Still, jackets can be useful. If you intend to run when it's truly raining hard, then I think you're just going to have to deal with some steaminess. But if you're concerned more about a good shell that also repels a light to moderate rain, then the field is a lot more open. One really great choice is the Pearl Izumi Zehpyrr-2 ($60), a very light shell that has excellent windproofness with good water-repellency. It's made of polyester microfiber, which breathes well, dries fast, and is naturally water-repellent. It's also treated to shed a fair amount of liquid before wetting through. And if you can find one, buy a jacket made with the late, lamented Gore Activent. This was, in my mind, the nonpareil performance fabric of the last decade. Alas, it was mis-marketed and too expensive, so it went away. Gore says their non-fleeced Windstopper fabrics are very similar if not identical, but I don't completely believe them. Activent closeouts still pop up occasionally; Sport Chalet (www.sportchalet.com) has the wonderful Moonstone full-zip Activent jacket for $79. I may have to buy one myselffor the past year I've been stockpiling closeout Activent whenever I find it.
One other intriguing fabric is Entrant, a coated waterproof-breathable fabric that is used by Hind. Entrant changes its properties as it warms up, allowing more water vapor out when you're working hard. I used a fabric with similar properties - Marmot's MemBrain - and thought it worked pretty well. Hind puts Entrant in a nice-looking running jacket called the CRS for $150.
Filed To: Snow Sports