Out­door Re­search Sky­ward II

Backpacker - - Field Test -

We gave the orig­i­nal Sky­ward our high­est award in 2016 for im­pres­sive breatha­bil­ity and soft­shel­l­like feel in a weath­er­proof hard­shell. The new ver­sion ups the ante with a wo­ven backer on the three-layer, air­per­me­able As­cen­tShell fab­ric. The up­date makes it even more breath­able (a slim­mer cut helps, too). “When I was cross-coun­try ski­ing in New Hamp­shire’s White Moun­tains on a driz­zly day in the 30s, I never boiled over, even when I was push­ing hard,” our tester re­ports. Full-length side vents help air things out even more. The Sky­ward’s large in­te­rior mesh pock­ets hold gog­gles, gloves, or skins. Trade­off: weight. $350; 1 lb. 10 oz. (m’s L); m’s S-XL, w’s XS-L; out­door­re­search.com

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