This brainy three-layer Polartec NeoShell jacket and pant serves up everything you need in a solid shell kit and nothing you don’t. Think roomy chest pocket, helmet compatible hood, jacket-pant integration, and large interior drop pockets. Pair it with the innovative new Atherm; Polartec Alpha active insulation mapped with Polartec’s temperature-sensing High Loft Grid. [Jacket, $600; Pant, $500; Midlayer, $285, mountainhardwear.com]
Mammut comes through again with a savvy freeride-inspired shell made from three-layer Gore-Tex Pro and designed to appeal to out-of-bounders who also like to be pampered. (What’s not to like about Lycra hand gaiters and a three-side-adjustable helmet-compatible hood?) The full bib is supplemented on top with Gore Windstopper for pliability and belt loops on the waistband that connect to the shell. [Jacket, $750; Bib, $625. us.mammut.com]
The North Face is all about making sure the pieces in its Steep Series play well together. In the Purist, the chest pockets align with the pockets on the Fuse Brigandine Bib and Respirator midlayer. It’s called Access Integration, and it’s useful when you need quick access to your midlayer storage. It also helps you vent more efficiently. The three-layer Gore-Tex Purist also has a stretch vest liner that packs away easily. [Jacket, $549; Bib, $549. thenorthface.com]
Flylow went back to the lab to concoct an even better version of a classic. The improved Lab Coat uses eVent for ultimate breathability and waterproofing, and adds 14-inch pit zips, removable powder skirt, and helmet-compatible hood for a lightweight, bomb-proof backcountry go-to. Add the Crowe Jacket for an active mid stuffed with post-consumer recycled Primaloft Eco and your conscience will rest easy. [Jacket, $525; Pant, $475; Midlayer, $275. flylowgear.com]
Looking to fill a gap between its minimalist, out-of-bounds offerings and its more traditional lift-riding set-ups, Scott rolls out the Vertic Tour, a blend of two Gore technologies, 3L and C-Knit, designed to wick and breathe while remaining comfortable, warm, and dry. Look for seamless (read: pack-friendly) shoulders and chest-pocket venting in the jacket, while the pants sport a removable bib with adjustable suspenders and articulated knees for ease of movement. [Jacket, $450; Pant, $420. scott-sports.com]
Looking for something a little more insulated? These are our favorite men's insulated kits for 2018.