If you’re looking for the most affordable high-performance rain jacket, the REI Drypoint GTX ($249) might be just what you ordered. Constructed with Gore-Tex Active three-layer membrane, the Drypoint delivers solid protection in any weather, coupled with breathability that keeps you comfortable in cooler temps. The Drypoint does make some sacrifices to keep its price modest. The adjustable hood doesn’t provide the kind of coverage offered by the Outdoor Research Interstellar or Black Diamond Helio Active, and the 20-denier fabric isn’t as tough as some others. Still, it delivers solid value and performance for walking through the mountains. 10.5 oz., rei.com

Marmot’s PreCip shell broke the mold for affordable backcountry rain jackets about two decades ago and is still going strong with the PreCip Eco ($100). Marmot’s proprietary 2.5L NanoPro waterproof-breathable isn’t made for a deluge, and its breathability can make it feel clammy when you’re working hard. Still, you get useful features like pit zips and an adjustable hood. Plus, the shell is now made with recycled fabric. While not delivering high-end performance, the PreCip Eco repels steady rain and offers all the weather protection that most day-hikers and backpackers need at an unbeatable price. 10 oz., marmot.com

Backpackers, mountaineers and others who go where the weather turns away most people will want the technical chops of the Black Diamond Helio Active Shell ($399). Made with Gore-Tex Active like REI’s Drypoint, the Helio is built to stave off hours of wind-driven rain and snow while providing modest but adequate breathability. It excels over others in the details. The fully adjustable helmet-compatible hood has a brim and extended coverage that compares to the best shells on the market. The deep, easily accessible pit zips extend from mid-tricep to nearly the bottom of the ribs, and unlike some waterproof zippers, they open and close smoothly. Two zippered front pockets are positioned above a pack hip belt or climbing harness. Lastly, the low-bulk fit allows layering without hindering movement, thanks in part to the supple feel of the C-Knit backer. 12 oz., blackdiamondequipment.com

A mainstay among budget-conscious hikers and backpackers is the Patagonia Torrentshell ($129). Patagonia’s membrane, the 2.5-layer H2No, fends off a hard rain, but like many waterproof-breathable technologies in this price range, its breathability might leave you swimming in your own sweat when working hard going uphill. The hood is adjustable with one hand with a single drawcord on its back side, snugging it around the head and face, and provides better coverage than any competitor at this price point. 11 oz., patagonia.com

If you’re looking for an ultralight shell for mostly dry climates or done-in-a-day adventures, check out the Flylow Rainbreaker ($140). Flylow’s lightweight 20-denier proprietary Intuitive S/G Lite fabric is waterproof enough (it has a DWR treatment – wash and dry to activate it) to shed steady rain. It might feel damp against the skin in a prolonged downpour, but it moves moisture well enough not to get overly clammy even on a trail run. Highly packable, it nonetheless sports a one-hand adjustable hood (with minimal coverage) and one zippered chest pocket that the jacket stuffs inside. Consider it best for wind and “just in case it rains.” 4.5 oz., flylowgear.com

For superior breathability and top weather protection, the Outdoor Research Interstellar Jacket ($299) might deliver the best dollar-for-dollar performance on this list — and it even crosses over ably to all four seasons. This shell stands out most for the exceptional breathability of Outdoor Research’s AscentShell waterproof-breathable fabric. Sweat hard carrying a pack uphill, and you might be surprised at how quickly it moves moisture out. It also delivers absolute waterproof protection and top-shelf features like a full-coverage, helmet-compatible, adjustable hood and a fit that allows complete freedom of motion, all at a remarkably low weight. 11 oz., outdoorresearch.com

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