Sometimes you put on a jacket and just have that “ah-ha!” moment – that instant recognition that this is how technical apparel should fit and feel. The Arc’teryx Tecto, a minimalist rain shell bolstered with Gore-tex’s waterproof-breathable Active Shell fabric, is trim in the waist to reduce fabric and weight, but still feels roomy thanks to extra long, roomy sleeves that never constrict movement or let water in, whether our arms were reaching for a granite handhold or gravel bike handlebar. The hem is longer than many rain jackets, ensuring dry asses on even the soggiest occasions. Despite all that extra fabric, the Tecto FL tips the scales at just 10 ounces and packs into a chalk-bag sized sack. It’s minimalist by all means: there’s just one pocket, and no pit-zips (a testament to the breathability of Gore’s fabric). But if you’re looking for a stuff-it and go rain shell for nearly any casual-to-hardcore pursuits, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option. [$369; arcteryx.com]
Days Tested: 16
Area Used: Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Kaui, Hawaii, Portland, Oregon
Activities: Hiking, bicycle commuting
Conditions Encountered: Rain and sunshine.
Nitpick: Arc’teryx tailors their jackets slim. If you’re a bit portly, look elsewhere.