Our take In nasty alpine weather, the last thing you want to worry about is what’s happening under your layers. That’s why our testers appreciated the Nuker’s Polartec NeoShell material, an air-permeable fabric that seals out precip while still maintaining a high degree of breathability. “It kept me dry inside and out on 10,497-foot Mt. Jefferson in Oregon while I was fighting hail and rain in 40°F weather,” one tester says.
The details Despite the Nuker’s slim alpine fit, zippers that run from the cuff to the hip allow for easy on and off, even over bulky boots. A low-profile, built-in belt is almost unnoticeable under a hipbelt or harness. Tradeoff: expensive.
Trail cred “I’ve never swamped out in these pants, so I’ve even started wearing them for fair-weather hikes in milder conditions,” one tester reports.
$299; 11.4 oz. (m’s L); m’s S-XL, w’s XS-L