Outdoor Research Lodestar

Warm, water-resistant puffy alternative

$450; outdoorresearch.com

After two seasons of ice climbing in this jacket, one tester compared it to an electric blanket. “It’s warmer than it looks,” he said. The secret is Polartec’s Power Shield High Loft, a precipitation-resistant, wind-blocking, stretchy fabric backed by a generously fluffy gridded fleece. Our testers stayed warm while climbing and belaying in temps down to the teens. The alpine fit leaves room for light midlayers beneath, and the hood easily allows a helmet. Cons: It’s pricey and heavier and less compressible than a puffy.



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