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J by Jasper Conran Maine New England Please enter a price range to use this feature. The 'from' price must be lower than the 'to' price. Please enter only numerical characters in the price boxes. Red borg collar tartan check flight jacket with wool. Navy wool blend collared Epsom coat. Light grey salt and pepper Epsom coat with wool. Black 'Essential' waterproof parka jacket.
Navy fleece panel quilted shower resistant jacket. Black wool blend collared Epsom coat. So, while breathability is an important characteristic, it is more useful as a backup, meaning if you get wet or sweaty inside your jacket, it's nice that it will work to dry you out.
However, the first option to avoid getting wet and sweaty in the first place is to ventilate. Features that allow one to ventilate include the standard pit zips, as well as mesh lined pockets that can be left open when needing to ventilate, and two-way front zippers that allow you to unzip the front of the jacket from the bottom, which allows for some ventilation while still protecting from the rain. It seems to us that manufacturers are getting more creative with their use of venting zippers as well.
Instead of the typical pit zips which in our opinion may not be in the most ideal place for serious ventilation anyway , the Dynafit Radical uses zippered vents on the back and outside of the shoulders. The Rab Firewall takes this a step further and has zippered vents that run the entire length of the arm, starting just above the wrist. These work very well, although not if it's storming.
Taking it even further, the Mountain Hardwear CloudSeeker pairs back of the shoulder zippered vents with two gigantic front pockets , mesh lined, that can be opened nearly the full height of the torso, making this the most thoroughly ventilated jacket that we tested. However, the features that a jacket includes and especially how well they function can make the difference between smiling with appreciation every time you wear the jacket or frowning with annoyance every time you have to screw with something that doesn't work.
All the jackets we tested share features like pockets, collars, wrist enclosures, zippers, and drawcords, and so the quality, placement, and how well they function is an important characteristic to consider. We assessed this metric based on the quantity of features because more is always better, right?
With its abundance of skiing specific features that also performed just as well as advertised, the Mountain Hardwear CloudSeeker was the highest scoring jacket. We also loved the nearly perfect features found on the Patagonia Pluma, although they weren't quite as innovative as those found on the CloudSeeker.
Likewise, although not blowing our minds with things we hadn't seen before, the features found on The North Face Summit L5 FuseForm GTX were super reliable and obviously well thought out.
Below is a short description of some pertinent features and how they perform on a hardshell jacket. Pockets come in all shapes and sizes: One thing is for sure; pockets are handy for holding things. With this in mind, we love pockets that hold stuff in convenient-to-reach places.
Our favorites are "Napolean"-style breast pockets that live high on the chest and allow crossover access. We also like interior non-zip stash pockets that store bulky accessories like gloves, a hat, or skins while on the downhill. We find less use for hip-height hand pockets because they tend to sit underneath a waist belt on a harness or waist strap on a pack. Of the jackets tested, the CloudSeeker had the most pockets, while the lightest jackets tended to have only one chest pocket.
All of the jackets in this review use the same system for wrist enclosures: Velcro or a non-branded alternative. However, they are not all made equal. Some of the Velcro was not very sticky, and some models had Velcro swatches that were too small. Drawcords are used liberally in all of these jackets to tighten openings around the face and the hemline. The positioning of the pull-tab end of the cord and the quality of the buckles that hold the cord taut make a big difference in performance.
We loved hood drawcords that have the pull tab on the outside of the jacket, rather than the inside, so we didn't have to unzip the jacket to find the tab if we wanted to tighten the hood, we usually wanted the jacket to stay zipped up! Cohaesive buckles, which live inside the fabric of a model and are very easy to release with thick gloves on, were our favorite sort.
Quite a few jackets have switched over to this type of buckle, and there are more of them being used than we have found in the past. Many jackets still use buckles that are very small, making them hard to grip and squeeze to release with gloves. When it's storming, you want your jacket zipped all the way up, and that's when you notice whether the collar is fantastic or not.
The good ones ride comfortably high up, just under your nose, but aren't tight and don't restrict movement of your head. They also feature a soft micro-fleece lining that doesn't chafe. The bad ones do the exact opposite. Then there are the collars that are so rad they make you realize you never paid attention to collars before. The internal collar that lives inside the hood on the Arc'teryx Beta AR is, without doubt, the most comfortable and protective collar available. Zippers these days are tight — watertight.
