A high-end air permeable Gore-Tex or eVent waterproof-breathable rain jacket costs $350 or more; it’s not ultralight, and it requires maintenance. The lightest one is the Montane Spektr at 8 ounces. A polyurethane laminate rain jacket costs $150-$200 and is lightweight (down to about 6 ounces), and its durable, but not very breathable. Proper jackets are cheap but not very durable. In this article I will describe how to make a hooded Tyvek jacket plus chaps for under ten dollars, in a few minutes using a pair of scissors.
The finished Tyvek hooded rain jacket is extra long and weighs just 5.25 ounces. The chaps weigh 2.6 ounces. You may get some comments about the white color (like “where did you park your space ship?”), but it is actually quite functional because it stays cooler compared to a dark color.
Making a hiking rain jacket? Be sure to check out part 2.