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How to Choose a Technical Shell

Technical jackets are designed to keep you dry in wet weather, breathe away sweaty moisture, and fit comfortably under a climbing harness or backpack. Look for a technical jacket that's not only lightweight but also compressible. Ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain. Simplicity is key—extra features can be handy, but they add weight and bulk.

Waterproof Rating
Plan for the worst when you're looking for jacket that you'll wear into the mountains. You want a jacket with fabric that boasts a high waterproof rating (20K+) and a highly breathable membrane, ample durability, and a construction that includes fully taped or welded seams.
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For backpacking, you don't need many bells and whistles. If you're climbing, then you'll want good wrist closures and a helmet-compatible hood to seal out a storm.
Related Content How to Choose a Technical Shell
Because these jackets have to fit comfortably when you're wearing backpack or climbing harness, they tend to have a slim to regular fit. Be careful not to choose a fit that's so slim or a size so small that you can't add extra baselayers or an insulating layer.