All the zones where a backpack meets fabric—hips, lower back, and shoulders—use burly, 90-denier Cordura nylon in a tweed-like jacquard weave for extra thickness. Months of near-daily touring and repeatedly shouldering skis produced no fuzzing on that fabric. Those armored zones blend seamlessly into the rest of the jacket, thanks to FuseForm construction, which weaves in various fabrics rather than stitching them together, reducing seams. And fewer seams means fewer wear points and less potential for leakage.
Cinch down the fully adjustable, helmet-compatible hood, and you’ve got a bunker that makes the fiercest storms feel tolerable. The Brigandine proved waterproof through hours of wet snow on Colorado’s Buffalo Pass. The tradeoff is weight and packability: It’s better worn than carried.