The 12 Best Shells of 2017: Something for Every Budget


You have to consider weather, terrain, and activity level when choosing a shell. From a 6-ounce hardshell to an uncommonly breathable softshell to a bargain do-it-all, we’ve got picks for every hiker.

Test Data

Testers: 47
Days tested: 687
Miles hiked: 2,495
Max wind speed: 60 mph (Mt. Washington, NH)
Biggest 1-day temp swing: 51°F (Clear Creek Reservoir, CO)
Coldest temp: -10°F (Southern Alps, New Zealand)
Highest trip: 14,003 ft. (Mt. Huron, CO)

Rise of the Budget Hardshell

Thrifty hikers, rejoice: There’s never been a better time to snap up a quality shell at a rock-bottom price. While shells with $400-plus price tags have dominated in recent years, this season’s offerings include a…

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