The Acre Meridian jacket is a lightweight shell designed to keep you dry despite the elements – and your own sweat. The Nanosphere DWR-coating means water beads will shake off with a pop of the sleeve while the Schoeller c-change fabric breaths more as your body heat increases. The jacket, purpose-built for mountain biking, is flexible, with extra give in the shoulders to keep the sleeves from riding up, without the need to make them extra baggy.
The 12-ounce jacket is a minimalist piece with slim sleeves, two media-player-friendly chest pockets – one outside, one inside – and a double-zippered, stretchy stow pocket in the back. The Schoeller fabric looks and feels more woven than the plasticlike "tech fiber" of some hard shells. That also means it's less noisy rubbing against itself should you grab this shell for your next rainy-day errand.
Acre is the mountain bike line from Mission Workshop, the San Francisco-based company with a solid line of urban cycling apparel and bags, and they're the same guys who created and sold the popular messenger bag company, Chrome. The Meridian jacket is clearly designed to play well with their weatherproof hydration packs. You can still access all jacket pockets while wearing the Hauser 10L pack, a hydration pack with a roll-out sleeve for bike tools and a roll-top for an easy-open, yet watertight pocket. It's the perfect place to stash the Meridian jacket when it's not raining. [$385; acre-supply.com]