“It breathes like a softshell but handles the weather like a hardshell,” says one tester. The Polartec NeoShell membrane moved sweat fast enough to keep another tester dry throughout 1,000-foot climbs in Colorado’s Nokhu Crags. Two massive, mesh-lined chest pockets offer additional venting (and hold climbing skins).
Fit & features
Four-way stretch fabric and a roomy (not baggy) cut allow for full freedom of movement, which our tester appreciated when climbing steep couloirs. The grippy zipper pulls are easy to operate with gloves on. And thanks to the polyester (with 28 percent nylon) fabric, which is less expensive than all nylon, the Genius costs $100 less than comparable shells.