Backcountry touring means long, sweaty ascents followed by fast descents through (hopefully) deep snow. Breathable softshells tend to be better suited for the up, while waterproof hardshells tend to work better for the down.
It used to be you either had to choose between one or the other, or double up with your layering. But now there’s the new Lithic Comp Jacket from Arc’teryx that combines Gore hardshell fabric with softshell panels.
The jacket, which will go on sale in September, is designed to release heat and moisture on the way up via the softshell panels on the back and underarms. The windproof, waterproof hardshell panels—called Gore Fabric Technology—on the chest and shoulders should protect you from the elements even on those miserable days.
The result? A composite garment that keeps wind and snow out, but that still vents your sweaty body.