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winter commuting jacket

Old 02-24-14, 02:41 PM
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jdswitters
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winter commuting jacket

requirements:

1. Able to wear street clothes underneath, does not need to be tight, I'm not a slim person but an average 47 year old who bikes for transportation. 5'9" 180

2. Reflective, I wore my winter fly fishing/hunting jacket from hodgeman the last two winters, comfortably, but after a recent spate of local car/bicycle collisions I desire a jacket with more visibility than the green one I usually wear. I dont own spandex so this is kind of a new direction for me except the O2 standard jacket I have for the other 3 seasons. The hodgeman is about 12 years old, and has served very faithfully, but the cuffs are going out, it has some unusual stains that are not going away and I would rather not put reflective tape on it as I can get a few more seasons out of it using it for it's intended purpose.

3. Pockets, where I can reach things. Especially a front chest pocket for the phone. I looked at Novarra jackets yesterday, the pocket is too small. I see some jackets out there with "napoleon" pockets. They need to fit a smart phone.

4. Pit zips and breathability

5. Looks I realize a bright yellow jacket is visibility, but there seems to be a standard look out there for bike jackets and I was wondering about something a little more office friendly.

6. Cost, after looking around some I realize that it is going to take more than $100. Less than 200 would be great.

Cheers,
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Old 02-24-14, 02:55 PM
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Showers pass transit seems to be the closest, cant find them locally. wondering about other alternatives.
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Old 02-24-14, 03:13 PM
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Lou at Foxwear can make you something custom that should have everything on your list with the exception of the Napoleon pocket, and I'd be surprised if he couldn't figure out a way to ad that. He does great work, and the cost should be way under your budget.
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Old 02-24-14, 09:06 PM
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This is one of my "jackets", but really it's just a windbreaker.
Illuminite jacket:

TEMP, 22F or -5C by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
1. Depending on the temp/humidity; I might wear a t-shirt, jersey or sweater underneath.
2. The front and back panels are lime green; the shoulder/arm areas are black but "light up"
when hit with a light source.
3. Two front pockets.
4. Vent in the back, I usually just unzip the front when I start to get hot.
5. See #2 .
6. Paid $100 I think 5 years ago. Mine is discontinued, this is similar:
https://www.amazon.com/Reflective-Cyc...rds=illuminite
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Old 02-24-14, 10:03 PM
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Check out Gore Bike wear jackets. I love them!
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Old 02-24-14, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sirtirithon View Post
Check out Gore Bike wear jackets. I love them!
I do too, I own two of them now, but the fit is very snug. Very aero. Other than that, nothing not to like. The center pocket will hold an iphone but its at your back like God intended. FWIW.

H
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Old 02-24-14, 11:35 PM
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It only meets half of your criteria, but I have a wool Swedish army jacket from the 1940s that I got a few months ago at a surplus store for $15, and I've worn it (with layers) all the way down to 6F this winter. I actually found that down to about 10F, I start to sweat quite a lot if I have it buttoned and am riding hard.

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Old 02-25-14, 08:10 AM
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Showers Pass Elite will cover most of your requirements. It's not cheap but you can buy at biketiresdirect.com and probably other sources for less than $200. The only downsides are that it has no side pockets for your hands (altho other less expensive SP models perhaps have them) and you may not consider it acceptable for street use (but I do). The SP Elite does have a nice "Napoleon" pocket in the front as well as a large zippered pocket in the back. It is extremely well ventilated. It comes in several colors, altho I prefer yellow for visibility. I personally feel that it is a nice looking jacket for street use and wear it often over my regular clothes, sometimes even getting compliments from people about it. Get the hood if using for street use as well.

I've worn my SP Elite in temperatures down to 12F and as warm as mid-60s and it was very comfortable throughout with the right base layers.
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Old 02-25-14, 10:00 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions, I am going to try foxwear first and see if I can get some reflective piping. Love the local stuff. If not then the showers pass or areotech.

I'm a big fan of wool and have swiss army wool pants, but below 20F they let in too much wind. The gore looks pretty tight, but that may just be the marketing. I know the arotech stuff I have ordered in the past are pretty slim also.
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Old 02-25-14, 10:44 AM
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I bought a cycling specific rain jacket at REI on clearance and added a fair amount of marine grade reflective tape. for warmth I rely on layers under it
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Old 02-25-14, 11:16 AM
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I use an extremely thin high-vis and reflective Cannondale wind breaker jacket, and then layer underneath it. If I get too hot I can remove the jacket and roll it up and stuff it in on itself, and it will fit in a jersey pocket. Makes a sizable bulge back there, but it still fits!
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Old 02-25-14, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jdswitters View Post
I'm a big fan of wool and have swiss army wool pants, but below 20F they let in too much wind. The gore looks pretty tight, but that may just be the marketing. I know the arotech stuff I have ordered in the past are pretty slim also.
My jacket blocks the wind quite effectively, actually...
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Old 02-25-14, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jdswitters View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions, I am going to try foxwear first and see if I can get some reflective piping. Love the local stuff. If not then the showers pass or areotech.

