Hard Shell

Archive

I’m in the market for a lightweight, waterproof, and breathable shell. I’d like something lighter than the Gore-Tex XCR shell I previously used year-round. What’s your recommendation for a jacket that I can combine with my soft shell to create the perfect winter-sport combo? Etienn Montreal, Quebec

I looking for a rainproof jacket, light enough to wear during south Florida's humid, rainy summers, and still be able to use it as outerwear for a spring Yosemite trip. I was considering the Patagonia Ready Mix. Is that too heavy? Any other ideas? Jorge Mii, Florida

I looking for some tough raingear for summer trekking through the Canadian wilderness, where I'll be portaging gear and experiencing sudden changes in weather. My priorities are something that's durable, light, and that will keep me dry and windproof. I normally go for top-of-the-line brand nes, but not in this case. It's just got to last and get the job done. John Beckley, West Virginia

What type of jacket would you suggest as an all-season shell for somewhere like North Carolina? I would like to buy one that could be used in the winter as a shell for skiing but that is not too hot to wear in a summer downpour. Art Chapel Hill, North Carolina

I want to replace my old all-purpose Mountain Jacket from The North Face, since it has lost its outer water protection and is fairly heavy. Would you go with a soft or hard shell? I cross-country ski, snowshoe, and hike with my malute in the Colorado mountains. Anne Silverton, Colorado

I about to transfer to the hot, humid tropical island of Gu with the U.S. Navy. I need a recommendation on an extremely lightweight, breathable outer shell. With an average temp of 87 degrees and daily humidity at 80 to 90 percent, I certainly need a light and breathable rainjacket. I was thinking of the Marmot PreCip or REI Ultra Light. Andrew San Diego, California

I climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in August. I have been skiing before but never in sub-zero conditions. Will two layers of long underwear under two layers of fleece and a waterproof, windproof shell jacket be enough to handle the cold at over 19,000 feet? Or do I really need to get down or something like it? Steve Moorpark, California

Soft shells, soft shells...that's all you ever hear about these days. But for next winter's mountaineering season, I'm in the market to replace my ten-year-old North Face hard (and I mean HARD) shell. What's out there ong the hard shells—both high end and more affordable—that's durable, well-designed, maybe even innovative? John New York City

I've read about the Moonstone Lucid's light weight and compressibility, but because I won't wear clothes for which animals are slaughtered, I wonder if there's something comparable made of Hollofil or some other man-made fiber that's equally warm, compressible, and lightweight (and for men, since I understand the Lucid is only available in women's sizes). Nicolás Buenos Aires, Argentina

The makers of adventure gear and apparel had utility dialed long ago. Now R&D types are zeroing in on style.

I moving to southeast Alaska this month, and I need a relatively inexpensive, waterproof, and wind-resistant winter jacket. I need something that will keep me warm for extended periods in cold, rainy conditions. Should I buy a heavy-duty rainjacket and wear it over a Polartec fleece, or buy more of a skier's jacket? Mallory Haubstadt, Indiana

I'm planning a coast-to-coast walk across England this spring, covering 190 miles in about two weeks. What are your top three choices for a rainjacket? Sid Susanville, California

Slimmed down and styled up, expedition parkas are taking back the streets. Winter doesn't stand a chance.

Want to go from day tripper to trail ripper? Lose the weight, hit the throttle, and have a 21st-century blast.

Stay on the winning end of the high-stakes outerwear gamble