The sun is shining, the leaves are budding, and, fingers crossed, the last winter storms are behind us. It’s finally spring, which means it’s time to start trail running, mountain biking, rock climbing, and bike commuting. You’ll need a layer to help combat chilly winds and sudden showers. Here are five of our favorite women's rain shells.
Outdoor Research Helium II Ultra Lightweight ($95)
Outdoor Research recently redesigned their popular Helium, dropping weight and adding breathability. The 2.5-layer waterproof Pertex Shield fabric has a bit of stretch and comes in at a svelte 5.8 ounces. Plus, it packs into its own pocket.
Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow ($140)
The H2No fabric that Patagonia uses for the Rainshadow is fully waterproof and fairly breathable, but cheaper to produce than Gore-Tex which keeps the cost of the jacket low. A helmet-compatible hood with a visor, watertight zippers and a draw-cord at the hem are just a few of the highlights of this full-featured rain shell.
Columbia Titan Lite Windbreaker ($100)
This shell ventilates as well as it protects thanks to two hidden vents along the back which help dump access heat. The polyester liner features Omni-Freeze Zero, a sweat-activated cooling technology that helps lower your body temp as you pick up the pace.
Black Diamond Alpine Start ($100)
The Alpine Start is a great just in case layer for those adventures where the weather turns unexpectedly nasty. Although it's not fully waterproof, the softshell features a durable water repellent treatment that will repel light rain. It weighs less than 7 ounces, packs into its own pocket and has a helmet-compatible hood.
Castelli Donnina ($180)
Cycling brand Castelli turned to eVent fabric for this stashable layer that’s fully waterproof and very breathable. It has cycling specific details galore, including two back pockets, reflective hits, a high collar and extended rear hem.