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Extreme Layering: Rainy-Weather Clothing

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

SHELL

REI Shuksan
“This jacket sheds water like it has a force field around it,” said one tester after three extremely soggy spring days in Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. But what really sets the Shuksan apart is the outstanding breathability of its eVent membrane. Testers hiked all day in the rain with the shell zipped up tight–one even went for a three-mile uphill run to push the breathability envelope–and never experienced inner dampness. There are no pit zips because you simply don’t need them, which saves weight and made this jacket the lightest three-layer waterproof/breathable shell we tested (among nine finalists). When the rain pounded, we also appreciated these features: longer-than-average sleeves with adjustable Velcro cuffs; a sculpted hood with three quick-pull adjustments and a stiff visor; large mesh hand pockets and an exterior sleeve pocket. Both men and women testers raved about the “spot-on” fit: Sleeves and shoulders are long and roomy enough for a full range of arm movement without exposing wrists or raising the hem; the volume is slim (not tight) to minimize bulk; and the below-the-hips length keeps butts dry. Women’s version is called the Kulshan. $289; men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL; 1 lb. 2 oz. (men’s M); rei.com. Reader service #112

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