For running, hiking, biking, climbing, and everything in between.
Millet Whymp WDS
Fact: women shed heat faster than men. That's why we loved the Whymp ($250) soft shell, made with stretchy, tough, and fully windproof Gore Windstopper X-Fast. We never overheated during heavy exertion and never had to add a layer when we stopped for a break. As one tester said, "This is the perfect jacket for fast ski tours on cold days."
Icebreaker Helix Hood
Move over, down. Stuffed with merino wool salvaged from the floors of Icebreaker's New Zealand factories, the water-resistant and breathable Helix ($285) kept us toasty even when we got soaked by an unexpected spring storm. A woven merino liner means no clamminess.
Volcom Pika Down
The flashy gold lining feels a little Gaga, but hey, it's a snowboarding jacket. Besides, the Pika ($360) earns it with thoughtful details like hand-warmer pockets and a suede chin guard. Inside, it's stuffed with 600-fill down for extra plushness.
Sure, the cape-shaped Lily ($170) with sleeve-length ribbed cuffs was designed more for nights on the town than days playing outside, but the wool-synthetic blend, quilted lining, and 60 grams of synthetic fill kept us warmer than many technical jackets.
Black Diamond Cold Forge
Black Diamond noticed that we've been coveting our boyfriends' jackets. This fall, a year after introducing its men's apparel, BD released the Cold Forge ($349)—a puffy packed with a combination of goose-down feathers and synthetic fibers. The parka-style piece doesn't pack down very small, but it's one of the warmest jackets we've tested.
A true expedition jacket cut from Gore-Tex's top-shelf Pro Shell fabric, the Scimitar ($550) fended off a winter's worth of wet snow and brushes with bark. Testers loved the ergonomic cut, especially the ease of movement through the arms. Designed to fit over a base layer and hoodie.