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Rain gear



2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Mammut Felsturm Half-Zip Jacket

A jacket that 30% lighter weight than its competitors and 20% more breathable.

The Best Breathable, Waterproof Rain Jackets

Four companies made bold claims about cutting-edge waterproof technology in 2011. So we gathered a dozen rain jackets with the new fabrics and put them to the test in a head-to-head challenge. Verdict: We've never worn a more breathable crop of shells.

Gear Review: Columbia Peak 2 Peak/Peak Power

Made with Columbia Omni-Dry this full-featured jacket is $40 less than its nearest competitor.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Jovian

Made with a PTFE membrane made by General Electric this shell was great in heavy rain.

Gear Review: Westcomb Apoc

Made with Polartec NeoShell, this versatile jacket is durable and breathable.

Gear Review: Mammut Felsturm Half-Zip

Made with Gore-Tex Active Shell this breathable jacket was wearable in a wide range of temperatures.

Gear Review: Tilley TWP1 Waterproof Hat

A fully-featured topper, the Tilley TWP1 waterproof hat has enough style to satisfy even the snobbiest hiker.

Gear Review: Magellan iPhone ToughCase

A waterproof case that doesn't render your iPhone useless.

Gear Review: Davek Traveler Umbrella

A pricey umbrella that's worth every penny.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Cohesion Stretch Pant

Lightweight and durable shell pants.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Hurricane Accelerator Shell

A hooded, seam-taped, DWR-treated rain jacket for kids.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Downpour Wide Brim Rain Hat

A storm shell and umbrella for your head

Time-Tested Gear: Essentials

Apparel, cookware, stoves...swimsuits?

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Marmot Aegis Jacket

This 14-ounce shell is equally at home on the trail or around town, thanks to its reliable weatherproofing, performance features, and plush niceties.

Gear Review: Rab Kinetic Rain Jacket

An ultralight hardshell jacket for under $150.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Cohesion Rainshell

A reasonably priced rainshell that breathes well and feels great against the skin.

Gear Review: Kuhl Skuhl eVent Shell

Repel spring (and summer and fall) showers with this eVent jacket.

Gear Review: Discovery Trekking Extreme Ultralight Fast-Dry Towel

This towel packs small and absorbs a ton...except odors.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Epic Kids' Shell Jacket

Kids stay warm and dry with this deluge-proof shell, perfect for everything from family hikes, to waiting for the carpool.

Fall Apparel Guide 2009

Goal: Help you stay comfortable in any weather. Solution: Hike through two-week-long downpours and hurricane-force winds to bring you the best new gear for every trip.

Gear Review: First Ascent Big Tahoma Backpack

Trek for many days and miles with this lightweight, supportive, durable and highly waterproof pack.

Gear School: Raingear

Understand waterproofing, and you'll pick the right shell and keep it working like new.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Revel Hat

This ultra-light waterproof baseball cap is great for the hood haters among us.

Gear Review: GoLite Mckenzie Reflexion Jacket

Waterproof and breathable, this hard shell is perfect for cold places and pursuits.

Gear Review: Millet Super touring Jacket

This all-around soft shell keeps the drizzle on the outside and warmth on the inside, right where it belongs.

Gear Review: Mammut Lobuche Shell

New technology makes for a super breathable, go anywhere hard shell

Gear Review: Marmot Nano Shell

Weighing less that 10 ounces this ultralight shell withstood 3 days of torrential rain.

Gear Review: First Ascent BC-100 Shell

Bargain shell for rainy weather

Online Exclusive: Ultralight Shells

These versatile jackets weigh less than a pound and pack smaller than a grapefruit.

Extreme Layering: All-Purpose Clothing

For all-purpose performance year-round, this layering system works overtime through any weather.

Extreme Layering: Rainy-Weather Clothing

Don't let a crappy forecast keep you home for the weekend. Just pack this deluge-tested system.

Extreme Layering: Hot-Weather Clothing

From the Grand Canyon to sunshine-pounded Colorado peaks, stay cool and comfortable with this ultralight system.

Extreme Layering: Cold-Weather Clothing

Our testers faced raging blizzards, pounding hail, frigid temps, and 60-mph winds to select these top clothes.

Extreme Layering: Clothing for all Weather Conditions

Wild weather coming? We've devised a perfect system for every condition.

