The Best Women’s Jackets of 2016

(Inga Hendrickson)

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Pick the right rig, zip up, then get out.

(The North Face)

The North Face Cesium Anorak 

Best For: Affordable Tech

The Cesium has the soul of a poncho but the smart detailing of a performance shell. We threw it over our other layers in a rainstorm—it has a huge helmet-compatible hood and is made of surprisingly stretchy fabric—and stayed bone dry. It sheds ounces by forgoing extra pockets (there’s one) and an inner liner.

Price $199

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(Helly Hansen)

Helly Hansen Enroute Shelter 

Best For: Ditching Your Yellow Slicker  

This is the workhorse of the rain-jacket world. It’s dependable (the 2.5-layer fabric kept us dry during a squall), smartly cut (we like the extra-long cuffs), and breathable (the front pockets double as mesh-backed vents). But what really sets it apart are the fun details, like the bright, splotchy print and pink zips.

Price $200


Arc’teryx Atom SL 

Best For: Lightweight Warmth  

If a puffy married a rain shell, this is what you’d get. The synthetic Coreloft insulation in the body is so thin it’s practically see-through, but it kept us warm during high-output activities down to 30 degrees. It won’t keep you dry in a downpour, but the Atom’s thin face fabric sheds light rain and proved durable on a bushwhacking odyssey outside Santa Fe. 

Price $229

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Voormi High-E Hoodie 

Best For: Getting Snuggly 

The wool High-E is warm and durable, with its water-repellant outer surface, and super cozy. We didn’t take it off once during a three-day backpacking trip. (A major benefit of wool: no stink.) Too hot for runs and bike rides but perfect for long treks or chilling at base camp.  

Price $229

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Dynafit Traverse Gore-Tex 

Best For: Big Days in the Mountains 

Think of the Traverse as a ski shell on a diet. Cut from Gore-Tex Active fabric, it weighs about half a pound and played well on all our adventures, from runs above tree line to multi-pitch climbs. We even took it on a few spring ski tours. All that performance is pricey, but if you want an all-in-one thoroughbred, this is it.

Price $370

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(United By Blue)

United by Blue Day Coat 

Best For: Hiding Your Inner Gear Nerd

You won’t find any fancy membranes or taped seams here, just 100 percent organic cotton and a classic military-inspired design, with four pockets and a snappable zipper flap. On cool days, the buttery-soft top worked great as outerwear, but we just as often found ourselves wearing it to work.  

Price $128

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