Although it sometimes seems like winter will last forever, when warmer temperatures eventually hit, you’ll need a light jacket to protect you from those seasonal showers and chilly mornings. Lucky for you, there’s a new crop of rain jackets and wind shells that are lighter, more comfortable, and better-looking than ever. Here are five of our favorite shells for spring.
Black Diamond StormLine Stretch ($150)
Black Diamond used its proprietary waterproof coating on a stretchy nylon and elastane fabric to create a fully waterproof shell that won’t limit your mobility. At 11 ounces, the StormLine is shockingly light for a full-featured shell, considering it comes complete with pit-zip vents, a helmet-compatible hood, and adjustable cuffs. It also packs into its own pocket.
The North Face Apex Flex GTX 2.0 ($250)
Made from ultra-breathable three-layer Gore-Tex and a stretchy face fabric, the Apex Flex GTX provides enough mobility to make it useful as a wet-weather climbing and bike commuting jacket. Cinch the hood and hem if the rain is really coming down; when the clouds break, unzip the underarm vents to release any built-up moisture.
Gore Bike Wear One ($290)
Ostensibly, this jacket is made for cyclists, but it’s so good-looking that you’ll want to wear it when you’re away from your whip. It’s also the most breathable jacket on this list, thanks to the Gore-Tex Pro fabric. We love details like the brushed-fleece collar that won’t rub your chin raw, reflective accents, and a drop tail that shields your backside from spray when you’re on the bike yet stows easily once you’ve made it to your destination.
Adidas Outdoor Agravic Alpha Shield ($105)
The Agravic Alpha Shield is perfect for those chilly days when winter just won’t leave. Featuring a super-light Pertex shell with a wafer-thin layer of Polartec Alpha insulation on the chest, this jacket is essential for any activity that demands high effort and, more often than not, a lot of sweat.
Topo Designs Anorak ($225)
The anorak was once an apparel staple but has all but disappeared from most of our kits. We’re thankful that Topo Designs has given the classic piece a refreshing upgrade, with waterproof-breathable nylon fabric, a tailored fit, and an overall street-savvy design. We dig the kangaroo-style pocket, too.
Marmot Precip ($100)
The Precip is the best bang-for-your-buck shell on the market. Sure, it’s less breathable than the Gore-Tex Pro options on this list, but zippered underarm vents help dump excess heat and make up for the cheaper fabric. We like the high pockets that can be accessed with a backpack on, the fleece-lined chin guard, and the roll-up hood. Plus, it packs into its pocket for easy storage.