Made in the USA of an exotic, super-tough material, a jacket by Maine-based Hyperlite Mountain Gear is called simply The Shell.

Dyneema Composite is the main ingredient, a rare and high-end material often cited as ounce for ounce being "stronger than steel."

At just 5 ounces in a size small, The Shell is among the lightest of waterproof-breathable jackets on the market.

Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.

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