The top layer of your winter outfit has a wide range of functions, and which style and model you choose will depend on your priorities. Fully waterproof outer layers, made from fabrics like Gore-Tex, keep out the wet, while jackets made from thicker 'soft shell' fabrics combine water resistance with warmth.
Depending on your top layer, you might want a warm jacket underneath, while in milder weather an easily-packed windproof jacket is a handy thing to carry in case things turn cooler.
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