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Old 08-22-13, 02:21 PM   #1
KenshiBiker
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Rain Jacket - Showers Pass or ???

Ok, so I've been enjoying commuting to work a couple of times per week since April. I think I'm going to keep on through the winter months. This will necessitate a new rain jacket, since my old Gore Tex jacket just doesn't seem that waterproof anymore.

A quick search seems to indicate that, if you have the funds, Showers Pass is one of, if not, the best available, with most people giving the nod to the Elite 2.1 (or its predecessor, the 2.0). I notice that SP has a new model, the Refuge. It costs a little more than the Elite, but it comes with a removable hood, and it has hand warmer pockets.

The other major difference is the fabric. The Elite uses the acclaimed eVent fabric, a 3-layer, waterproof, breathable laminate. The Refuge uses Elite (go figure), a 3-layer, waterproof, breathable laminate.

Since the Refuge is so new (I think it came out in May or June), there really are no reviews of this model. I don't need anything for a couple of months, but I'd like to get it sooner rather than wait, just in case we get an early season rain.

Does anyone have any information about this new model? How about the fabric? Experiences with other Showers Pass rainwear also appreciated, as is recommendations/experiences with other brands. Breathability is a must.

Thanks,

KB
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Old 08-22-13, 02:41 PM   #2
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Last winter I went on a bit of a jacket binge and I have their Rogue hoodie and the Elite 2.1. They are the best rain jackets I have ever had for the bike and they make the commute trivial all winter long. The Rouge is not breathable really at all and it would be a much better jacket with some pit zips, the Elite has lots of vents and they are needed if you are an energetic rider. So it really depends on how you ride and where you live.

The Rogue has a hood and that is nice some days but A helmet cover does just about as well on the Elite 2.1 and it doesn't hinder my view when looking back like an attached hood does. It appears that the Refuge is really marketed as a multi sport jacket so it has dramatically less venting than the Elite which is an advantage if you want to use it for skiing but less than optimal if this is going to be a pure bike jacket.

eVent fabric is nice and I like it more than Gore Tex but without airflow only sweat that is evaporated from heat will move past the fabric, active venting will still evaporate more air and with my riding style and climate I would choose the Elite 2.1 and get to my destination drier.

Keep riding, rain really isn't an issue for lots of people.
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Old 08-22-13, 03:58 PM   #3
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I have the Elite 2.1 and I'm very happy with it. Living in Seattle, we see some rain, and the Shower's Pass Elite 2.1 hasn't let me down. Also, riding around Seattle on a raining day you will see "a lot" of Showers Pass Elite jackets. They are very popular.

I will say, the zipper on mine is a little stiff. I'm not sure if that was a defect or not and I didn't bother contacting Shower's Pass about it. It just wasn't/isn't that big of an issue.

Also, if you wear a backpack then the venting will not work as well because the biggest vent is on the back, however I still use a backpack with this jacket most of the time.
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Old 08-22-13, 07:58 PM   #4
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I tried the Elite 2.1 last winter and found the fit to be really odd, like if I looked more like Gumby it would work. Ended up going with the MEC Derecho, which has been fantastic.
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Old 08-22-13, 08:29 PM   #5
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Ive got a Portland Jacket , need the arms shortened , some sewing is coming loose , their repair place is a 2 way ship .

guess who picks up the shipping cost?
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Old 08-22-13, 09:08 PM   #6
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I have the Shower Pass Elite 2.1 and I would buy it again but only because there is nothing better (yet). It does an adequate job of trying to keep you dry. The pit vents are great as they are placed on the front of the jacket and then zip down the side. It makes it easier to open the jacket while riding plus I like having some air come at me from the front.

The weak spots for me are the collar and cuffs. These seem to hold water and make the jacket uncomfortable after a heavy rain.

I own a Patagonia rain jacket, non-cycling, that was twice the price of the Shower Pass and it has to be the best rain jacket ever. I won't use it cycling for the fear of crashing and ripping the jacket. That jacket keeps me dry so when I use the Shower Pass I am always reminded why I like the Patagonia better.

As I said for cycling jackets, Shower Pass has been the best so far.
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Old 08-22-13, 10:37 PM   #7
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I picked up a Novara jacket from REI since it was the same price as the showers pass jacket ($80) but with more features like pockets and removable sleeves.

http://www.rei.com/product/834891/no...ke-jacket-mens
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Old 08-22-13, 11:44 PM   #8
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Dumb question, but do waterproof clothing lose their waterproofing over time or something?

