Outdoor Research Axiom

In the past 12 months, Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Polartec, Gore-Tex, and Stoic have introduced new waterproof-breathable membranes. We won’t bore you with the wonky details of their lofty claims; all you need to kno

Gore stipulates that all jackets using its new waterproof-breathable Active Shell fabric must weigh less than 14 ounces, which has spawned a lot of minimalist shells. The Axiom is the exception, tricked out as it is with three pockets, a three-way adjustable hood, Velcro cuff closures, and a waist cinch strap. And it still makes the weight cut at a nimble 13 ounces. It lacks pit zips, but you’d never know it looking at testers’ field notes. “I usually can’t wear a waterproof jacket when hiking hard uphill, but I wore this piece all day,” said one, a testament to how breathable Gore’s new membrane is. The Axiom is designed primarily for alpine climbing—the hood is trim, the hand pockets sit out of the way of harnesses, and the fabric has a bit of stretch. But we found it’s up for just about every mission, from backcountry skiing to backpacking. 13.3 oz

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Brand: Outdoor Research $375
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