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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-03-17, 11:39 PM   #1
Goriot
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Find me the best cycling/commuter jacket.

Looking for a new jacket as my current misty mountain has lasted 10yrs but is really finally falling apart. I can't seem to find something equivalent, with similar or better quality and durability. Goretex would be preferable I think but also with:

1. Perfect ventilation, controllable at the wrists, arm pits, neck. I found velcro at the neck really useful to quickly warm up and cool down.. Buttons as well as zippers are nice too. High quality zippers that can easily be operated with a single hand/gloves are ideal.

2. Good storage- nice back pocket is key, extra pockets are a bonus. Needs to store phone, gloves, keys, i.e. not tiny.

3. Waterproof- current misty mountain is polyester so I think goretex is a worthwhile upgrade. Hidden hood would be key.

4. Some reflectivity, good packability

5. Minimal warmth- may not be as needed with adequate venting, but current misty mountain has a second mesh layer under the outer layer which surprisingly adds to its warmth.

Not sure if such a perfect jacket exist, would love to hear some recommendations!
Thanks
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Old 04-04-17, 12:28 AM   #2
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Showers Pass jackets have much of what you want. Not much for pockets, no hood, no buttons. Option of either a warmer and far more durable lined jacket that does not pack small or an unlined jacket that you will have to be careful not to damage the membrane inside, but folds easily to jersey pocket size (something I have done more than a few times no-hands.) Very visible, well placed reflecting tape. Good two way zippers. Two way zippers area real blessing, esp if you wear jerseys with full pockets under. You can start the zipper up from the bottom and have access to your jersey pockets without exposing them to the rain. Alsdo not damage your jacket on teh tools in your pocket. (They had a run of jackets with zippers that were not good. They learned, changed the zipper and were good about giving out new jackets to anyone with issues.)

The jackets are designed and made by year 'round bike riders. That comes across. They are very well thought out. I have one gripe. They should have a mesh pocket on the outside to put soggy gloves in when you go inside. (I've suggested this to the owner, but at events when he had plenty on his mind. Maybe seeing it here will work better. Rarely have I owned cycling clothing so good the weak points get that trivial!)

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Old 04-05-17, 10:03 PM   #3
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Check out Sugoi, the Canadian brand. My favorite cycling jacket is not waterproof, but it is the other things you list; it''s Sugoi. I've never had a bad piece of gear from them.
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Old 04-06-17, 05:14 AM   #4
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Kakadu waxed cotton 3/4 drover is my cold (~40F and below) wet weather jacket.


No zippers, just snaps. It has a fold over storm flap that you can keep undone to increase ventilation , a removable hood, removable shoulder cape and plenty of easy access pockets. I also wear it when adventure touring so it can handle high winds yet still protect from driving rain.

Last edited by BassNotBass; 04-06-17 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 04-10-17, 11:30 PM   #5
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Kakadu waxed cotton 3/4 drover is my cold (~40F and below) wet weather jacket.
Looks like just the jacket for Seattle spring weather. Nice!
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Old 04-11-17, 09:06 AM   #6
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Showers Pass jackets have much of what you want. Not much for pockets, no hood, no buttons.
That describes my Elite quite well. However, the Transit/Commuter (they changed the name and I can't remember what mines called) is a looser fit for under layers, good sized zip pockets, pit zips and decent ventilation. No hood installed but the removable hood that attaches to the collar with velcro works quite well.

Others have given good reviews for J&G bike clothing and Foxwear (custom fit and material choice at great prices).

Bicycle Clothing At Its Best--and Our Bicycle Clothing Is MADE IN OREGON!
Foxwear | Custom Sized Sports Clothing by Lou Binik | Salmon, ID | (877) 756-3699
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Old 04-11-17, 09:23 AM   #7
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Kakadu waxed cotton 3/4 drover is my cold (~40F and below) wet weather jacket.


No zippers, just snaps. It has a fold over storm flap that you can keep undone to increase ventilation , a removable hood, removable shoulder cape and plenty of easy access pockets. I also wear it when adventure touring so it can handle high winds yet still protect from driving rain.
and weighs what? 2 and a half to three pounds? packs up to the size of a large shoe box at best? I dig waxed cotton for its' durability and style but sheesh, would never consider it as a biking jacket for periodic rain.
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Old 04-11-17, 10:56 AM   #8
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Kakadu waxed cotton 3/4 drover is my cold (~40F and below) wet weather jacket.
``

No zippers, just snaps. It has a fold over storm flap that you can keep undone to increase ventilation , a removable hood, removable shoulder cape and plenty of easy access pockets. I also wear it when adventure touring so it can handle high winds yet still protect from driving rain.
Here in the Pacific northwest, that color is virtually camouflage. Here we have month of of low sun, constant low cloud cover and intermittent rain. Now I realize militaries have been outfitting their troops forever with camouflage and apparently have documented fewer "hits" when their men are dressed like that, but I will take my chances with being seen on the road.

