We love air-permeable membranes for their superior breathability, but we’ve noticed most can’t handle the wettest storms. Flylow’s designers tackled this challenge with their new proprietary fabric, called The Perm. It has an electrospun membrane—like NeoShell or Outdoor Research’s AscentShell—but the fibers aren’t stretched quite as thin as in those fabrics, which boosts waterproof- ing. The Cooper stood up to gloppy-snow ski tours outside Crested Butte and 25-mph gusts atop 14,265- foot Quandary Peak, and the breathability of the membrane (only slightly less than NeoShell) blew us away. “Driving snow forced me to wear the shell on a tour in Rocky Mountain National Park with temps around 30°F, but even on steep uphills I never felt like I was melting,” one tester says.
Features are deluxe: a two-way adjust- able hood that fits well with and without a helmet, foot-long pit zips, and five pockets that swallowed skins, snacks, and gloves. Ding: weight.
“The fabric has a ton of stretch, and it never hindered me during technical climbing sections,” noted one Mt. Hood guide.
Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.
Sizes: Men’s S-XXL;
See more of the best Hardshell Jackets for Winter 2018
See the entire Winter Gear Guide