Surprisingly excellent features on a minimalist piece
Versatility, weather-resistant, and breathable
Need your own warmth and/or insulation
Ortovox, available at backcountry.com
European brand Ortovox has only been in the U.S. for a few years, but they have a long history of crafting excellent gear for the most demanding situations. Like a few of the other winter jacket brands we looked at this year, Ortovox’s heritage isn’t necessarily in running, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make an excellent running jacket.
The Civetta fits perfectly with Ortovox’s accomplished history of providing mountain safety–initially with emergency equipment such as its well-known avalanche transceivers–because it is a precision instrument designed to get you out of bind. As such, its primary purpose is to protect you from wind, rain, snow, etc. It isn’t, however, there to coddle you or provide much in the way of creature comforts, which is why it only sports a small zippered Napoleon pocket.
The Toray Demizax DT (polyurethane) shell material provides excellent water and wind repellency for its weight and the ability to release vaporized sweat, allowing you to maintain a desirable internal environment, even when pushing the pace, as long as outside temps are chill or you can unzip to adjust on the fly. The neck coverage from the hood is quite generous and the hood itself is a marvel, given its use of merino wool and a self-regulating, elastic band and reinforced peak for a morphing, almost customized fit, along with the wooly comfort around your chin and forehead. The jacket’s general fit isn’t so body-hugging that you can’t wear a layer or two underneath this lightweight shell if it is really cold.