In our shower testing and use in the field, we didn't encounter a single instance of zippers failing or leaking.
We love two-way front zippers, like those found on the Rab Firewall , OR Axiom , Dynafit Radical , and Mountain Hardwear CloudSeeker , because they allow easy access to the top of our pants or harness, and also allow for easier venting. Hardshell jackets are among the most expensive pieces of outdoor clothing one can buy, so it is important that you make the correct choice the first time.
With hundreds of options available, that can be tough to do. We have greatly narrowed down the field to assist you, but the first step is for you to decide what you are going to use your hardshell jacket for. After this has been decided, you will be able to understand which factors and grading metrics described in this review are the most important for your particular needs, and can then use this review to narrow down your selection.
Provided you have the clothing to keep you warm and protected, the solitude of winter can be the most rewarding time to spend in the mountains. We hope you enjoy! The Best Men's Hardshell Jackets of Displaying 1 - 5 of 9. Updated February These hardshell jackets are all supremely waterproof and highly breathable, making them the perfect outer layer for winter climbing, backcountry skiing, and adventures where durability is a necessity.
Even before the snow had begun to fly we had purchased 10 brand new hardshell jackets for testing, posting the most up-to-date review by late January. However, we soon learned that Outdoor Research was replacing the award-winning Realm jacket with the freshly released Outdoor Research Interstellar , similar in many ways, but with a few key updates and revisions. After thorough testing, we updated this review in late February to include the Interstellar , which remains our Best Bang for the Buck award winner, and a top choice for aerobic activities.
Read on below to find out more about this and the other award-winning jackets! See all prices 3 found. Updated with four new Cohaesive drawcord buckles. Very affordable for a hardshell. See all prices 2 found.
Perfectly designed to seal you off from the weather. Dakota wearing the Marmot Speed Light while tasting perhaps the most addictive substance on earth -- untracked powder snow, in the Columbia Mountains of BC. For skiing deep powder like we found in the Montana Bowl near Revelstoke on this fine day, you will want a hardshell jacket, and the OR Axiom is an ideal choice.
A solid hardshell will protect you from the precipitation falling from the sky, and from the ground! Perhaps the best attribute of the Summit L5 FuseForm GTC it how completely the hood and collar seal off the face enclosure against all moisture encroachment. With or without a helmet, we loved hanging out under this perfectly wide a protective hood brim. OK, ok, so we didn't only test these jackets in the backcountry, we also rode a few lifts. But that allowed the Alpha FL to show off its incredibly protective collar and hood, which we happily used to ward off the wind on this frigid day at Revelstoke.
Combining lightweight 20D stretch fabric with a Dry. Measuring the weight of the OR Interstellar on our independent scale. The Interstellar jacket stuffed into its own hand pocket, turned inside out.
There is a clip in loop on the upper right corner. While we love how packable this jacket is, it is a loose fit inside the pocket, and could stuff smaller if need be. A look at the fit of all the jackets featured in this year's review. From left to right: A look at the fit of the sleeves and hem when moving with arms overhead, with a hood on. The size men's medium Pluma fit Dakota ideally he usually wears mediums.
It was plenty mobile and offered no constrictions as he followed the happy weather uphill into the happy alpine play land on Rogers Pass. Sizing Your Jacket Over the last few years, the sizing of garments for many companies has changed.
In years past, we could count on ordering a men's size large and having it fit, but now a size large often means a wide fit in the torso. It seems that companies now cater to two different types of people — the slim mountain person who is annoyed by the bagginess of his jacket but probably represents a small market share, and the "average American" who still wants a technical jacket but feels stifled by an athletic fit.
For this review, we paid close attention to the companies' sizing charts before placing our orders and were surprised to end up ordering as many mediums as larges.
Luckily for us, we found that designers must read OutdoorGearLab, because, for the most part, our larges weren't excessively baggy, and our mediums had longer sleeves and lower hems. We complained about these problems loudly last year, and while there were a couple of exceptions, it seems we and you! The stretch material combined with a spacious and non-constricting fit means the Firewall was an optimal choice for activities like ice climbing that require a lot of mobility in an upper-body garment.
These giant pockets, found on each side of the chest on the CloudSeeker, also double as huge vents, as you can see the mesh liner inside.
Analysis and Test Results
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