OUTDOOR RESEARCH ALPENICE HOODED JACKET
OUR TAKE “This was the one jacket I used every day, all winter,” reports one of our Alaska testers, praising the Alpenice’s ability to fend off snowstorms in the Chugach Range while still breathing well during steep ascents. OR uses stretchy, waterproof, highly breathable AscentShell fabric in the shoulders, upper body, and hood, while placing thinner, weather-resistant Pertex Microlight on the lower body. This mix protects the areas most exposed to precip, while ultrabreathable Polartec Alpha Direct insulation regulates temps. “I’ll throw on a puffy during transitions, but end up overheating minutes after restart,” our tester says. “I wore this jacket up every mountain without melting down.” THE DETAILS Alpha Direct is a version of Polartec’s synthetic Alpha insulation with no backer. Without the extra fabric, it traps more warmth without adding bulk and breathes better. Bonus: Testers loved the beefy, durable zippers on the Alpenice’s chest pockets. TRAIL CRED “Snow and rain slide right off this jacket, and it feels as comfortable inside as a soft cotton hoody,” says one tester who used it on Thompson Pass, Alaska, in subzero temps.