In the future you'll be able to get the perfect jacket: soft-shell performance, storm-shell protection, and windbreaker economy. Until then, we have the Gamut, a bargain-priced waterproof-breathable soft shell that has taped seams for real-weather protection. It's not quite the futurethe proprietary fabric wets out faster than a hard shell, and it doesn't breathe as well as the best soft shellsbut it's definitely the jacket of the present. I stayed completely dry hiking in a steady rain in Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine State Forest. 12 oz (L); golite.comBonus: It comes in a full-featured version as well, called the Paradigm ($150), which has pit zips, a longer cut, and an internal MP3 pocket.Bummer: The hood's cinch pull cords need TLCwe ripped one cord right out of the housing.
A WATERPROOF SOFT SHELL, FOR PEANUTS