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—Courtesy of Ultimate Direction

Trail Tested, Colorado Approved

The new Ultra Jacket is built for the pros—but at a price the rest of us can still afford.

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Not just any Joe Schmo can compete in the annual Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) trail-running race, a grueling 104-mile, multiday tour of nine mountain passes through Europe. You’ve got to qualify—and so does your equipment. The Ultra Jacket ($179.95), a waterproof, featherweight coat released this month by Boulder’s Ultimate Direction, more than meets the standards set by race officials. Preliminary tests show it can pretty much stand up to a hurricane without leaking, and its breathability score is more than twice the minimum required. The Ultra has other competitive advantages, too. The TunnelEffect hood channels air out the back to reduce drag. And the FlipMitts mittens tuck into the sleeves, so Boulder-based UTMB competitor Sage Canaday’s fingers stay warm as he crests Italy’s Grand Col Ferret at 8,169 feet but don’t get too hot when he’s luxuriating in the sunshine at the finish line in Chamonix, France. Fortunately for the rest of us mere mortals, the Ultra’s technology works equally well in the Rocky Mountains.

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