BLACKYAK NIATA

Backpacker - - Insulation -

OUR TAKE Yes, this jacket costs twice as much as most puffies, but here’s why some hik­ers might want to splurge: Stretchy sec­tions on the shoul­ders and un­der the arms pre­vent baf­fles from com­press­ing dur­ing reaches, keep­ing warm air in. “The stretch also gives this jacket a be­spoke feel,” says one tester who wore it while hik­ing in north­ern France. A full menu of pock­ets fits ev­ery­thing from snacks to skins. Tacky rub­ber pre­vents the waist­band from rid­ing up, and an in­su­lated brim on the hood did well to keep pre­cip out of our eyes.

THE DE­TAILS Hy­brid con­struc­tion—750-fill goose down with polyester fill across the shoul­ders and tri­ceps, the ar­eas most ex­posed to weather—works with DWR to fend off light pre­cip. The Niata packs down to the size of a hon­ey­dew.

TRAIL CRED “While stargazing near Crested Butte, Col­orado, I stayed warm with only a heavy­weight base­layer un­der­neath in 5°F weather,” one tester says. $600; 1 lb. 5 oz.; m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL; blackyak.com

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