Hi-Tech Hardshells to Weather the Storm

Published on 02/01/2012

By Mallory Ayres

Each season, every snowsports brand releases a slew of jackets for a variety of intended uses. When you need a jacket that will go above and beyond the call of duty in the most harrowing of winter storms, you need a hi-tech hardshell. These seven shells were handpicked and tested by the Active Junky gear team, and certified to stand up to your highest demands.


Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket - Men's

We tested this jacket on our Adrenaline in the Andes trip and it served us well. It combines an abrasion resistant polyester outer layer with a Gore-Tex waterproof breathable membrane. It also features a moisture-wicking polyester mesh inner layer. We liked the abundant seven pockets, the generous cut for layering and ease of movement and the adjustable, removable hood with a laminated visor.

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Arc'Teryx Beta AR Jacket -Women's

This minimalist Gore-Tex shell has an articulated women’s specific fit and will give you top-notch protection whether you’re on a light hike or a rugged trek. Not only is it ultra lightweight, it’s very durable, windproof and snow-shedding. It also has a helmet compatible hood with a laminated brim, watertight zippers and a longer length for less layering overlap.

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Cloudveil Koven Jacket - Men's

This 3-season stretch jacket is made with Cloudveil’s Cloudburst triple layer laminate with an advanced DWR finish making it impervious to harsh weather. Both its stretchiness and breathability are ideal for movement, and its 45-denier outer surface makes it tough enough to withstand a serious beating. It also has nice features like a brushed tricot panel down the back to manage moisture, a drop down storm sealed hood and YKK water resistant zippers.

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Mammut Keiko Jacket - Women's

This shell is made with a climber friendly cut that makes multi-pitch challenges a little more comfortable. It features Mammut’s DryTech 2.5 layer fabric that is waterproof, breathable and has a little stretch to it. No matter what the weather - rain, wind or snow - it offers top quality protection. It’s also extremely lightweight at 300g and takes up little packing space. Plus, it has a fixed adjustable hood, watertight pockets and underarm zips.

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Helly Hansen Odin Guiding Light Jacket - Men's

Above tree line and into thin air you are going to want a jacket that will protect you from nature’s unbridled fury if a storm moves in. The Odin Guiding Jacket is both lightweight and durable with a minimal seam design. It features Helly Hansen’s Professional 3ply fabric that offers waterproof and breathable protection. It’s also harness and pack compatible with water resistant zippers and pockets, a helmet compatible hood and taped seams.

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The North Face Point Five Jacket - Women's

This shell is for lady mountaineers who need reliable protection that won’t wimp out on the last pitch. It features a waterproof and breathable 3L Pro Fabric Gore-Tex shell that is both lightweight and durable. It’s also completely seam sealed with a fully adjustable, helmet compatible hood, pit zips and a hidden hem cinch cord.

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Outdoor Research Maximus Jacket - Men's

From climbing to backcountry skiing, this waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex 70D Pro Shell jacket will keep you protected from snow flurries and wintery mix alike. It has an ergonomic design with articulated elbows to give you the perfect fit, and features TorsoFlo double sliding size vent zippers to expel excess heat. It also has all the right details like fully taped seams, water resistant zippers, an internal pocket with a media port and an adjustable, helmet compatible hood.

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