It's the creed of postal workers and outdoor junkies everywhere: Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat. Your mailman is constricted by uniform requirements, but we're free to don any number of jackets in search of the perfect protection for all-weather adventures. Enter the Arc'teryx Visio FL. Feather-light with Gore-Tex Active Shell, it's the ideal companion for biking and running in all conditions.
The Visio FL has been my first and only pick for cardio outings over the last six months. Trail running in a snowstorm? Bike commuting through high winds and low temps? Fall and spring mountain biking in nippy conditions? It aced every test. Because it's waterproof with taped seams, it keeps me dry in precipitation and the wind stays at bay. Active Shell combines a lightweight, thin Gore membrane with inner fabric. This process keeps it comfortable on the skin and makes it more breathable than anything else I've worn. I work hard without overheating, which allows me to focus on what I'm doing instead of what I'm wearing. It's the perfect layer as spring warms up; I wear it until the sun swings high in the sky, then pack it down to grapefruit size to tuck away in a backpack.
Then there's the fit. I'm 5-11; outerwear usually morphs into a three-quarter-sleeve belly shirt when I start moving. But the tailored drop seat on the Visio FL means I'm not distracted by a riding hemline when I perch on a bike. Gusseted underarms add stretch to keep cuffs from riding wrist to elbow with every swing and stretch on a run. A small zip pocket above the left hip stows keys, a phone, or pocket money in a spot so natural I forget I'm carrying anything extra. You won't have much pocket change after buying this jacket, but it's a durable investment piece that will pay dividends for years across multiple disciplines. $299; arcteryx.com —Olivia Dwyer