Instead of storm-shell-vs.-soft-shell controversy, Switzerland-based Mammut gives us a truce: the Blend, which perfectly splits the difference. The hybrid's hood, shoulders, and tops of the arms are constructed with a three-layer waterproof-breathable laminate, while the body is made of more-breathable, stretchy Polartec Power Shield. The combination is amazingly versatile. I wore the Blend both backcountry skiing in Utah's Wasatch Mountains and hiking in the rain on the Olympic Peninsula. 16 oz (L); mammut.comBonus: With pit zips and mesh-backed pockets open, I had to really work to get this thing clammy on the inside.Bummer: The rollaway hood stows in a zippered compartment, but the result is an annoyingly bulky collar.
A SOFT SHELL ON STEROIDS