The Berghaus Hyper is the world’s lightest fully waterproof rain jacket- period. At a measly 3 ounces in a men’s size large, it packs down smaller than your fist. At a weight comparable to that of the lightest windshell, there’s absolutely no reason not to bring this jacket along on your next hike.
The membrane is impressibly breathable. My very first time I wore it on trail in Virginia north of Marion I was already a bit sweaty as it started to rain. I stopped, put the jacket on and continued hiking into the light, cold rain. A marvelous thing happened- my shirt dried as I walked and I didn’t sweat a drop in the jacket. I walked at a brisk pace on moderate terrain and my shirt dried, a miraculous feat that not even my $400 Arc’Teryx Beta could achieve! From that moment on, this shell had my heart.
It’s absolutely waterproof, with fully taped seams. The seam taping is nice and crisp and the jacket is as well made as anything by Arc’Teryx, or Ferrari, for that matter. Also, the jacket is more durable than you’d imagine for its scant weight. I had no holes or points of abrasion in 1,700+ miles of hiking with mine on the AT. I did, however, have the jacket replaced by Berghaus due to a small bit of seam tape coming up, which they were happy to do. They said the only option was replacement, since adding seam tape to the section would throw the jacket out of balance when wearing it- absolute precision craftsmanship by a stellar company!
Since you’re ultimately going to sweat out ANY rain shell that you put on and hike in, ultimately getting wet from perspiration, why not take the lightest jacket possible? Sure, those pit zips on your current shell are nice, but they’re heavy, your jacket weighs nearly a pound and you still sweat in it! I’ve always liked the idea of a poncho, but have hiked in too much nasty weather to know that it’s not going to keep me dry in wind blown rain, and a full rain shell is a part of my cold weather layering system, so the Berghaus Hyper works excellently for my purposes.
It should be noted that after the Brexit fiasco, Berghaus was forced to pull out of its US markets, but still operates in full force out of the UK. Their products can still be ordered and they still provide excellent support to US customers- my replacement Hyper arrived in less than a week. Check out Berghaus here.