Can anyone suggest a nice, light weight windbreaker/rain jacket that I could purchase online. It's looking like rain right now and I'm kinda worried(not that a new jacket could help me tommorow) so I thought I should go ahead and get prepared.
The Burley Rockpoint jacket is great. It is well ventilated and the cut is good for riding. Not cheap, but made in Oregon, where they know rain. I had a bad rain jacket, then I bought one of these and the difference is huge. http://www.burley.com/products/raing...int+Jacket&i=0
That burley link is worth it for the picture at the bottom.
As far as waterproof/"breathables" go, I have found jackets made with goretex paclite to be best (in terms of breathability). I don't really mess with anything waterproof in the summer, it feels better to just get wet. For cooler weather, I have a moonstone "nemesis" jacket I found on clearance online. Most of the less expensive proprietary membranes breathe in a manner I find, well, sucky at best.
If you've the time, you should try stuff on at a shop. Either a LBS, or an outdoor/camping store. I've used regular waterproof/breathable "hiking" outerwear, and although not cut specifically for cycling-they work well.
My current cycling jacket is a now discontinued REI model (?Randoneur jacket), which is cut well for cycling (short waist length, but with a long fold up "tail", longer sleeves, large pit zips+breathable fabric).There are a coupla REI stores in the Chicago area link to mapquest. The REI stores around here usually have a clearance rack of bike clothes (returns&discontinueds), allways worth a look & cheap.
i got a sweet rei jacket at a thrift store for like $2 the other day
i'm psyched to ride with it on in the rain, its got a longer cut in the back which i hope will keep my ass dryish
i also have an old lacoste light nylon thing that is pretty ok and folds up into a little pouch
if you can afford it, you can pretty much never go wrong with Patagonia. My Lightning jacket has served me through many trips and countries very very well. There are also numerous other lighter, more breathable jackets that are more wind-proof oriented, but are still water resistant.