“The less it weighs, the more you pay” might as well be the rule of backpacking gear, but the FLI 2.5L proves a happy exception. Though the lightest waterproof shells on the market now weigh half as much, 6.7 ounces is still pretty featherweight—especially for this price. A generic PU membrane helps keep the cost down, but doesn’t sacrifice performance: “On a rainy trail run in Montana’s Bitterroot National Forest with temps in the low 40s, the jacket breathed well enough to keep me from getting soaked in perspiration,” recounts one tester. The FLI 2.5L packs down to the size of a grapefruit, and the only drawbacks we could find were fiddly zippers. And while it’s not the most durable of the bunch, the 20-denier nylon fabric withstood a bushwhack through blackberry thickets without snagging, and we noticed no signs of wear under pack straps.
m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL