What to wear when you're heading out of bounds.
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The Enclosure’s water-resistant shell is made from recycled materials. Its PrimaLoft fill provides warmth whether it’s wet or dry and remains compressible enough to stash in your pack. Mesh panels under the arms provide good ventilation and vent your pit funk. Plus: Roomy inside pockets hold goggles and other essentials. Minus: The hood is a tight fit over a helmet.
Gore-Tex Paclite with a velvety exterior makes the Binary stylish, waterproof, and breathable. Backcountry-friendly features include extra-long pit zips and two roomy chest pockets. The hem cinches with a drawcord to keep powder out and adjusts with one hand. Plus: Light and packable. Minus: Hand-warming pockets would be nice.
Like its namesake, a 3,300-foot big-wall climb in Norway, this hardshell is tough. But it also breathes, is waterproof, and has a removable powder skirt. The large inside pocket is perfect for thawing energy bars. Plus: Chest pockets with interior mesh panels double as vents. Minus: When you’re zipping up, the waterproofing flap can be a nuisance.
Designed by a small Colorado crew of hardcore skiers, the Chemical pant is fully waterproof and generously cut. Large outer-leg and smaller inner-leg vents provide nice cross-flow venting. Plus: Cordura reinforcements on knees and cuffs make these built to last. Minus: Those same knee patches tend to absorb water.
With eVent hardshell patches in the knees and butt and stretchy Polartec softshell elsewhere, Westcomb’s Chief HX deflects water, breathes, and provides the unhindered movement that pure hardshells don’t. Plus: Two handwarmer pockets are nice when you’re standing around. Minus: The lack of leg vents means sweaty legs during ascents, despite hyperbreathable eVent fabric.
This tough, proven design—made from Gore-Tex’s waterproof-breathable Performance Shell 3L Enduro nylon—is perfect for season-long abuse. Hold ’em up with either a belt or the removable suspenders. Plus: Zippered rear flap for easy bathroom breaks. Minus: There’s a noticeable lack of breathability in these overbuilt pants during long tours.
The eVent fabric (used also in Westcomb’s pant) is light, waterproof, and very breathable. Three large pockets swallow your goodies, while scuff guards and adjustable gaiters toughen the cuffs. Plus: Full-length leg zips make venting and squatting easy. Minus: Open the leg vents from the top and the pants will fall off if you aren’t wearing a belt.