This is a do-it-all hardshell for wilderness warriors who want four-season versatility in a light, packable, and impeccably cut package. The Gore-Tex Paclite body fabric keeps the Alpha compressible (it fits in a pack’s side pocket), but Gore-Tex Pro Shell in the shoulders and underarms offers high durability in those key areas. Rain and wet snow beaded off during Cascade climbs and ski tours. The athletic cut has room to layer over a light puffy and the long hem with drawcord kept snow out on ski descents. Ding: It felt clammy on a 42°F February trail run. arcteryx.com
Multisport enthusiasts who want one light, packable shell for mountaineering, skiing, and backpacking in all seasons
> Ted Alvarez (other testers: Greg Hanscom, Dennis Lewon)
> Duration Nov. to Feb.
> Locales/conditions CO, WA; 20°F to 60° F; 30-mph winds, snow, rain
> “A butter-smooth main zip is easy to adjust while you’re on the move.”
> 12.9 oz. (m’s M)
> m’s XS-XL; w’s S-XXL