Many companies can claim performance, but Italian-based SLAM also makes some of the best looking foul-weather gear out there. The colors and graphics are bright, bold and striking. The RC Spray Top – designed with input from Russell Coutts (three-time winner of the America's Cup) – are well-suited for short-distance racing because they get the job done without a lot of excessive fabric or detail. SLAM's Advanced Technology Fabric not only makes the RCs waterproof, windproof, and breathable, it also makes them lightweight and easily compressible, leaving room in your gear bag for other essentials.
I'm also taken by the company's attention to design details, such as the thermo-taped stitching (see above), which makes the apparel as elegant as it is functional. The cuffs are neoprene for maximum grip and have an easy ergonomic closure. And, last but surely not least, the dual collar with individual closures is guaranteed to keep water and wind out. The top comes in unisex sizing and is listed at $280 MSR. author: Nancy H