BEST FOR: One-jacket budgets. THE TEST: Testers hiked in the Rockies, mountain-biked in Canada’s Northwest Territories, backcountry-skied in New Mexico, ran in the rain in Utah… We could go on, but you get the picture. The keys to the Vapor Trail’s versatility are its stretchy fabric, loads of pockets (four), and smart allocation of materials. Breathable back and side panels vented on uphill efforts, while the windproof front and sleeves baffled breezes. But what really sets the Vapor Trail apart from all the other midweight soft shells on the market are the little things, like a three-point adjustable hood and low-profile wrist closures that are easy to layer over. THE VERDICT: Wear it alone on aerobic outings, stretch it over a puffy, or stack it as a midlayer. 14.1 oz
WEATHER RESISTANCE: 2.5
Marmot calls it body mapping. Adidas calls it hybrid design. The idea is the same: mixing and matching materials to create the ultimate combination of light weight, comfort, breathability, and protection.