The New Winter Coat
By Jonah Freedman

(MONEY Magazine) – Still bundling up with a bulky parka? Get hip to the latest in winter-apparel technology: soft shells. They're deceptively light, about the weight of a sweatshirt, and their construction (of fleece and a tightly woven, stretchable nylon) keeps you warm even at 32° F and breathes freely enough to prevent you from sweating inside all that insulation. That's right: No more doffing your coat when running into the supermarket.

For unmatched quality and breathability, the reigning soft-shell champ is the Arc'teryx Gamma SV Jacket (pictured; $250 at For extra protection from the elements, try the new Mountain Hardwear Synchro ($210 at, which adds a layer of water-resistant laminate to shield you from rain and snow. --JONAH FREEDMAN