Great Gear: The North Face Verto Jacket

A packable, 2.5-ounce bad weather insurance plan

Although it was designed primarily as a high-performance mountaineering piece, The North Face Verto Jacket is a biker's/runner's/climber's/anybody's best friend when unexpected weather kicks up. It packs down to the size of a baseball when you don't need it, and deploys into a wind- and light rain-blocking jacket when you do. It comes in orange (great for fall hunting season!), so-called sublime green or a Hefty trash-bag black. The jacket is made from comically lightweight but seriously strong seven-denier fabric and provides a snug, weatherproof fit with elastic hem, cuffs and over-sized, helmet-friendly hood. It weighs a scant 2.5 ounces, so bringing it along as a hedge against bad weather is a no-brainer, especially as we get deeper into fall. At $120, its pricey, but in the right conditions, it's priceless.; $120