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Old 04-11-17, 11:41 AM   #9
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and weighs what? 2 and a half to three pounds? packs up to the size of a large shoe box at best? I dig waxed cotton for its' durability and style but sheesh, would never consider it as a biking jacket for periodic rain.
If you're worried about weight then I suggest you just get wet, especially if we're just talking about periodic rain, because any jacket will add weight and bulk.


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... but I will take my chances with being seen on the road.
Being seen is paramount which is why I run lights when visibility may come into question.
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Old 04-11-17, 11:54 AM   #10
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If you're worried about weight then I suggest you just get wet, especially if we're just talking about periodic rain, because any jacket will add weight and bulk.
Or I could just bring along my 6.5 oz Salomon rain jacket that is waterproof, breathable, and packs up to the size of a squishy softball and cost me all of 65 bucks on closeout...
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Old 04-11-17, 11:55 AM   #11
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Looks like just the jacket for Seattle spring weather. Nice!
For Seattle, buy Filson! Made in Seattle.

If you are riding a bicycle rather than a quarterhorse, it is worth checking out showerspass. Their stuff has problems (no handpockets, a shift to 'core ventilation' from the very useful pitzips) but the cuffs are good, the fabric is good, they have velcro-able hoods (like Filson!), and the fabric is good. SP is cheaper than Filson too (rare opportunity to find a brand SP is cheaper than...).
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Old 04-11-17, 11:57 AM   #12
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If you're worried about weight then I suggest you just get wet, especially if we're just talking about periodic rain, because any jacket will add weight and bulk.
But getting your clothes wet will do the same. Best not to ride in the rain at all.
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Old 04-11-17, 12:47 PM   #13
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I've had an REI Novarra Stratos rain jacket for about a year. I like it a lot. Two colors of orange with a lot of reflective accents and piping. No hood, vents at cuffs and pit zips. Drop tail that can be snapped up to be worn like a regular jacket. Very waterproof. Just a very nice jacket. Not softball size packable, but on days when it looks like it could rain I strap it, my waterproof pants and neos overshoes onto the top of my seatpost bag. I got it for $40 through the REI Garage.
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Old 04-11-17, 01:18 PM   #14
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But getting your clothes wet will do the same. Best not to ride in the rain at all.
Or naked. Sounds like a good excuse to do so.
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Old 04-11-17, 01:19 PM   #15
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Or I could just bring along my 6.5 oz Salomon rain jacket that is waterproof, breathable, and packs up to the size of a squishy softball and cost me all of 65 bucks on closeout...
Glad it works for you but it's still heavier and bulkier than going without and let's be honest, 'breathable' doesn't mean jack squat when it comes to a jacket because even Gore-tex and similar fabrics don't breathe well enough if you ride even moderately hard.

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Old 04-11-17, 08:58 PM   #16
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I've been wearing a Gore jacket with "Active" fabric for the past 6 months, and I've been very happy with it. Lots of days in 35 degree wet hypothermic conditions, followed by warmer days that would normally have me steamy and hot in most outerwear. This fabric breathers better than any hardshell I have tried, almost as much as a high quality softshell. The newest version has more pockets than mine, which is welcome. No pit zits provided or required.


My jacket:


The downside is the price at around $200, but I don't mind paying that for bomber gear that I use every day.

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Old 04-12-17, 01:12 AM   #17
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Glad it works for you but it's still heavier and bulkier than going without and let's be honest, 'breathable' doesn't mean jack squat when it comes to a jacket because even Gore-tex and similar fabrics don't breathe well enough if you ride even moderately hard.
We've come a long way since gore tex... but whatever man if you are averse to modern rain gear and want to look like an Australian cattle drover then go for it.

