rain jacket reviews

Gear Review: Westcomb Switch LT Hoody Jacket

Westcomb Switch LT Hoody

Four-Season Jacket
Westcomb Switch LT Hoody
$430, 15 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL
westcomb.com

A more breathable waterproof shell seems to be the holy grail of apparel manufacturers these days, and I’m all for that. Polartec says its NeoShell polyurethane membrane has the durability, ability to block wind, and waterproofing of a hard shell, and the breathability, stretch, and supple feel of a soft shell—while coming in lighter than competing technologies in both categories. If the Switch LT Hoody is an indication of where apparel makers can go with NeoShell, I think we’ll be seeing more and more jackets that can legitimately be called a four-season shell.

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Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Drystein Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Drystein Jacket

Rain Shell
Mountain Hardwear Drystein Jacket
$425, 16 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
mountainhardwear.com

I’ve worn dozens of waterproof-breathable jackets over the past two decades of gear and apparel testing, and the characteristic that has always distinguished the best of them is breathability: It’s easy to make a jacket waterproof, not so easy to make it really breathe well when you’re sweating hard. The technology has come a long way over the years, and Hardwear’s new DryQ Elite takes breathability to a new level.

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