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  1. #1
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    Showers Pass Century Jacket

    Can I make a shameless plug? I've been reading several posts about rainwear for the commute, and researching as well. Somehow I latched onto someone's recommendation of the Showers Pass company, and ordered the Showers Pass Century Jacket. Well, today it made its maiden voyage, and to my delight and surprise I was completely dry even after a 14 mile commute in a downpour. It's incredibly lightweight - about 9 oz - and has vents in the pits and on the back that keep you from stewing in your own sweat. It's also got a pocket on the back, which is waterproof. The tall collar keeps my shirt collar dry. I was incredibly pleased. I've ordered the rainpants, now. I live in Portland, Oregon, and I was a little worried about commuting through the winter (this is my first stab at that) when it gets rainy and cold. I am worried no longer.

  2. #2
    Enjoy
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    Yep, I was one of the original riders for the SP jackets in this area. They were great back then and now the co. added the pit zips...great jacket that'll last for years.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    I have their elite jacket, best winter commute purchase I made
    Jarery

    -If you cant see it from space, its not a real hill
    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarery
    I have their elite jacket, best winter commute purchase I made
    Have you ever compared it to the Gill Adrenaline jacket? I was all set to get the Elite, but the Gill was on sale at Performance this week and I got it for about $100. A good bit cheaper than the Elite and made from the same fabric.

    -D

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    I did compare with the Gill. The Gill had a really nice fit and look, but no venting, it relies completly on the material. The showerspass has pit zips, and a large back vent. The Gill and pearl Izumi trifecta are almost the same, and the PI used to sell for close to 300.

    For 100 bucks you got the second best rain jacket made
    Last edited by Jarery; 09-20-06 at 10:44 PM.
    Jarery

    -If you cant see it from space, its not a real hill
    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Juilin's Avatar
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    what do you think of their customer service? I ordered the elite jacket for the winter\rainy season here in Seattle and have been waiting nearly two weeks for it to ship. I wanted to buy some rain pants from them too but I dont know if I will now.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juilin
    what do you think of their customer service? I ordered the elite jacket for the winter\rainy season here in Seattle and have been waiting nearly two weeks for it to ship. I wanted to buy some rain pants from them too but I dont know if I will now.
    Cuatomer service I thought was great, i got replies from the owner any time I emailed a question with little delay. Its the supply thats on the lacking side. I got the impression its someone who didnt have the capital to stock a warehouse full of product but had to rely on smaller shipments that seemed to sell out all too fast.
    Jarery

    -If you cant see it from space, its not a real hill
    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  8. #8
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    Yeah, I couldn't believe how fast it got here. I just did the standard shipping (do they give you a choice? I think they just send it USPS), ordered it on Friday and received it on the following Tuesday. I was warned that the rainpants are backordered, but someone emailed me to let me know they were currently at customs and it would be a little bit. So my experience was positive, anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarery
    I did compare with the Gill. The Gill had a really nice fit and look, but no venting, it relies completly on the material. The showerspass has pit zips, and a large back vent. The Gill and pearl Izumi trifecta are almost the same, and the PI used to sell for close to 300.

    For 100 bucks you got the second best rain jacket made

    Hmm, I will have to see when it gets here. I tend to be pretty warm blooded, so venting would be nice. But I figured this would be a good dual purpose wind shell/rain jacket. I don't live in a terribly rainly place, but I like to ride in the winter.

    No biggie. If it doesn't work I will just take it back and get the showerspass.

    -D

  10. #10
    Life is short Ride hard
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    What is the diffrence between the Century, and the Elite?
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  11. #11
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarery
    I have their elite jacket, best winter commute purchase I made
    I second this.

  12. #12
    It's true, man.
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    Does it work as a cool weather windbreaker when it's NOT raining? Or is it pretty much just for rain?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarery
    I did compare with the Gill. The Gill had a really nice fit and look, but no venting, it relies completly on the material. The showerspass has pit zips, and a large back vent. The Gill and pearl Izumi trifecta are almost the same, and the PI used to sell for close to 300.

    For 100 bucks you got the second best rain jacket made
    Hey, I just picked up the Gill Adrenaline... got the 20% off deal on Monday last week, so about $100. The Gill has large (12"?) vertical slit zippers under the armpits for venting. No back vent, though. The main reason I got it was because I believed the bit about "50% better breathablity than Gore-Tex". I'm seeing now that maybe venting is more effective than breathing in bike rain gear...

