This ultra light jacket is made from the lightest material the North Face has ever used in it's Summit Series

Essentially weightless (three ounces), basically translucent and compressible into a coin purse-sized pocket, the water-resistant Verto immediately convinced us that we'd be using it as more than just an emergency backup. The Pertex fabric is a superlight, single-layer nylon that continues to impress us with its durability, breathability and water shedding.

In an hour of running in the rain, the interior was dry, except at the untaped seams, and the jacket fit well enough-long arms, elastic waist and cuffs-that we could hike in it all day. Best of all we got envious looks from our buddies when we pulled this out of our pocket on a rainy walk home from the bar.

The verdict

Don't toss your rainshell—the Verto leaks. But for light and fast adventures when there's just a chance of showers, or for wet-weather running, it will come in handy. ($100;