet) and two hand pockets that are each big enough for gloves. The Speed 3L packs down to the size of a cantaloupe.
The Details The jacket’s three-layer fabric has four-way stretch for full range of motion, and the nylon face fabric (a combo of 20- and 40-denier threads) handled wipeouts and tree skiing on Crystal Mountain in Washington without a hitch. The biggest tradeoff is breathability: We clammed up skinning hard in the 20s and longed for pit zips.
Trail cred “I love the Speed 3L’s hood,” our tester said after summitting Mt. St. Helens. “It fit over my helmet perfectly, the fabric had enough stretch for me to turn my head comfortably, and it didn’t let any wind in when I cinched it down tight.”
11.1 oz.; m’s S-XL, w’s XS-L