If you’ve ever spent a few days in the backcountry soaking wet because your raincoat is old and deteriorated, you understand the importance of a strong rain-proof layer, and will never trek again without one. The Outdoor Research Aspire II Jacket is a coat you’ll want on deck for all of your bad-weather adventures. At first I feared that the Gore-Tex fabric would not let my body breathe, leaving me soaked not from rain, but from sweat, when locked in a water-tight jacket. However, the hem-to-bicep ventilation zippers on either side allow for full-torso ventilation during activities. With a breathable, lightweight design, it's no wonder why this jacket is a best-seller for Outdoor Research. Available online; $225.