Best for aerobic pursuits
The Cristallo is like a lot of breathable soft shells we’ve tested, with one critical distinction: the nylon wind- and water-resistant face fabric is bonded to a merino wool layer, not fleecy polyester. We were skeptical about taking the piece on fast-paced adventures, since wool doesn’t wick as well as synthetic fabrics. No problem, though. To shed some weight and improve functionality, Ortovox strategically allocated the material— a thick layer in front to help retain body heat, and less in the arms and back, which increased breathability. Worn over a synthetic base layer, it was great for everything from backcountry skiing to nordic excursions to winter training runs.