AdventureSnow Sports
Q:

Which versatile shell works on the slopes and around town?

I need a women’s shell that’s versatile enough for both ski and around-the-town use. I considering Mountain Hardwear’s Descent DT Trifecta. What would you recommend? Kelly Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A:

Mountain Hardwear’s Descent DT Trifecta ($325; www.mountainhardwear.com) is really quite a nice piece. As you know, it’s a three-in-one jacket, meaning it consists of a waterproof-breathable shell (using Mountain Hardware’s proprietary Conduit material) and an insulated nylon-shelled lining that can be zipped out. You can wear both jacket and lining on cold days, or the jacket alone on warmer, wet days, or the lining alone. You also can zip several other Mountain Hardwear insulating pieces into the outer jacket.

Mountain Hardwear Descent DT Trifecta

Descent DT Trifecta

So it would work just fine. But there’s no evidence that buying a “mated" outfit like the Descent offers any more warmth and performance than anything else. Myself, I prefer a stand-alone shell over a ski-bag full of clothing options, so I can really tailor what I’m wearing to conditions. You could, for instance, purchase a Patagonia Jetstream Jacket ($199; www.patagonia.com), a waterproof-breathable piece that’s designed for all sorts of uses, from skiing to hiking to around town. Then, wear whatever you want under it, such as a Mountain Hardwear Monkey Pro Pullover ($135), or a Marmot Women’s Cima Sweater ($60; www.marmot.com), or a The North Face Redpoint Jacket ($149; www.thenorthface.com), which uses PrimaLoft insulation and is an extremely good layering piece for skiing.

But as I said, you won’t go wrong with the Descent.

Get more advice from the Gear Guy as he picks this season’s top gifts in Away.com’s Holiday Gift Guide. You’ll probably find a few things to put on your own wish list, too.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Midweight
Lead Photo: courtesy, Mountain Hardwear
More Adventure