Dynafit’s Traverse GTX is the lightest, most minimalist Gore-Tex jacket made. It’s completely water-resistant and is as suited to cycling and spring skiing as it is to hiking and running.
On a recent month-long trip to Ecuador, we used the Traverse as our daily primary weather protection. In an unexpected snowstorm at 15,000 feet, it gave us an edge against the wind and cold. And we stayed dry and warm when the skies opened up as we were exploring Quito’s old town. On a misty early morning pedal through the high alpine, the Traverse took the chill off, and when the sun finally burned off the fog, the jacket rolled into a fist-sized ball, and we could stuff it in a jersey pocket. The Traverse isn’t some flimsy windshell — it’s a full-fledged Gore-Tex jacket with exceptional compressibility. Gore Active Shell is the lightest construction that Gore-Tex offers, and this particular jacket is the lightest and may be the most breathable Gore-Tex jacket ever made thanks to laser cut vents that wrap from fore and aft of the armpits. They helped keep the jacket from getting clammy even in a heart-pounding volcano descent. The minimalist design doesn’t skimp on anything but weight. Instead of Velcro flaps to cinch cuffs or drawstrings at the waist, the Traverse has stretchy binding to keep weather out. Plus, a highly water-resistant zipper does the same. The helmet-compatible visor hood has a three-inch piece of elastic sewn into the back to subtly pull it back so it doesn’t block your field of vision. And the hood and upper spine of the jacket have a stripe of reflective dots — they kept us visible during a three-hour night bike race through Quito’s streets. The only extra is a chest pocket big enough to hold a bar, a car key, and your ID.
We loved this jacket for its smart features and non-binding-but-trim fit, which made it the ultimate jacket for a multitude of activities. And despite its feather weight, after six months of regular to intensive use, it looks as good as new.
[Available this spring for $370; dynafit.com]