    My main gripe with the Gill is that it's nice and yellow on the front, but the back is gray. I guess the designers must have read Forester and concluded that only 5% of accidents are hit-from-behind, so visibility from the rear was not important!

    So far, I've been using it a week and it's a pretty OK rain jacket. I'm still fairly miserable in the rain because my rain paints were backordered and Performance *discontinued* the booties I ordered...


    This is my first winter in the Pacific NW region. I'm also new to every day commuting, so I'm still acquiring knowledge and gear...
    Last edited by Phantoj; 09-21-06 at 11:40 AM.

  14. #14
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by truman
    Does it work as a cool weather windbreaker when it's NOT raining? Or is it pretty much just for rain?
    Yes (speaking of the elite). I use it as my main cycling jacket. It's a bit heavier than my other water resistant jacket, but as it gets a bit cooler it works very well.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rule's Avatar
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    In case you didn't, get the hood and you will be even more impressed.

    And yeah, the elite is perfect for those cold, wet rides in to work that make everybody comment on how they can't believe that you came in on a bike that day. If they pass me on the way in, they will also comment on how visible I was as well.

  16. #16
    It's true, man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy
    Yes (speaking of the elite). I use it as my main cycling jacket. It's a bit heavier than my other water resistant jacket, but as it gets a bit cooler it works very well.
    What temperature range (dry) do you find it to be most effective in? It doesn't rain very much here, so for the price, I'd like a jacket that works well from, say, 20F to 40-45, which would make it usable thru the cold season, and still handy for the rain days.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by truman
    What temperature range (dry) do you find it to be most effective in? It doesn't rain very much here, so for the price, I'd like a jacket that works well from, say, 20°F to 40-45°, which would make it usable thru the cold season, and still handy for the rain days.
    If you mostly have dry cold days and only a very few cold wet days, you'd maybe be best with one of the softshell jackets on the market, preferably one without a membrane laminate. The showerspass jackets are only a shell, they block wind (all waterproofs do) but it has almost zero thermal properties.

    I use an Ibex Neeve for my cold dry days. It also keeps me dry in rain for about 30-45 min. Or light drizzle for a few hours.

    www.ibexwear.com
    Its even on sale right now, $140 instead of its usual $270 http://www.ibexwear.com/F06/View_Pro...&CategoryLine=
    Jarery

    -If you cant see it from space, its not a real hill
    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  18. #18
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    Not in small part due to Jarery's postings about it, I now have a Shower Pass Elite sitting in my closet. It works so well, I haven't had to use it yet. eVent prevents rain.

    Customer service was +/-. Dave, the owner has been extremely nice, but it took 3 tries to get me the jacket (over a month) and I got a medium instead of a large. Though I'm 5'11" the medium looks like it is going to be a better fit than the large (I'm thin and mostly leg). Snug, but I can get a fleece on under it. That should work except for the very coldest of days.

    Now if it would just rain so I could try it out...

  19. #19
    3 seconds ColorChange's Avatar
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    The Elite is outstanding! Waterproof and great breathability. The only mod I did was to add some balls to longer pulls so I can grab the pit zips and pocket zip with full gloves on.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj
    Hey, I just picked up the Gill Adrenaline... got the 20% off deal on Monday last week, so about $100. The Gill has large (12"?) vertical slit zippers under the armpits for venting. No back vent, though. The main reason I got it was because I believed the bit about "50% better breathablity than Gore-Tex". I'm seeing now that maybe venting is more effective than breathing in bike rain gear...

    My Gill just came in. It is hard to tell just putting it on but so far it seems nice. The pit zips are huge, at least 16inches and go almost all the way down the jacket.

    I have no idea how hot it will be without the back vent, but it seems nice in just trying it on.

    For me I think it will be ok. I am more interested in a windproof shell that can double as a good rain jacket. I like to ride in the cold weather but we don't get the kinds of rain you all get out in the pacific NW.

    -D

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by derath
    My Gill just came in. It is hard to tell just putting it on but so far it seems nice. The pit zips are huge, at least 16inches and go almost all the way down the jacket.

    I have no idea how hot it will be without the back vent, but it seems nice in just trying it on.

