BEST FOR: Doing it all.
THE TEST: “If I had to clean out my closet and keep just one shell, it’d be the Stretch Neo.” That remark came after an expedition-style adventure race in Patagonia, where testers trekked and climbed in this jacket for eight days. The key to its versatility is Polartec’s NeoShell fabric, which breathes as well as any waterproof material we’ve ever worn. The alpine-influenced design includes long arms, a helmet-compatible hood, and two massive pockets on the chest for stowing gloves, glasses, a hat, and a day’s worth of energy bars.
THE VERDICT: The streamlined design—no pit zips, no hand pockets—helps keep weight down, but it’s not as light as some of the competition. 18 oz