These jackets and shells will keep you warm and dry this winter. They won’t weigh you down on the hike up and they’ll look fly at the bar. They’ve got handy details like pockets inside of pockets and fixed hoods. They’re roomy enough to layer under, but their fits are smart. Read on for reviews by POWDER staffers and contributors.
Arc’teryx Caden Jacket
The Arc’teryx Caden Jacket feels like it’s well made. And it is. Constructed of Gore-Tex Pro with a DWR finish, it’s lightweight (605g), durable, waterproof, and breathable. Wear it on a big tour. Layer up for a storm day on the lifts. The shell is cut loose for exceptional range of movement and has a laminated construction, meaning it packs tight. Yes, Arc’teryx is pricey. But you pay for what you get. And this jacket is resistant to your abuse, with clean designs that will last. —John Clary Davies
Armada Outland Jacket
Armada has made huge strides in outerwear in just five seasons. By incorporating modern style with proven high-performance technology, the brand should now be considered among the leaders in the category. The new Outland, a three-layer Gore-Tex Pro shell, provides all the weather protection you need in a lightweight, relaxed-fitting (but not loose) package. Waterproof, breathable, fixed hood, Lycra wrist gaiters, extra-large pit zips, large outer pockets, and mesh inner media pockets…the Outland transitions seamlessly from backcountry to resort, just the way it should be. —Matt Hansen
Oakley Beltline ProJacket
Oakley comes out swinging with the 100-percent nylon Beltline Pro Jacket. Featuring a fixed hood that can easily fit a helmet but doesn’t have unnecessary bulk, roomy wrist cuffs and gaiters, a YKK zip in the front, and taped-seam zippers on the three pockets, the three-layer Gore-Tex Pro Beltline is a stylie option inbounds and lightweight for backcountry pursuits. Although the strategic pit zips require some practice, the rest of the jacket is designed with function in mind. The drop tail back and snap storm skirt connects seamlessly to most Oakley pants. —John Stifter
Salomon Shadow GTX Jacket
The Salomon Shadow GTX Jacket and Pant is a lightweight setup that hits like a heavy. The Shadow duo has a minimalist feel, which is perfect for backcountry pursuits. But what really elevates the jacket-pant combination is its 100-percent seam-sealed construction and three-layer Gore-Tex Pro fabric. A powder skirt and removable bib on the pants and the fixed hood with 3D adjustment on the jacket keep blower at bay. Still, the Shadow GTX is a shell at heart so layering is key. Also, the diagonal pant pockets are tricky and there isn’t much space for anything beyond a thin smartphone—so stick your flask elsewhere. —Kade Krichko
The North Face Free Thinker Jacket
With a minimalist design and Gore-Tex Pro fabric, The North Face Free Thinker is for the girl demanding reliable performance in the harshest of elements. The jacket’s cut is slim and long, but plenty of room lives in the shoulders to move comfortably. Long pit zips and a bunch of pockets, like the small, zippered pocket-in-a-pocket for your cash and I.D., show the thought behind the details.