The 6 Best Women's Jackets of 2013

   Photo: First Ascent

First Ascent Accelerant Jacket

BEST FOR: MOVING QUICKLY

We tucked this hoody under shells on chilly days and wore it on its own for winter hikes when the mercury edged up. A light layer of PrimaLoft One insulation under element-resistant nylon on the front and back and in the arms kept us just warm enough when the wind picked up, while stretchy fleece along the sides and lower back helped dump steam. 11.5 oz

Scott Crusair Jacket

  Photo: Crusair

BEST FOR: ULTRALIGHT INSURANCE

The biggest knock on anoraks is that they don’t ventilate as well as fully zippered shells. We didn’t have that problem with the Crusair. It’s cut from Gore’s most breathable stuff, and two venting zippers (one on the right side, from hip to armpit, and one across the chest) help exhaust escape. Bonus: it’s light and packable enough (under 10 ounces) to serve as your year-round fast-and-light rain shell. 9.9 oz

Nobis Merideth Down Jacket

  Photo: Nobis

BEST FOR: FRIGID CITIES

Think of the military-inspired Merideth as an insulated trench coat. It’s long and sleek but has lofty 625-fill down lining and lots of cozy fleece. While it looks more Manhattan than Matterhorn, it’s sufficiently warm for the coldest mountain towns. Our favorite touch: a removable fleece face wrap nestled inside the down hood. And yes, that’s faux fur, in case you were wondering. 3.4 lb

Salomon Minim Down Jacket

  Photo: Salomon

BEST FOR: COLD ADVENTURES

The hip-length Minim Down has a flattering, around-town cut, though we just as often wore this pared-down puffer (it weighs 13 ounces and has only two pockets) as a warmth-boosting midlayer. The 800-fill duck down kept us toasty atop a windy 12,000-foot peak in single-digit temps. Bonus: scrunches into its own brick-size stuffsack. 13.6 oz

O'Neill Peridot Jacket

  Photo: O'Neill

BEST FOR: THE BUDGET MINDED

In a sea of $400 resort jackets, the full-featured Peridot (pit zips, wrist gaiters, a snow skirt that mates with your pants) was welcome. O’Neill keeps the price down with house-brand materials, but performance-wise we barely noticed. This lightly insulated, waterproof-breathable jacket has a snowboarding-influenced cut, so there’s room for layers on arctic days. 2.3 lbs

Oakley Moving Jacket

  Photo: Oakley

BEST FOR: RIDING THE LIFTS

Not only was the trim-fit Moving the most flattering shell we tested, it was also comfy, thanks to silk-thin wrist gaiters and an off-center zipper that won’t chafe your chin. The best part: with Gore-Tex fabric and a high collar, it’ll fend off the wettest all-day dumps. On single-digit morning skit tours, the Moving’s warmth and breathability worked in perfect tandem. 1.8 lbs

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