Start with what we love about softshells—enhanced breathability, lots of stretch—then toughen it up to handle sharp winter gear, and you get this jacket. The burly, 75-denier polyester fabric kept the San Juan looking new after abrasive scrambles up Washington’s McClelland Butte and Mt. Teneriffe. And it stood up—way up—to inclement weather for a non-waterproof jacket, thanks to the polyester’s tight weave and a DWR coating. One tester wore the San Juan for several hours of rain with only minimal leaking. Tradeoff: It’s heavier and less flexible than most softies.
Breathability earned top marks: “During an intense workout hiking Mailbox Peak on a wet, windy, 40°F day, I happily kept it fully zipped and didn’t get clammy,” says a tester. Four mesh-backed pockets add additional venting. More features: a roomy, helmet-compatible hood, and two interior pockets that fit snacks and a GPS.
“The trim cut boosted breathability on cross-country ski sessions, but the stretchy fabric let me add a puffy when temperatures dipped to 20°F on a hike through
a foot of fresh snow,” one tester says.
Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz. (m’s L)
Sizes: Mens’s S-XL, Womens’s XS-XL
See more of the best Softshell Jackets for Winter 2018
See the entire Winter Gear Guide