This streamlined waterproof/breathable jacket performs like a magic coat against changing conditions: rain, sleet, snow, wind, with periods of sun for good measure. There are no pit zips–the eVent membrane breathes so well I could even wear the Stoic on humid spring climbs in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The helmet-compatible hood cinches down without bunching, so rainfall has a clean drip line. A patch of neoprene at the cuff ensures a gasket-tight fit over gloves or bare wrists. And it packs down to softball size.
Pros Low weight with chameleonlike weather protection.
Con Price. backcountry.com
Mountain hikes with fast-changing weather
Duration Nov. to May
Locales/conditions CO, NC; steep trails, cross-country bushwhacking, daylong drizzle, whipping winds and snow
"The Stoic achieves a rare double: light enough for summer, but with the protection for winter."