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Wind jackets. Should I go with light water-resistent, or heavier waterproof jacket?

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Wind jackets. Should I go with light water-resistent, or heavier waterproof jacket?

Old 11-30-15, 03:36 PM
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Goretex is like cottton: a fabric, not a completed piece of clothing.
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Old 11-30-15, 03:38 PM
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Riding in wet is one thing...

For riding in dry cold weather, a partial shell might work better (where there is windproof stuff in the front) especially for rides where you are working. I find full shells much too warm. I use a partial shell and can layer it for colder temps. I stay dry in it from cold to fairly warm temperatures.

Stuff that is windproof and not waterproof doesn't breath that well (claims for breathability tend to be very optimistic).

Last edited by njkayaker; 11-30-15 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 11-30-15, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers
I'm curious what you'd suggest for a biking jacket. I own a nice Shower's Pass jacket, but the issue is with fit - their "Large" doesn't come down to completely cover the front of my waist, their extra large (what I have) does, but it's far to loose fitting on me and I think it's causing some discomfort while riding that would take to long to write out here.

I know the Goretex Phantom jacket fits me really well. But it's "comfort fit" - I couldn't find any Goretex Active jackets that come in anything other than slim sizing. Also was a little concerned that Goretex jackets don't seem to have features like an open back to let moisture in and out (like my showers pass has) or pit or side zips to regulate temp in the jacket. Still curious though. Money is not a big issue for me, finding a comfortable jacket that fits for winter riding is my bigger problem.
Fit is an important component of performance so you'll need to experiment to find something that works for you. I like Gore-Tex Active jackets, and that's what I wear when I'm not testing something else. However, as you observe, the Active jackets are slim cut -- I'm 140 lbs and mine fits me like a glove.

I should make the disclaimer that my views often run against what I hear others say. For example, both the Phantom jacket and Windstopper fabrics are generally well liked for the exact reasons you give, but I've never liked either. I think they look good, are durable, and are not expensive. However, I find them well suited only for moderate effort activities in moderate conditions. I find that they're just way too easy to swamp out which means I freeze or burn up too easily.

I'm not a fan of pit zips, pockets, and the like because the increase the weight/bulk of the jacket and negatively impact performance. However, I recognize that the vast majority of customers like these features. Pockets add an extra layer which impedes breathability. Pit zips are a copout -- it means the fabric can't keep up, and if that's the case, I may as well just open up the jacket and loosen the cuffs to shoot air up my arms for ventilation since water will come right through open pits.

The last time I tried Showers Pass offerings, it was still all too heavy IMO. But they're probably the most popular company where I live.
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Old 11-30-15, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
For riding in dry cold weather, a partial shell might work better (where there is windproof stuff in the front) especially for rides where you are working. I find full shells much too warm. I use a partial shell and can layer it for colder temps. I stay dry in it from cold to fairly warm temperatures.
You obviously don't live in Minnnesota.
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Old 11-30-15, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
Riding in wet is one thing...

For riding in dry cold weather, a partial shell might work better (where there is windproof stuff in the front) especially for rides where you are working. I find full shells much too warm. I use a partial shell and can layer it for colder temps. I stay dry in it from cold to fairly warm temperatures.

Stuff that is windproof and not waterproof doesn't breath that well (claims for breathability tend to be very optimistic).
Agree. Done right, this works well (and I too live in Minnesota). But "done right" is the key.

I have a pair of pants like this for really cold weather (PowerShield in front, PowerStretch in back) and I have a jacket that is built this way too. The layering is key but it does do well for getting rid of moisture but also keeps it more closed to the wind than some vented jackets are. In fact, what I also do on occasion is take a piece of PowerShield soft-shell material and use it to cover my chest either under a jersey or under a jacket for more windproof capability but I want to leave the back more open and able to shed moisture and heat. It's an easy additional layer that cuts down on air movement and can be stuffed in a jersey pocket when not needed and has use over wide temp ranges.

The problem with this sort of garment is that most people don't *really* understand how to layer and don't experiment to get it right. It also tends to be somewhat individual so I think one needs to really go through the exercise to figure it out for yourself. Once done, the benefits are significant and it's pretty easy to get comfortable for a ride (or snowshoe or ski etc..) but one has to make the commitment to figure it out.


J.
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Old 11-30-15, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
the Active jackets are slim cut -- I'm 140 lbs and mine fits me like a glove.
Lol, ironically I went glove shopping, and it is a pain in the ass to find a glove that fits like a glove. For me lots of gloves their fingers are not long enough, someone else I know had the opposite problem of trying to find a glove for short fingers and had even more trouble than I.

With cycling jackets some of them are to skinny but I can get around that by buying the larger size, biggest issue is them being long enough in the front. A lot of manufacturers try to give it some sort of summer road biking cut with it real short in the front, and I can't risk any exposed areas for winter riding - in the cold it's frostbite, in the less-cold it's just uncomfortable.

Originally Posted by banerjek
I should make the disclaimer that my views often run against what I hear others say. For example, both the Phantom jacket and Windstopper fabrics are generally well liked for the exact reasons you give, but I've never liked either. I think they look good, are durable, and are not expensive. However, I find them well suited only for moderate effort activities in moderate conditions. I find that they're just way too easy to swamp out which means I freeze or burn up too easily.
Hmm. Well...being unable to find an appropriately sized "active" goretex jacket, I ran across a "used" phantom jacket on amazon for $65 so I ordered it. Guess we'll see if I agree...

