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La Sportiva Hail

2015 Gear of the Year Winner

La Sportiva's Hail jacket lets you move while keeping you protected against the elements. (Photo: Michael Karsh)

Because they’re portable and waterproof enough to keep you comfortable in a downpour, ultralight hard shells like the six-plus-ounce Hail ($199) are the hot new jacket category.

The reason we liked the Hail best? Versatility. When we hunched over a bike or reached high for a handhold, abundant stretch meant we never felt constricted. Plus, we rarely overheated, even on long uphill slogs. In other words, it served as the ultimate jacket.

You’ll still need a heavier piece for longer backcountry missions or regular use in the wettest climes, but for nearly every other scenario, the Hail has you covered. 

6.3 oz; sportiva.com

Breathability: 3.5 
Weatherproofness: 4

Filed To: Hard ShellHiking and Backpacking
Lead Photo: Michael Karsh
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