The RAB Xenon X Insulated Jacket is warm, weather resistant, and comfortable. It trades a lack of breathability for superior insulation, but this jacket is a terrific mid-layer option that can even occasionally fill-in as an outer layer.
The Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hybrid Jacket provides solid warmth and breathability for high intensity activities in cold weather. It cannot be trusted as your sole outer layer if rain or wind is expected, but excels as a mid-layer in these conditions, or as an outer layer in cold, dry and calm weather.
The Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket is a very comfortable high performance rain shell. It’s stretch outer fabric allows for a wide range of motion and its seam sealed waterproof membrane protects from all but the biggest deluges. It is moderately lightweight and has a nice set of basic features.
The Arc’teryx Beta SL Jacket is clean and simple, yet highly functional. It is wind and waterproof, has a well designed hood, and is easily packable and breathable. For high intensity activities, the lack of pit zips could be an issue for some users.
The Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket might be the lightest high performance rain jacket on the market. It does two things and it does them exceptionally well – it is waterproof and it breathes. For high intensity activities in wet weather, when weight matters, this is the jacket of choice.
The Patagonia Capilene Air Crew Top is one of the warmest, lightest, most breathable, and most comfortable baselayers on the market. It does, however, suffer from poor durability and an extremely high price tag.
The Arc’teryx Phase AR Crew Long-Sleeve Top is lightweight, warm, and incredibly durable. While it attracts more odor and breathes less than comparable wool tops, its durability, minimal weight, and moisture wicking properties make this a top pick for synthetic baselayers.
This is a very popular jacket that is more durable than similar jackets, is easily packable into its own pocket, and has a unique quilting pattern that reduces cold spots. It is does a good job of protecting from wind and has an impressive water repellent treatment. Some people have found the fit to be a little bulky but this is a personal preference.
Warm, windproof, water-resistant—the Nano Puff Jacket uses warm, incredibly lightweight and highly compressible 60-g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco with 55% postconsumer recycled content, wrapped in a 100% recycled polyester shell and lining.
The Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket is a classic. It covers all the bases with its warmth, light weight, stylish look and ethical down. While there may be lighter down jackets and warmer down jackets out there, the Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket is an ideal combination of features and performance that will suit most people.