Trial Run: Arc'Teryx Gamma SV

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Blurring the line between insulating fleece and weatherproofing shell, the versatile Gamma SV makes layering seem passé. This jacket's secret weapon is its fabric, Malden Powershield, which sandwiches a tightly woven stretch nylon and wind-resistant film to a wicking inner fleece. The result is an abrasion-resistant, high-performance jacket that's also quite cozy. As with most Arc'Teryx garments, the fit is trim, and the finish is high quality.

A few cold, wet days in the field were all it took; the SV will be a constant companion on my future mountain excursions.

$230/Arc'Teryx/800-985-6681/www.arcteryx.com