In the Store: Know thy destination: If you like to bash through rainforests in the Northwest, perhaps that seven-ounce wonder isn't for you. Look for a full-coverage cut, good hood and cuff protection, and strong fabric at the elbows and shoulders.
If you prefer aerobic day trips in the Rockies, a highly breathable soft shell may be just the ticket.
In the Field: To prevent overheating on the trail, dress so that you're slightly chilled when at rest.
Open pit zips and remove layers before you start sweating.
At Home: Soft and storm shells alike are treated with a DWR finishwhich invariably loses effectiveness over time and after repeated washings.
When you notice that water no longer beads off, use an aftermarket DWR treatment from Nikwax, McNett, or Granger's.