I'm a big fan of wool and have swiss army wool pants, but below 20F they let in too much wind. The gore looks pretty tight, but that may just be the marketing. I know the arotech stuff I have ordered in the past are pretty slim also.
Lou added more reflective stripes for my jacket, and knew just where to put them. If you're local enough to visit him I think it would be worth the trip, but was happy with what he was able to do for me without a visit.
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Old 02-25-14, 12:34 PM
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I bought this Carhart hooded jacket for just over $50 on sale at Sierra Trading Post, Wear a safety reflective belt bandoleer style over your shoulder or around your waist and all your requirements are met at under $100 even though the jacket now sells for $70. I wore this jacket in comfort at -5F this winter. Note that a reflective belt can be worn summer or winter and also if jogging at night in any weather.
https://www.sierratradingpost.com/car...r-men~p~4037h/

https://www.reflexsafety.com/section/17/1/sports-belts
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Old 02-25-14, 01:27 PM
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Wow that Fox custom stuff seems like a great deal for the pricing.
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Old 02-25-14, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
Lou added more reflective stripes for my jacket, and knew just where to put them. If you're local enough to visit him I think it would be worth the trip, but was happy with what he was able to do for me without a visit.
We are working out the size, colors and reflective tape via e-mail today. Thanks again.
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Old 02-25-14, 04:27 PM
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You're welcome. I bet you'll be very happy once your jacket arrives.
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Old 02-25-14, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jdswitters View Post
We are working out the size, colors and reflective tape via e-mail today. Thanks again.
Think you could do a follow up post? I am curious about his company, too. I think my J & L is pretty good but lacks reflective material. So I glued a bunch on the back.
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Old 02-25-14, 05:22 PM
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I have the Showers Pass Amsterdam jacket. It has double zipper and pit zippers for venting. Today was about 30F and I was sweating a bit with a light wool baselayer and a medium wool jersey, plus medium wool bottoms under Levi's commuter cargo pants. It does not have high visibility, being mostly grey. It does have some reflectivity. And, it mostly appears to be a casual, everyday jacket. I guess you could supplement with a high-visibility vest.

Review:
https://road.cc/content/review/108113...sterdam-jacket

It it expensive at $200, but I got it during their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale when a bunch of stuff was 50% off directly from Showers Pass.

I also have the SP Rogue Hoodie which is similar, has the hood, but no venting so I tend to sweat more especially on my back.
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Old 02-26-14, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
Showers Pass Elite will cover most of your requirements. I've worn my SP Elite in temperatures down to 12F and as warm as mid-60s and it was very comfortable throughout with the right base layers.
+1
I wear it all winter, down to 0F ambient and stay warm and comfortable. It just laughs at the wind,too!
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Old 02-27-14, 12:34 AM
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Love my Shower's Pass Elite.
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Old 02-27-14, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jdswitters View Post
We are working out the size, colors and reflective tape via e-mail today. Thanks again.
I'm looking forward to seeing the final product. I've had Lou make me some rain pants (what a treat having rain pants with the correct inseam), vest, ear band, etc. He's a good guy, with reasonable prices, and outstanding service.
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Old 02-27-14, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by KenshiBiker View Post
I'm looking forward to seeing the final product. I've had Lou make me some rain pants (what a treat having rain pants with the correct inseam), vest, ear band, etc. He's a good guy, with reasonable prices, and outstanding service.
Lou made a bunch of stuff for chefissac before he made mine, and he loved his too. I usually have a hard time finding jackets where the sleeves are long enough, and Issac is built just the opposite. We kidded each other that I got his extra sleeve length, and he got the extra room in the gut area from me.
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Old 02-27-14, 01:13 PM
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i've pretty much stopped using my endura and showers pass winter jackets because i found them to be too heavy, constrictive, and hot. i now use a road bike shell (e.g. pearl izumi elite or similar) and layers. far more comfortable and less stinky.
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Old 02-27-14, 01:22 PM
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I still think you have to choose between
1.) yellow with hi-vis
2.) office friendly

I leave a jacket at the office, and wear the 'commuting uniform': yellow MEC Derecho (similar to showers pass elite) while commuting. Huge pitzips.
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