Run cold? You'll want one of these insulated beasts.
Adidas Terrex Climaheat Techrock
Best For: Instant warmth.
The Test: Heading into the backcountry? Pack a big puffy to snuggle into during rest breaks, while on belay, or as emergency insulation. With 800-fill goose down wrapped in Pertex fabric, the 1.1-pound Techrock (the lightest jacket on this page) has a top-notch warmth-to-weight ratio. We give it even bigger props for its smart design: the baffles overlap to stop cold air from seeping through the seams. Add well-articulated arms, a high collar to seal in heat, and durable fabric in heavy-wear areas, and you get the best-fitting super-puffy around.
The Verdict: It’s light, warm, and dependable. Throw it in your pack, just in case. 1.1 lbs
La Sportiva Asteroid PrimaLoft
Best For: Endless laps on the skin track.
The Test: The Asteroid was built to keep ski-mountaineering racers warm and dry. Of course, it works great for the rest of us, too. Details like reflective accents across the shoulders and a media pocket are great for serious training, but we were most impressed with the jacket’s basic construction. A layer of synthetic PrimaLoft Silver Active insulation warmed us on the summit even after absorbing a handful of sweaty ascents. The hood’s brow is lined with neoprene to provide warmth even when soaked. Testers also lauded the cut, which is trim yet seemed to fit everyone well.
The Verdict: “The ideal ski-touring layer,” said one tester. 1.8 lbs
Columbia OutDry Ex Diamond Down Insulated
Best For: Riding chairlifts in sloppy snow.
The Test: Last spring, Columbia flipped the script on hard shells with its OutDry Extreme, which ditched the standard face fabric in favor of a waterproof membrane. The result was a more breathable, durable rain shell. Now the company has winterized the conceit by wrapping an 800-fill goose-down ski parka in the material to create a coat that’s as warm and weatherproof as you’ll ever need at the resort. Details like pockets for goggles and an electronic pass, mesh-backed pit zips, and laser-cut Velcro cuffs complete the package.
The Verdict: For the worst conditions the Pacific Northwest can dish out. 1.7 lbs