recs on lightweight rain jacket

Looking for recommendations on lightweight waterproof/breathable packable rain jackets for backpacking. What do you use, and why do you like it?

LOTS of choices
i currently havein my closet:

a gore pac-lite shell

a EMS system III shell

a gore Proshell (new stuff available in the fall-i work as a gear tester for a bunch of different companies) prototype…

the proshell is the newest gore technology…love the jacket…and it weighs 12oz…

my first grabbed tho is the system III jacket from EMS…i can beat the crap out of it and not worry if i hurt it…haevyweight but that is fine for me in the winter…

summer the two gore pieces will be the chosen ones…

anysort of b-packing/traveling the proshell will be the choice since it is so light and comfy…


lightweigh shell, no lining, pit zips, taped seams, legendary reliability and service

I too use a Marmot. It’s the Precip
and is very compact and lite. It performs great. I keep it rolled up in the daypak that goes everywhere I go.

can’t beat it’s functionality.

I bought a Skanorak last spring to use as a splash jacket. It works well for that. Because it looks for the most part like a normal jacket, I took it on a wet hiking trip to Cape Breton last summer - it worked extremely well as a breathable jacket, and was roomy enough to go over the top of a knapsack in a brief downpour (it’s meant to be able to go over a pfd, if necessary). Anyway, it’s turned out to be a good double duty paddling/hiking garment (good as it cost too much). Compared to some rain gear it doesn’t stow quite as small, but it has a hood and splash cuffs, fleece handwarmers, etc. In a previous thread people have mentioned that it’s currently on clearance for 50% off or more at several online retailers.

(shameless plug) T.J.Maxx gets Marmot so you can save a ton if they have any in stock. I know my store gets a lot of women’s Marmot rain/running wear. It doesn’t bother me that it is a woman’s coat at the price.


Marmot Precip again
it’s good around the campsite, gettin’ around town, and on the water. It breathes really nicely on damp rainy HUMID days, and it’s light & packable. I keep mine in my gear bag in the car.

Since I needed a women’s XS I jumped to bid one on eBay last spring. It was crimson :smiley:

So if you have a color preference or special size you might check out eBay as a lot of Marmot clothing shows up there.

cloudveil black ice
I have been using an older model cloudveil serendipidy but it didn’t have a hood or hand warmer pockets. The Schoeller extreme 3xdry fabric is awesome. I just found this new model on sale Saturday at my local mountaineering store. It is primarily a soft shell for backcountry skiing or ice climbing, but is light enough to cross over for 3 season whatever in an alpine or urban environment. It breaths well enough to not sweat up the way Goretex does. It will turn away rain or wind except in the worst conditions which would be when I grab the poncho, find shelter and wait out the blast. A check of the web can find some discontinued colors for a pretty good price.

love the pre cip from marmot
light and tough even use it as a spray jacket when kayaking here in south florida.

Marmot Precip or REI Ultra…
…are my choices. 13 oz and 14 oz respectively. Both pack very small. The Precip is under $100 and the Ultra is $30 bucks more. The Ultra has 2-way stretch and is more comfortable IMO but $30 will buy some packable food or other necessities. Your call.

I’ve taken the REI jacket out for two rainy weeks on the BC coast. Worked fine. Breathability with any of these in certain conditions is a myth so pit zips are good. A fold away hood makes for a better appearance at your daughter’s graduation.

Gee, maybe that’s why she doesn’t invite me out anymore.

Mountain Hardwear Cohesion
has amamzed me on a couple of ocassions


got quite a collection
after 35 years of backpacking…just replaced my Patagonia Specter Anorak (which replaced a Patagonia Spectre Jacket) with a Sierra Designs Isotope Jacket…size XL 5.4 ounces, waterproof and breathable…would it last a thru-hike? probably but just barely, but at that weight its hard to find anything comparable…the reality of backpacking is wet inside but warm versus cold, humping up hills with a backpack generates heat and no goretex ever made will vent that kind of perspiration, so the choice is warm wet or cold wet, once you accept the reality of that then it boils down to ounces and micro-ounces…its a luxury the paddle only crowd doesnt understand…the move to the isotope saved me 4 ounces and that is quite a savings.

thanks for the recs
Some good ones there.

Medicine man, you’re right about backpacking and weight being so critical. Perhaps that’s why I view kayak capacities as conservative (“day” boats like the AA or Avocet would do fine for me for a weeklong tour). Personally, I just want an ultralight shell with the specs of the SD or similar, I can modulate temperature with layering underneath.

its amazing
coming from a 28 pound pack (and that’s winter gear and food for 3 days and 1 quart of water) and considering a typical sea kayak that is in reality close to being able to carry 3 fully loaded backpacks worth of gear.

Frogg Toggs are GREAT!
Frog Togg’s have served me well for hunting and fishing for about five years now. They are light weight, breath very well, and can be packed into a very small package. I’ve not gotten wet wearing them. They’re great. And, fairly inexpensive. My jacket and pants combo cost right at 55 dollars.

frogg toggs
where can you get these?