Storm Shelter: Outdoor Research Paladin Jacket

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The new Outdoor Research PaladinJacket ($250, hearkens back tothe days before complexmulti-fabric constructionand a pocket for everypurpose. Stripped downfor alpine climbing,the Paladin has onlytwo external pockets,placed well above thewaist belt and designedwith two-wayzips for easy accessunder a harness andpack straps. Thejacket has no pit zips,but the large pockets with meshlinings can be left open for additional breathability; this approachworked well during ascents in low-humidity Colorado, but peoplein wetter climes might wish for more ventilation. The Paladin hasquality features: waterproof zippers, an internal media pocket,and a generous hood with highly effective closures and clevertunnels for the drawstrings that keep them from slapping yourface in high winds. At about 13 ounces (men’s large) on our scale,this jacket is not super-light by modern shell standards, but thethree-layer Pertex Shield fabric is fully waterproof and exceptionallywind-resistant. —Dougald MacDonald