To the OP...other options aside from the well reputed Showers Pass gear include newer stuff with Gore-Tex active fabric and shells from Mountain Hardwear with the DryQ Elite membrane which has set a new high standard for highly breathable mountaineering gear (you know, situations where if you get wet you will probably die)...either will be more than adequate for commuting needs

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Old 04-14-17, 09:46 PM   #18
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You want to look at the fabric. In my experience Event is the best followed closely by Gore-Tex Active. I have a 10+-year-old Showers Pass Elite that is still going strong, If I'd lost it I replace with another SP without hesitation.
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Old 04-17-17, 06:40 PM   #19
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Thanks for the replies, I'm looking between showers pass elite 2.1 vs gore. Looking into the breathability, seems there is quite a bit of debate between eVent vs Gore. I've had lots of goretex products in the pass, including my regular walk around rain jacket, and it definitely works well.
My current misty mountain which is on its last legs but still oh so reliable every day, is just polyester but with all its venting, its waterproofness has been just fine even in the worst of Vancouver morning commutes, so I think gore or eVent would be an upgrade either way.

Price really doesn't matter, as I'm expecting this jacket to be worn daily for 5+yrs, but I read a few reviews of the ShowersPass saying that the seams and waterproofness aren't as durable compared to Gore... So again unsure between the two fabrics.

I like the showers pass pockets and venting, and if I could find a dealer in Vancouver I'd love to check them out for sizing before buying... Gore gear is much more accessible here I think.


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I've been wearing a Gore jacket with "Active" fabric for the past 6 months, and I've been very happy with it. Lots of days in 35 degree wet hypothermic conditions, followed by warmer days that would normally have me steamy and hot in most outerwear. This fabric breathers better than any hardshell I have tried, almost as much as a high quality softshell. The newest version has more pockets than mine, which is welcome. No pit zits provided or required.


My jacket:


The downside is the price at around $200, but I don't mind paying that for bomber gear that I use every day.
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Old 04-18-17, 01:46 PM   #20
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I get all my hi-vis stuff from alertshirt.com. The quality is great. Here is the jacket section: SAFETY JACKETS
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Old 04-19-17, 12:29 AM   #21
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If durability is a concern (and when isn't it?), go with something from Patagonia or Black Diamond, both have pretty much unconditional lifetime warranties on their gear. Black Diamond is using Gore-tex fabrics in most of their jackets...I picked one up on closeout from REI for a ridiculous markdown and it looks tough as nails.
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Old 04-19-17, 07:55 PM   #22
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Goretex laminates *are* tough as nails (think mountaineering/ice-climbing) and I love them, but they are not the most breathable from Gore. Goretex "Pro-shell" is more supple and breathable (and about as tough) and Gore "Active" is the most breathable. Various on-line chart comparisons document these differences.

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If durability is a concern (and when isn't it?), go with something from Patagonia or Black Diamond, both have pretty much unconditional lifetime warranties on their gear. Black Diamond is using Gore-tex fabrics in most of their jackets...I picked one up on closeout from REI for a ridiculous markdown and it looks tough as nails.
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Old 04-19-17, 08:41 PM   #23
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New Commuting Jacket

After almost 15 years of bicycle commuting, wearing a serial assortment of jackets of varying quality, I finally bought a Showers Pass "Syncline" jacket (see the Showers Pass web site). I've had it for about three weeks, and am very happy with it. Why?
1) It is completely waterproof. All the seams are taped inside. It has an attached hood, which fits easily under my helmet. I've ridden in some heavy rain and arrived at work (or home) dry.
2) It is bright and visible ("Firecracker Red"), with reflective tabs on the sleeves and reflective piping on the front and back.
3) The zipper is sturdy and works smoothly. There's a storm flap that keeps water and cold air out.
4) There are two side pockets with waterproof zippers; these are mesh on the inside. There are also inside mesh pockets which overlap the side pockets, but they do not connect.
5) An elastic cord around the bottom of the jacket allows snugging to fit; there is a dropped tail for... tail coverage.
6) There are "pit zips" for ventilation, which probably work well in combination with the front zipper if this is left slightly open. I commute with a backpack, which pretty much eliminates air flow inside the jacket. It's said to be breathable... but like someone said earlier, if you're working even moderately hard there's going to be some moisture accumulation.
7) The sleeves are long enough that the cuffs overlap my gloves (even thick winter gloves) easily. There are Velcro closures if I need to snug them up.

Down-sides? I can't report any except maybe that the jacket doesn't quite cover my insulating layer(s) in front; I have to tuck my fleece liner into my rain pants. This is a minor nuisance. The dropped tail covers the top of the pants with room to spare, so the net result is that I stay dry. The price (~$125) isn't terrible, though I don't think I've spent that much on anything I've used in the past.
Hope this helps.
Steve
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