Insulation Synthetic PrimaLoft One insulation provides warmth with minimal bulk (comparable to heavyweight fleece). “I was surprised at its freedom of movement during reaching pole-plants,” reports one backcountry skier who wore it on 2°F days in British Columbia’s Selkirks.
Ventilation Extra-long, 16-inch pit zips let our tester dump heat while bootpacking Wyoming’s Glory Bowl. Polartec NeoShell is microporous (meaning that tiny holes in the polyurethane membrane let moisture escape more readily than nonporous membranes). Bonded to polyester in a three-layer construction, it makes this jacket far more breathable than most insulated models. “Climbs left me only slightly damp,” a tester says. But because of its packed size (think: basketball), consider the Neoteric ideal for short tours and sidecountry hikes.
Features Three exterior pockets hold a phone and keys (a pack’s hipbelt covers the two lower zippers), a detachable powder skirt seals out snow, and an internal mesh pocket (with wipe cloth) secures goggles. Gripes: The price is steep, it’s not light, and testers wished that the somewhat bulky fixed hood was detachable.
$549; 1 lb. 14 oz. (w’s S); eddiebauer.com