Backpacker - - Shells -

OUR TAKE Just how good is this shell’s per­for­mance-to-cost ra­tio? Even if REI tacked on an­other Ben­jamin, we’d still buy the XeroDry. It per­forms like a pre­mium pick, keep­ing us fully shel­tered through down­pours on Canada’s Prince Ed­ward Is­land, but doesn’t tip the scales like many value-priced shells. Two types of Gore-Tex Pa­clite—a 75-de­nier polyester face fab­ric in high-wear ar­eas across the shoul­ders and back, and softer, 50-de­nier else­where—grant good breatha­bil­ity com­pared to shells of sim­i­lar price.

THE DE­TAILS The XeroDry’s low cost does come with some con­ces­sions: It lacks pit zips, and some testers com­plained about the baggy cut. But it does have an ad­justable hem and sleeves that ex­tend over the top of the hand for ex­tra pro­tec­tion. And the shell held up over a sea­son’s worth of bat­tles with prickly devil’s club in Alaska.

TRAIL CRED “Even with 35-mph winds and rain on Cape Chignecto, Nova Sco­tia, the XeroDry’s two-way ad­justable hood never blew off or flapped over my eyes,” one tester says. $159; 12.5 oz.; m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL;

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