    For me I think it will be ok. I am more interested in a windproof shell that can double as a good rain jacket. I like to ride in the cold weather but we don't get the kinds of rain you all get out in the pacific NW.

    -D
    Sounds like a nice jacket. How about reporting your findings like how well the jacket did in, length of bike ride, weather, your speed or effort level.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    Sounds like a nice jacket. How about reporting your findings like how well the jacket did in, length of bike ride, weather, your speed or effort level.
    I ride a four mile each way commute. The net elevation change is about 400 ft, and you ride the whole 400 in a hill of about a mile or less depending on route.

    I have ridden in the Gill four or five times so far, during rainy days and some riding on wet roads with no rain. I ride at what is, to me, a fairly strenuous pace. The Gill Adrenaline works fine, but I get kind of sweaty down in my forearms. And I have ridden with a backpack, so my back was sweaty, but not sure if it's the jacket's fault.

    I wore the jacket to climb the hill on the way home. I ended up covered in sweat, but I end up pretty sweaty even without a jacket wehn I finish that hill!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj
    I wore the jacket to climb the hill on the way home. I ended up covered in sweat, but I end up pretty sweaty even without a jacket wehn I finish that hill!
    Heh, thats what i remind some people of, its a jacket not an anti-persperation device.
    If you sweat going up a hill in the summer in a t-shirt, your gonna sweat going up in the winter in the rain with a jacket on. In fact you will sweat more. A good jacket lets that sweat vent out thru both active vents and thru the material itself. A really really good jacket clears that sweaty atmosphere quickly. A crappy jacket just contains it the entire trip as it builds more and more.

    I didnt know the adrenelin had such big pit zips, thats awesome, when i looked at gill jackets a few years ago they wernt there. Let us know how well it works thruought the winter.
    Jarery

    -If you cant see it from space, its not a real hill
    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  24. #24
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    Does anyone here have both the Century and the Elite jacket? Century for summer use and Elite for winter use? Looking at the website that seems to be the primary difference between the two. The Elite uses eVent and the Century uses Pertex Triactive fabric.

    The elite appears to weight more and while they comment on being able to roll the Century up to a small size they make no such claim for the Elite jacket which I assume means that it doesn't pack down as compactly.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley
    Sounds like a nice jacket. How about reporting your findings like how well the jacket did in, length of bike ride, weather, your speed or effort level.
    Ok, well I gave the Gill a thorough test ride yesterday. I would guess the conditions would be akin to the Pacific northwest.

    I rode yesterday in the Seagull century. It is on the MD eastern shore near the coast (very flat). We had a nor-easter blow through yesterday so the conditions were as follows.

    High of about 62 deg, driving rain, 15-20mph winds. Perfect foul weather testing.

    For most of the ride I did a fairly easy pace. I was riding with my dad so I could only go so fast without leaving him in the dust. We had a section of 6-7 miles with a 15+mph headwind, which at times caused my HR to hit 90% of my max.

    We just did the metric, and got lost so it was actually slightly less than a metric, about 56 miles.

    The rain stopped about 90min before the end of the ride and started to warm up a little more.

    I found the Gill to work quite well. I was very comfortable for the entire ride. Even when it stopped raining and started warming a little I did not overheat.

    My arms felt a little clammy, but that was primarily due to the fact that I had a short sleeve jersey underneath. I find all jackets to feel this way when the fabric is right against the skin. I also was damp underneath the jacket, but I also find that a bit normal when you have driving rains all day. But I didn't feel sweaty.

    The pit zips worked well, I was able to open them partially without getting rain in. The cuffs were also decent when it stopped raining to open up and get some airflow. My favorite part was the extremely high collar. The back goes almost all the way up to my helmet, which stopped any water from funnelling down my back.

    I am still a little concerned about this jacket in warmer weather. As I said, it was a high of 63ish, so at the start of the ride (7am) it was probably in the mid 50's. Even with that I only wore a wicking tshirt and short sleeve jersey underneath the jacket. If it was warmer I think I would have gotten pretty sweaty. I don't know how much better the showerspass would do with that big back vent, but I am sure it would help in warmer rains.

    I am going to keep the Gill however. It will work for my needs. I don't live in a rain prone area, so I wanted more of a multipurpose cold weather shell/rain jacket. For me the Gill will work fine. Plus being almost half the price of the showerspass I don't think I could justify the added expense for essentially a similar jacket plus a back vent.

    -D

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