I just ordered an Eddier Bauer Commuter Trenchcoat for the looks, which cost quite a bit. And ironically, it hasn't rained a bit in the month or so since I bought it. Now I'm kind of wondering if it was wise to spend that much money on something that will eventually get wet anyway.
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Old 08-25-13, 02:47 PM   #9
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I'm working on my second Showers Pass jacket. The first one I bought in 07. It was their Century model. Later redesigned into the present Elite 2.0. Anyhow the first one lasted about three years of year round use. Used as necessary in good weather. And everyday in winter as an outer shell. Towards the end, the jacket zipper started to malfunction. As in, where you zip it up and it comes apart in the middle. And you have to try to re-zip it to get it back together. Also the DSW (oops, I meant DWR) started to wear out. And I would rejuvenate it with some Nikwax, which did the trick.
Jacket #2 was the Elite 2.0. purchased in winter 2010. Shortly thereafter the zipper on the chest pocket came apart, and I can no longer zip it shut. I expect to get the same three years before another replacement is due. When that happens. I'm going to buy the waterproof, breathable rain jacket from J&G cyclewear from Oregon. They get good reviews, and are cheaper.

Last edited by scoatw; 09-03-13 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 08-25-13, 03:24 PM   #10
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I have their Transit Jacket (with hood), Rain Booties, and a pair of rain legs. I just pack them all in my trunk bag in case it looks like it's gonna rain.

Their Transit Jacket has pit zips, but other than that isn't very breathable. But I'm fine with it - it doesn't rain every day, and when it does, it keeps me very dry.



That being said, I believe something like a rain cape would be a simpler all-in-one solution. I have a chain case and full fenders, so water shooting up from underneath wouldn't be a concern. I imagine wind could be an issue though.... pros and cons to everything....

Last edited by JB05; 08-25-13 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 08-25-13, 04:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenshiBiker View Post
This will necessitate a new rain jacket, since my old Gore Tex jacket just doesn't seem that waterproof anymore.
I don't think you can go wrong with Showers Pass - I bought one this year and when I've needed it for the rain it's performed very well. Pricey, but effective (the value is there).

If you like your existing Gore-Tex jacket, you can always re-waterproof it: http://www.gore-tex.com/remote/Satel...ter-repellency

We buy Arcteryx stuff for skiing (at the factory outlet in Vancouver), and it's all Gore-Tex. I've used the methods on the Gore-Tex site to restore water-proofness to our ski gear with good results.
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Old 08-25-13, 05:37 PM   #12
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I picked up a Novara jacket from REI since it was the same price as the showers pass jacket ($80) but with more features like pockets and removable sleeves.
http://www.rei.com/product/834891/no...ke-jacket-mens
Eeeek! The Elite 2.1 is $245 at REI and the Novara link above is $55. The Elite is eVent fabric, specs say waterproof and the Novara is DWR, specs say not waterproof.

Anybody actually get wet in a hard rain with the Novarra or similiar?
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Old 08-25-13, 05:39 PM   #13
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The removable sleeve thing certainly offers a leak path, through the zipper.
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Old 08-26-13, 06:47 PM   #14
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I bought one of these last year and I love it. Keeps me dry and breathes well and I rode with this jacket and an Under Armor cold weather base layer and thin synthetic fabric t-shirt in low 30's temps and I was not cold at all. In colder areas than the Puget Sound region I think I would layer a bit heavier but this jacket is great at least for me and a heck of a lot less expensive than the SP.
http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Water...n-Jackets.html
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Old 08-26-13, 07:32 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by nyrikki View Post
Last winter I went on a bit of a jacket binge and I have their Rogue hoodie and the Elite 2.1. They are the best rain jackets I have ever had for the bike and they make the commute trivial all winter long. The Rouge is not breathable really at all and it would be a much better jacket with some pit zips, the Elite has lots of vents and they are needed if you are an energetic rider. So it really depends on how you ride and where you live.
Mind telling me where you bought your Elite 2.1? I started riding to work last week, and we're already getting rained this week. Today wasn't bad at all, but I should prepare for the worse days. Thanks!

[EDIT] Nevermind. Looks like REI carry them. They also have other jackets like Canari and Novara, which run much cheaper than the Elite. I'll go over there this evening to check them out.
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Old 08-26-13, 08:43 PM   #16
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Yes, the 2.1 I got from REI, the Boat Street Recycle Cycles also has a lot of jackets, some that are used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daihard View Post
Mind telling me where you bought your Elite 2.1? I started riding to work last week, and we're already getting rained this week. Today wasn't bad at all, but I should prepare for the worse days. Thanks!

