As if the lines weren’t blurry enough, this year’s featherweight fabrics and highly breathable waterproof membranes have made hardshells and softshells even harder to distinguish—and exceedingly versatile in changing conditions. End result: win-win. Here are two examples of the top of the jacket food chain this season. For more on what’s going to keep you toasty and dry, check out the Buyers Guide in print and online in late September.
The Triteca combines Columbia’s Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining, Omni-Wick Evap waterproof-breathable membrane, and the new-this-fall windproof Omni-Wind Block softshell fabric. Other features include an adjustable storm hood, a drop tail, and waterproof zippers. We tested the jacket on a blustery, stormy Whistler day and can confirm: It’s a triple treat.
Women’s, $220; columbia.com
Tailored for maximum mobility and, heck, a flattering look, the Niseko offers technical details like Eider’s waterproof-breathable Defender four-way stretch fabric and body mapped insulation—133 g PrimaLoft in the torso, 100 g in the back, and 60 g in the arms—to maintain your body’s temperature balance.
Men’s, $599; eider.com