Arc'teryx Norvan JacketDo you have two types of rain shells: 1) one that’s appropriately light and packs small but wets out in a rainstorm, and 2) one that’s heavier and you’d rather not bring it, but is better to wear in the rain because it keeps you dry? Forget that ridiculous habit, and pack only one after checking out the Arc’teryx Norvan Jacket.

Made for both women and men, the Norvan is made with N20p 3L Gore-Tex fabric with Gore C-Knit backer technology and is extremely light, soft and highly breathable. The bi-component Gore-Tex membrane system is bonded to a dense, thin circular knit to form a supple, less bulky, durable laminate that’s more breathable and lighter weight than previous versions. The circular knit’s soft, smooth texture is comfortable on the skin, quiet, and helps the Norvan easily slide on and off over other layers.

I just returned from a trip to Chile, where I packed the Norvan only for my jacket in wind and rain, and it was truly all I needed. The jacket weighs 6.8 ounces, and packs so small that I almost forgot where I stashed it in my backpack.

The fitted hood has an elasticized brim to extend coverage while not limiting visibility. Venturi-style vents pull air through an opening under the arm to provide continuous airflow while in motion. That construction eliminates the need for a zipper, shaving grams and removing a potential point of irritation. The water-tight front zipper has a quiet soft pull, an internal laminated zippered pocket stows and protects identification or a small digital device, and reflective blades aid visibility.

The Norvan uses the Arc’teryx Trim fit to help minimize extraneous fabric and keep the material close to the body to maximize its breathability. Articulation in the arms and gussets under the arms allow for both mobility and comfort. The top of the cuff is shaped to extend its coverage, and the elasticized bottom hem seals out drafts.

With this jacket, there’s no need to bring another. The Norvan protects you in the rain, and is breathable so you don’t feel like you’re wearing a greenhouse that’s trapping all the moisture inside.

The Arc’teryx Norvan Jacket comes in Carbon Copy (gray), Pink Tulip (bright pink) and Tanzanite (blue) for women and Carbon Copy (the same gray), Adriatic Blue (a lighter blue than Tanzanite) and Turmeric (yellow-orange) for men. Both list for $325 on the Arc’teryx site. It’s also available at Backcountry and Moosejaw.

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