This versatile midlayer stuffs down to baseball size, so you can cram it into the corner of your daypack. Says one tester: “It kept me toasty under my shell when a sunny day in Zion suddenly turned into a snowstorm, and I wore it as an outer layer on blustery ridgeline hikes.” The hybrid construction—an insulated vest integrated with a windshell—nets an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio.
The core is stuffed with 800-fill down inside a Pertex Quantum shell. The underarms are a breathable nylon/poly/elastane blend. “Thanks to the body-mapping, I could keep this jacket on through constantly changing conditions,” says a tester. The sleeves and hem are long enough to prevent it from riding up while you’re scrambling, and the hood fits under a helmet without bunching. $249; 8.6 oz. (M); m’s S-XXL; thenorthface.com