The recent rain but warm temperatures prompted me to break out my lightweight rain jackets. I currently have two that I really like, and Phil has one that I'm very curious about. I hope to compare two of these jackets tomorrow when I have a little more time. Tonight I'll just talk briefly about my two jackets.
The OR Zealot
First of all, I have the OR Zealot Jacket. I was super excited about this jacket when I bought it (about 7 years ago), but they have since discontinued it. It is made of Gore-tex Paclite material and weighs 7oz. It packs up pretty small too. The shell material feels like paper, and unfortunately the first time I went climbing in it I leaned up against some rocks and put some tiny holes in the material (the holes are visible if you hold the jacket up to the light, but I don't notice it letting water in). The DWR in this jacket is top notch, never once allowing the material to wet out. Even after an hour deluge while backpacking in the Uinta Mountains of Utah, I shook off the jacket and it was dry again. Not a single bit of the material wetted out. Because the durability is an issue, I have babied this jacket, only using it for backpacking trips and always being very careful with it, especially around rocks. I know that OR has an unlimited lifetime warranty, but they don't make this jacket anymore, so if I damage it, they would replace it with a lesser or heavier jacket. It retailed for $200 back in the day.
The OR Helium
Outdoor Research is one of my favorite companies when it comes to lightweight clothing. The main reason for this is because of their unlimited lifetime warranty. I feel so much more comfortable spending money on ultralight clothing when I know that I won't be out a jacket if I tear it on the first outing. Same goes for their down products.
Anyway, the Helium Jacket is one that I would recommend. Phil has the Marmot Super Mica jacket. This one is also super light, but offers a few more features than the Helium. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to compare the two side-by-side to try to figure out which is the better jacket.