Lightest insulated jacket
Our take For shoulder-season hikes where it’s hard to predict how cold it will get, this is the jacket to toss in your pack. At half the weight and price of most of the jackets here, the Prism Ultra Pull-On is this year’s best “just-in-case” puffy. Stuffing into its own baseball-size pocket, it was our go-to layer for shoulder-season ski transitions. The synthetic PrimaLoft Silver fill took the edge off a high-30s day as we hiked in Colorado’s Never Summer Wilderness and was a first line of wind defense on warmer-but-breezier days, though we needed more during rest breaks in temperatures below freezing.
The details A DWR finish on the 15-denier ripstop nylon face fabric seals out brief precip, but not much more. Features are minimal: There’s no hood, just one chest pocket that fits a phone, and a quarter zip rather than a full-length one. (This jacket also comes in a hooded, full-zip version for $20 more.) Par for the course with UK-made products, the fit is a little trim, so consider sizing up if you’re on the border or plan to layer underneath. Note: The Prism Ultra is only tagged with men’s sizes, but our female testers said the simple cut worked fine for them—just plan on going down a size.
$160; 7 oz.; m’s S-XXL