Kinda depends on your budget and whether you need a jacket that can keep you comfortable for ten miles or more, or one to just ward off a sudden T-storm on a short commute.
The Elite 2.0
For the short commute, Id just go cheap. Marmots Precip ($99) is a winner here. Waterproof, decent breathability, light, and packable. You arent going to be all that happy in a downpour anyway. The Precip will keep you dry and you wont overheat too much. Its all good. REIs Ultralight ($119) is a similar 2.5-layer piece, with nice details (such as pit zips and chest pocket) and decent breathability.
You also can spend more $$ and get something that is more comfortable and breathable. Here an Oregon firm called Showers Pass has really taken the lead. Its Elite 2.0 ($230) may be one of the best cycling jackets out there. It uses three-layer eVent, an extremely breathable, waterproof fabric that is great. I have eVent in an older Pearl Izumi jacket (no longer made), and it is a fantastic cycling-jacket material. Its light, and has big pit zips and other features for extra ventilation.
You might also try Gores Countdown jacket ($250), which uses Gores light, breathable PacLite fabric, an excellent material for cycling. This is a great buy in a Gore-Tex jacket, and Gore has made a decent cycling-specific piece.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.