[EDIT] Nevermind. Looks like REI carry them. They also have other jackets like Canari and Novara, which run much cheaper than the Elite. I'll go over there this evening to check them out.
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Old 08-26-13, 09:02 PM   #17
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Yes, the 2.1 I got from REI, the Boat Street Recycle Cycles also has a lot of jackets, some that are used.
Great. Now, looks like the Elite 2.1 is sold as "bicycle jacket," not as "rain jacket." Does the term "bicycle jacket" imply it's rain-resistant or rain-proof?
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Old 08-26-13, 09:11 PM   #18
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Great. Now, looks like the Elite 2.1 is sold as "bicycle jacket," not as "rain jacket." Does the term "bicycle jacket" imply it's rain-resistant or rain-proof?
I think the "rain jacket" designation is more a reflection on the extended tail (aka droptail hem).

In case anyone is interested, I heard back from Showers Pass regarding the difference in fabrics between the Elite 2.1 (eVent) and the Refuge (Elite). According the them,

"The Elite and the E-Vent are very similar, but different. E-Vent is a brand that has been in the market for years and Elite is a material that we are working with under our own name. Personally we like Elite better over here, the dexterity and feel is a little (like barely) more comfortable than the E-Vent and it tends to perform slightly better.

In the end, they are both still the middle layer of the 3 layer laminate. The inner and outer layers are exactly the same material we've been using for a while now."


I think I'll wait for an earlier adopter to check out and report on the Refuge before I pony up almost 3 bills for this one.

Thanks,

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Old 09-02-13, 11:28 PM   #19
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The construction of a 3 layer laminate is actually quite simple. You have the outer layer which gives the pretty color to the jacket. The middle layer is the waterproof membrane be it eVent, Gore-Tex or any other proprietary brand. The inner layer is there to protect the waterproof membrane, which is quite fragile, from abrasion against your undergarments.

There are 2 things that make a jacket 'waterproof': DWR (durable water repellant) coating and the waterproof membrane. The DWR is applied to the outer layer of the 3 layer jacket. When water hits the outer layer, the water will bead up and roll off the jacket. If water gets passed the DWR coating, then the waterproof membrane will keep the water from going through the jacket. Eventually the DWR coating will wear off at high abrasion points of the jacket. When this happens, just put your jacket in the dryer for a quick 15 minute tumble at medium heat. This should renew your DWR coating. Eventually you'll need to reapply a new DWR coating which you can buy at any outdoor retailer; brands like Nikwax or Grangers are great for renewing the DWR on your jacket. Keep in mind that dirt and sweat can also affect the DWR coating on your jacket.

The reason why DWR is important is because once the DWR wears off and the outer layer starts to wet out (absorb water) then the breathe-ability of the middle layer goes away. At that point, you may as well be wearing a garbage bag over your body keeping rain out but still getting drenched in sweat.

Waterproof membranes are not magic. They will not let water drops through the jacket, but will let some water vapor through. With that being said, you'll be wet from sweat but not from rain, but less sweat than wearing a garbage bag.

Comparing eVent to Gore-Tex, Gore-Tex is more wind proof but eVent is more breathe-able. There are videos on youtube that show the breath-ability comparison between the 2 membranes. Personally, I am a huge fan of eVent, and I plan to purchase an Elite 2.1 when my pennies are saved up.
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Old 09-03-13, 02:57 PM   #20
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I bought one of these last year and I love it. Keeps me dry and breathes well and I rode with this jacket and an Under Armor cold weather base layer and thin synthetic fabric t-shirt in low 30's temps and I was not cold at all. In colder areas than the Puget Sound region I think I would layer a bit heavier but this jacket is great at least for me and a heck of a lot less expensive than the SP.
http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Water...n-Jackets.html
+1 on this. A good jacket that's not made in China. Had one for several seasons now and it has held up well.
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Old 09-04-13, 05:41 AM   #21
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... This will necessitate a new rain jacket, since my old Gore Tex jacket just doesn't seem that waterproof anymore.
...
NO, IT WON'T, necessitate a new jacket! Waterproof jackets lose their proofing eventually, and need reproofing. Many sporting goods stores carry sprays that will reproof your jacket. Actually I worded this poorly and less technical, precise than this brilliant post made and lost amidst all the bad replies to this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jates2000 View Post
... Eventually the DWR coating will wear off at high abrasion points of the jacket. When this happens, just put your jacket in the dryer for a quick 15 minute tumble at medium heat. This should renew your DWR coating. Eventually you'll need to reapply a new DWR coating which you can buy at any outdoor retailer; brands like Nikwax or Grangers are great for renewing the DWR on your jacket. Keep in mind that dirt and sweat can also affect the DWR coating on your jacket.

