trail-running apparel reviews

A backcountry skier at Baldy Knoll in Wyoming's Tetons Range.

How to Dress in Layers for Winter in the Backcountry

By Michael Lanza If hiking, backpacking, and climbing from spring through fall teaches us the fundamentals of layering our clothing for comfort in variable weather, the backcountry in winter confers a graduate degree in layering. In mild temperatures, getting wet with perspiration or precipitation merely risks discomfort. In freezing temps, it can quickly lead to hypothermia and actually become life-threatening. …

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The Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket.

Review: Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket

Ultralight Rain Jacket Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket $159, 6 oz. (men’s medium) Sizes: men’s XS-XXL, women’s XS-XL backcountry.com Whether hiking through heavy, cool mist while backpacking the Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park, pulling this shell on frequently to fend off cold wind and rain showers during a five-day backpacking trip in The Maze District of Canyonlands National …

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The North Face Flight FutureLight Jacket

Review: The North Face Flight FutureLight Jacket

Ultralight Rain Jacket
The North Face Flight FutureLight Jacket
$280, 8.5 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-XXL, women’s XS-XL
moosejaw.com

When The North Face billed its Flight FutureLight Jacket as the most breathable rain shell the brand has ever brought to market, that naturally caused a stir in the outdoor industry—and made me eager to put it to the test. From spring into summer, I wore this light rain shell for missions ranging from trail running in rain showers and cool wind, to backpacking through thunderstorms with strong gusts, and even backcountry skiing in variable spring weather. And while it has some minor flaws, the Flight FutureLight Jacket demonstrates impressive breathability and a comfortable fit.

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Arc’teryx Incendo SL Jacket.

Review: Arc’teryx Incendo SL and Cita SL Jackets

Ultralight Shell Jacket Arc’teryx Incendo SL Jacket and Cita SL Jacket $129, 2.8 oz. (men’s medium), 2.3 oz. (women’s) Sizes: men’s XS-XXL, women’s XS-XL backcountry.com With an ultralight shell—besides very low weight—we’re seeking a delicate balance between competing objectives: breathability for high-exertion activities like running, and protection against wind and light precipitation. On numerous late-winter and spring trail runs and …

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The Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell in Spain's Picos de Europa Mountains.

Review: Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell

Ultralight Shell Jacket Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell $140, 3.5 oz. (men’s medium) Sizes: men’s S-XL, women’s XS-XL backcountry.com Obvious first impression: The Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell passes the test of being so light that there’s no reason to not carry it. But a shell this packable becomes truly invaluable when you can use it in a variety of …

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