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  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Coats of armor for all activities and conditions.

    Meaghen Brown

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Mammut Mittellegi Pro Jacket

    BEST FOR: Wet-Snow Resorts

    One tester might not have finished skiing the 40-mile Elk Mountain Grand Traverse without this multipurpose hard shell ($750). Designed with a burly Gore-Tex Pro exterior and underarm bents, it held up to the elements better than any other we tested. Bonus: the front pockets are big enough to stash your skins.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Columbia Chelsea Station Jacket

    BEST FOR: Fashionable Wear

    The synthetically insulated Chelsea Station ($149) gets design points for its cute silhouette and thoughtfully chic ruffling along the baffles. It's also remarkably warm, thanks in part to Columbia's Omni-Heat lining, which kept us toasty during frosty morning bike commutes.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Stio Hometown Down Jacket

    BEST FOR: Mild Days and Layering

    The 14-ounce, 800-fill Hometown Down ($275) held in heat on the coldest days at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and the DWR-coated nylon shell kept out moisture even when the weather turned foul. Testers also loved the feminine styling, which gave the jacket enough versatility to wear out for drinks.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Aether Space Hoodie

    BEST FOR: Mild Days and Layering

    Sometimes simplicity and attention to detail are all you need. Minimal flourishes, no logos, and neutral colors keep the Space Hoodie ($265) stylish enough for evenings on the town, but a healthy dose of Prima-Loft insulation makes it warm enough to use as a midlayer or, in mellower temperatures, on its own.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Patagonia Knifeblade Jacket

    BEST FOR: Ski Touring

    This soft shell ($379) quickly became our go-to for skinning up 13,000-foot peaks. That's largely because it's cut from Polartec's Power Shield Pro fabric, which strikes the perfect balance between breathability and weather resistance. A helmet-compatible hood with a visor took the sting out of windy ridges.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Arc'teryx Andessa

    BEST FOR: Frigid Conditions

    When temperatures in Girdwood, Alaska, went subzero, the 850-fill Andessa ($850) kept us warm and dry, thanks to a fully waterproof Gore-Tex shell and a plush goose-and-synthetic down liner. Add an insulated hood and a removable powder skirt and you've got the warmest, most technical down jacket around.

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