Fit & features
Testers didn’t want to take this off—not after skiing, and not even come summer, when they wore it on high-alpine hikes in 45°F temps. “The softshell fabric is just so supple and buttery,” says one. Credit the new, lightened-up, three-layer Polartec NeoShell, which makes this year’s Zion 30 percent lighter than the previous version. It’s backed by a soft, peach-fuzz polyester lining that kept testers from feeling clammy during 1,200-foot ski ascents in Nevada’s Ruby Mountains.
Waterproof and seam-taped, the Zion shed drippy spring snow in Colorado’s Indian Peaks, and the helmet-compatible hood kept us warm on a gusty, 10°F day in Utah’s Wasatch Range.
We love NeoShell’s breathability, but it still traps more sweat vapor than non-waterproof softshells. The Zion is breathable enough for leisurely tours, and pit zips kept sweat buildup to a tolerable level while we were climbing.