2008 Apparel Guide: The Outtakes

We couldn't fit all of our reviews in one spot. Here, read the outtakes.

Apparel Guide: L.L. Bean Timberledge Winter Sport Pant and OR Prismatic Cap

From head to, well, ankle, our testers give Outdoor Research and L.L. Bean a whirl.

Apparel Guide: All-Purpose Shells

Check out the Cloudveil Hobak, EMS Aurora Shell Pant, L.L. Bean Ascent GTX, Mountain Hardwear Dragon, and Sierra Designs Cyclone Eco

March 2008 Perfect System: East



March 2008 Perfect System: Southwest



March 2008 Perfect System: Rocky Mountains



March 2008 Perfect System: Northwest



Backpacker 2008 Gear Guide: Perfect System

The best gear in the world can be worthless in the wrong conditions. That's where Backpacker's Perfect System comes in.

March 2008 Essentials Review: Shell Jackets



Backpacker Gear Guide: Essentials

Packs, tents, boots, and bags–that's easy. Now comes the hard part: Everything else. Below, you'll find our top picks for all the lust-worthy backcountry essentials you'll need to make your trip safe, fun, and simple.

Rain Shells

From $500 to under $150, Backpacker has found the best rain shells for blowing snow or driving rain.

Trail Tops

These eight trail tops wick sweat, look great, and fit great. Wear them for a run or a week-long trek.

The Fix: Revive Your Rain Jacket

Don't buy new--just give your rain shell a little TLC

Apparel Review: Marmot PreCip Pant

Our field testers praise PreCip for its strength and breathability

Apparel Review: More For Your Money

Budget shopper or big spender? We have the perfect three-season layering system for you.

Ultralight Shell Review: Save Weight, Money, and Time

Keep your wallet and load a little lighter with Outdoor Research, Marmot, and Integral Designs

Hat Review: Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero

Stay dry in the wettest weather with this lid, winner of a 2005 Editors' Choice Gold Award

Jacket Review: Ground Repel eVent

Stay sweat-free in all conditions with this lightweight shell

Q&A: How to Stay Dry

We went to outdoor educators and gear retailers to uncover the most common questions asked about staying dry in the backcountry. Here are the top 6.

Tips and Tricks for Staying Dry

How to keep your gear--and yourself--dry on your next backpacking adventure.

Time To Treat: When to Repair Gear

How do you know that your gear is crying out for help? Consult our handy list of signs and solutions.

Waterproof Your Wilderness Gear

A complete guide to buying gear that will keep you dry--no matter what

Jacket Review: GoLite Phantom

Racing a storm to a peak is no time to whip out an inferior rain shell.

Jacket Review: Sierra Designs Hurricane LT

This super-compact and affordable shell is perfect for the Southwest

Accessory Review: Sea to Summit Trekking Umbrella

You won't miss a thing with this piece of raingear.

Jacket Review: EMS Thunderhead

You don't have to be a direct Mayflower descendant to appreciate a little Yankee thrift with this rain shell

Getting Navy SEAL Gear

How to acquire your very own Navy SEAL Protective Combat Uniform.

Oregon, Silver Falls State Park

The beauty of this hike comes alive with the rain.

Gear For A Dayhike

10 essentials for long day adventures

Quick Tip: Rainfly Right

Quick tips to set your tent with the right rainfly.

Rainy Day Skills

To stay dry in a downpour, carry the right wet-weather gear and know how to use it.

Quick Tip: Tarp Tactics

Tarp tips for the tactical hiker.

Jacket vs. Vests

Going sleeveless might save you weight, but will a vest keep you as warm as a jacket?

Tent Setup: Building A Rain Dam

Protect your tent from rain by building a rain dam.

Tundra Tip: Wear Your Rubber Boots

Rubber boots are essential gear in the tundra.

How To Dry Your Sleeping Bag

Add some ribbons to your sleeper to speed drying.

Gaiter Grooming Tips

Before you cinch up your gaiters, consider the best way to keep the wicked weather and bits of terrain at bay.

Jacket Jargon

Make the proper buying decision by first learning the language of jackets.

How To Pick Raingear

Getting the right shell has as much to do with personal needs and hiking habits as it does with the quality of a garment.

Rainy-Day Camping Games

Beat the rainy-day blues by playing sleeping-pad chess or checkers.

'Seams' Dry: Weatherproof Your Tent

Learn how to weatherproof your tent -- before it rains.

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