If you're into layers for downhill and uphill adventures, look no further than these awesome shells, plus a few great midlayers too.
Light and quick is the name of the game here. Using a non-branded face fabric (neither Gore-Tex nor the company’s own H2NO), the Descensionist jacket and pants are lightweight, nimble, and feel right at home charging deep backcountry pow. Don’t come knocking if you’re wanting a chammy goggle cloth or other bells and whistles: This is a no-frills kit made for light and quick uphill/downhill travel. [Jacket, $449; Pants, $379. patagonia.com]
The ladies in our office dig the Pollox, a waterproof/breathable shell with a comfy fleece backer. It’s easy to get on and off and sports dual-entry kangaroo pockets. The Inverness Pant’s hidden cargo pocket helps retain the slim silhouette, and articulated knees promise plenty of room to move. Pair the Pollox with the cozy Callahan; the hide-away face mask offers extra protection on the lift—or when robbing a bank. Anorak, $140; Pant, $170; Fleece, $80. dakine.com]
Badass skiers Lynsey Dyer and Lexi Dupont abused this jacket and bib, doing their best to find weaknesses. The improved jacket rocks an extended bomber style that covers the butt, and both jacket and bib combine EB’s Weather-Edge Flux technology with eVent for waterproof breathability. Layer the EverTherm beneath, which uses down sheets instead of feathers, eliminating the baffles—and their cold spots. [Jacket, $449; Bib, $399; Midlayer, $249. eddiebauer.com]
The Swedish brand introduces a ski line designed for adventures in the high alpine. The Bergtagen kit is made from three-layer ripstop Eco-Shell fabric—a four-waystretch, recycled polyester blend that’s fluorocarbon free. The synthetic-fill Light Insulation jacket is part of the brand’s layering system, aiming to provide breathable warmth beneath the shell. [Jacket, $550; Trouser, $470; Midlayer, $325. fjallraven.us]
Helly does shells right, and the Kvitegga is proof. This three-layer kit made from Helly Tech Professional serves up solid resort and uphill capabilities with enough extras thrown in to keep you comfy without adding too much weight. Expect niceties such as adjustable cuffs, generous vents, high-visibility details, and adjustable suspenders and Velcro at the bib waist to customize your own look. A sweet choice for women craving lightweight versatility. [Jacket, $375; Bib, $350. hellyhansen.com]