...
I did not know about the dryer trick, that is a very useful tip! @jates2000, how do you know so much about this subject, do you work in the industry?

@KenshiBiker, so just put it in the dryer and see if the Goretex jacket is rainproof again. If that does not work buy Nikiwax or Grangers and respray your jacket.

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Old 09-04-13, 12:56 PM   #22
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@Thrasymachus thank you for the kind words. To answer your question, yes, I do work in the industry insofar as I work at a retailer that sells these products. I have received training one these products as well as talked to factory reps about these things...but this doesn't mean I know much about them. I'm learning just like everyone else.

As for the DWR coatings...not all DWR coatings can be renewed via the dryer method described, so if the dryer method doesn't work, it's because the manufacturer of the jacket didn't use the type of DWR that can be renewed in the dryer. Typically, high end jackets that use Gore-Tex or eVent will use a DWR that can be renewed with the dryer method.

A high end jacket can lose its 'waterproofness' in many ways. Oils from your body, dirt and grime will affect waterproofness of Gore-Tex, eVent or similar membranes. There is an excellent video on how to wash a hi-tech jacket on the Arc-Teryx website as well as how to re-apply the DWR coating. (I am not trying to promote any product...I just want to help expand everyone's knowledge base.) If your jacket is clean and you have renewed your DWR coating and it is still letting water through, then there is a problem with the jacket. Packing and unpacking a jacket can cause weak spots in the waterproof membrane. The waterproof membrane is very thin, so keep this in mind when packing your jacket. It can be repaired but it won't look pretty. Nonetheless, with proper care a waterproof jacket will last a very long time.
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Old 11-25-14, 10:05 AM   #23
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Showers Pass Elete

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Originally Posted by nyrikki View Post

eVent fabric is nice and I like it more than Gore Tex but without airflow only sweat that is evaporated from heat will move past the fabric, active venting will still evaporate more air and with my riding style and climate I would choose the Elite 2.1 and get to my destination drier.

I'm interested in getting the Elite 2.1 and will have to purchase it without the benefit of inspecting it in hand prior to ordering. How compact is it to carry/store on the bike when not in use?
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Old 11-25-14, 11:16 AM   #24
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I've owned a SP Elite 2.1 for a couple of years. It is by far the best rain or cycling jacket I have owned, and I would buy one again. The big problem with most cycling rain jackets is sweat management. You build up so much heat, sweat and water vapor from cycling that -- with most jackets -- you get just as wet from sweating as you would from the rain. This is particularly a problem where I live, in the Southeast USA. The SP Elite isn't flawless in that regard, but the best I have found. With most jackets, I cannot ride in temperatures above the mid-40s F without sweating too much. With the SP Elite, I can comfortably ride in the 60s F. It is also very effective in cold temperatures with proper base gear underneath it.

In addition to the Event fabric, the SP Elite has extremely effective venting -- from the back, pit zips and sleeve cuffs. When it's really cold, you can adjust the sleeve and pit vents to allow less air. My jacket has been very comfortable for me riding in temperatures ranging from the mid-teens to the upper 60s F.

Other features that I like include: bright colors if desired (and I do), front vest pocket and large rear pocket, optional hood, reflective bands. It also fits me well, which is an individual issue. I initially ordered the wrong size (M) based on reports that the jackets ran large but it was too tight, so I exchanged for a Large and it fits me perfect. The jacket is also comfortable and in my opinion looks nice. In fact, a number of people have complimented me at random about the jacket, asked me where I got it, and remarked about how nice it looks.

To give you some further context, I have also owned cycling rain jackets made by Performance, Craft and Pearl Izumi. The Performance jacket didn't breathe at all and caught wind like a sail, and I returned it. The PI jacket was OK but not very effective at keeping out rain and not very breathable either. The Craft jacket was very effective at keeping out rain, very well made and nice fitting but was too warm in temperatures above 50 F. I also own non-cycling rain jackets sold by Eddie Bauer (Goretex) and Marmot (coated nylon) and they are fine for hiking and walking but are not designed for cycling.

Last edited by tarwheel; 11-25-14 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 11-25-14, 01:42 PM   #25
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Got the Elite 2.0 for $78 on Amazon in September, and have been riding with it through a moderately woolly PNW autumn, including a couple of truly awe-inspiring you-can't-even-wear-glasses-in-this pineapple-express-type rainstorms. I have no complaints whatsoever. I've read a few different people complain about the zipper failing, and I'm prepared for that possibility; but if the thing keeps me as dry as it has thus far through the end of the winter, I'll say it's paid off its purchase price easily, and every day it's still functional after that is just gravy.
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