The Foray jacket from Outdoor Research uses GoreTex Paclite 2-layer technology for weather proofing and longevity, boasts an impressive feature set and comes in a great range of understated colour options to help avoid looking like the mountaineer who has just returned to town...
The downside to GoreTex Paclite is that it isn't as breathable as other products from GoreTex. The Foray negates this with an ingenious - and oh-so-simple - venting innovation; the underarm zips come all the way down to the hem of the jacket, enabling you to wear it almost as a poncho. It's so devilishly clever and effective we can't believe we haven't seen it before.
From a travel point of view it makes the jacket so much more versatile for varying climates too.
Getting around the breathability issue means the Paclite fabric can be seen only for its positives - chiefly, for the traveller, its durable resistance to being squashed up in a pack. Paclite has a particular flexibility that means repeated folding along the same lines doesn't degrade the membrane as fast as with other fabrics. It is also very lightweight, and in the case of the Foray, can pack into its own pocket.
The jacket is prone to the waterproof rustle, which may affect some people's decision to buy this as a one-jacket-does-all travel piece - but with the packability of the Foray, you can easily justify taking a second, casual jacket for the non-active parts of your trip.
A simple, all-round waterproof made special by ingenious venting - and a decent price too.