Warmth Fact: Down is fluffier—and therefore warmer—than synthetic insulation. But many winter warriors still crave the damp-weather performance of synthetic fill, which, over the long haul, handles moisture better than hydrophobic down. Mountain Hardwear designers have figured out how to add warmth to their proprietary insulation through the architecture of the synthetic sheets. A thinner layer of fill forms the inner foundation, followed by a thicker layer sewed (with offset stitchlines) into an arch structure. This creates big air pockets—which trap warmth—between layers. “This jacket saved me on a frigid trip with blowing snow and the largest graupel I’ve ever seen,” says one tester who saw a series of subzero days in Idaho’s Sawtooths.
Features The two-way zipper (harness-compatible) and helmet-compatible hood pleased climbers. Microfleece-lined pockets keep hands warm.
$295; 1 lb. 2 oz.; mountainhardwear.com