When an ill-advised shortcut in the Adirondacks' Great Range led to unexpected class 5 scrambling–in the rain–I was glad to be wearing this four-way stretch, waterproof/breathable rainshell. It's made of Cloudveil's proprietary membrane laminated to a knit nylon, and even when I climbed hard the inner surface felt less clammy than other unlined shells. Pros Ultralight and ultrastretchy. Cons It lacks a hood and has a zippered lumbar pocket, both of which make it best-suited for dayhikes (the pocket holds a small camera, snacks, water, and a hat). cloudveil.com
Weekend warriors who dabble in a little bit of everything–running, cycling, climbing, hiking, and Nordic or downhill skiing
Duration Jan. to March
Conditions/locales 20° to 50°F; rain, wind, snow in VT, NY, CO
"I usually wear a hat, so I liked the hoodless design. It keeps the neckline clean, and the jacket light and compressible."