Originally Posted by banerjek
I'm not a fan of pit zips, pockets, and the like because the increase the weight/bulk of the jacket and negatively impact performance. However, I recognize that the vast majority of customers like these features. Pockets add an extra layer which impedes breathability.
Ha, we clearly have different biking goals. I'm riding a bike with studded tires and an igh - "to heavy" is not something I'm concerned about in a winter jacket...

Originally Posted by banerjek
Pit zips are a copout -- it means the fabric can't keep up, and if that's the case, I may as well just open up the jacket and loosen the cuffs to shoot air up my arms for ventilation since water will come right through open pits.
Well...that assumes you can find a jacket that can keep up. I see pit zips and venting as an admission that they simply cannot design a material that's windproof but also breathable enough for hard work in warmish conditions. I still find them useful for regulating temperature for winter riding. Little warmer when you're starting up in the winter, and temp between biking into work and biking home can vary a lot.

Originally Posted by banerjek
The last time I tried Showers Pass offerings, it was still all too heavy IMO. But they're probably the most popular company where I live.
I find "to heavy" kind of amusing owning one of the jacket, but we seem to have different priorities. It's a nice jacket, I'd likely stick with it if it fit me well.
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Old 12-01-15, 07:33 AM
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When it comes to venting in a jacket, it also depends on the user. Some of us generate much more heat that the only way to release it would be through venting. The climate where you live also plays a part. If you are in a humid environment, no amount of breath-ability will get the heat and sweat out of the jacket so vents help there. I find it funny that you do not see that having 'more than one way to skin a cat' is really the best approach and that not everyone is the same. This is not much different than fit. I am 6' 1", 200 lbs 36" waist and the Showers Pass Large Eilte 2.1 fits me great. The Elite Pro, (~8 oz) in a large was snug but very form fitting, almost jersey- like. I ended up swapping it for an XL which is OK but now I wish I kept the Large. Neither is too short in the front. Both are perfect fits but this if me.

Just a thought, if a jacket is breathable, will it not let air out? What stops it from letting air in? I seriously doubt a jacket can be both breathable and windproof. Just seem contradictory. I have a Sugoi Zap jacket that is windproof but is closer to a Hefty bag than cheesecloth. Nothing enters nor leaves but in colder weather, it helps to keep the heat in whereas the Showers Pass Jackets, when the wind picks up, you can feel the air moving within the jacket. To me, they are breathable and this does keep the sweat down. As for waterproof, both my Showers Pass work great in this regard.


I was out shopping and saw for the first time the P.R.O. line from Pearl Izumi for winter. This jacket reminded me of a Columbia system jacket in that it had a removable liner. Seemed to be very warm for those really cold days. Are you looking more for a waterproof jacket or are you looking to keep warm in cold temps (range?)


I guess different strokes for different folks. No one thing is good for all...

Best of luck in your search for the perfect jacket....
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Old 12-01-15, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers
Ha, we clearly have different biking goals. I'm riding a bike with studded tires and an igh - "to heavy" is not something I'm concerned about in a winter jacket...
Too heavy doesn't just mean it's a struggle to carry up the mountain, it means the fabric is too thick for its purpose in athletic activity.
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Old 12-01-15, 10:08 AM
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Well, I just ordered this cannondale jacket yesterday. Yay or nay here?
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Old 12-01-15, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Fly2High
Just a thought, if a jacket is breathable, will it not let air out? What stops it from letting air in? I seriously doubt a jacket can be both breathable and windproof. Just seem contradictory.
There obviously must be some sort of exchange, but it lets so little air through that it is for all purposes windproof. Gore-tex defines windproof as a material that allows no more than 1 cubic feet per minute of air to pass through 1 square foot of material. It lets considerably less air through than a windbreaker and if you swim in a Gore-tex drysuit for hours, the air trapped in your suit will not escape if there are no holes and the gaskets are good. If you are in 50mph winds, you will not feel air getting through.

Breathable is not really so much about letting air pass through as it is about letting vapor pass through -- this is referred to as vapor pressure. To work properly, it requires a difference in temperature and humidity between the inside and outside of the garment. The bigger the temperature and humidity differentials, the greater the vapor pressure. For example, if it's warm and pouring rain, there is practically no vapor pressure so you get all wet. However, if you have cold dry air outside and warm moist air inside, the vapor pressure is very high. This leads to excellent results in cold weather activities and in fact I sometimes have ice form on the outside of my jacket when I'm in the mountains while not getting sweaty.
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Old 12-01-15, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Too heavy doesn't just mean it's a struggle to carry up the mountain, it means the fabric is too thick for its purpose in athletic activity.
I got the feeling from mention of pit zips that he was actually talking about the weight as in "this component adds 20 grams to my bike" regarding "weight". Maybe he can correct me if I'm wrong. I think he used the word "performance" referring to fabric working less effectively because of things like pockets:

Originally Posted by banerjek
I'm not a fan of pit zips, pockets, and the like because the increase the weight/bulk of the jacket and negatively impact performance.
I don't think "to thick for it's purpose in athletic activity" would describe shower's pass eVent fabric in their jackets.
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Old 12-01-15, 05:37 PM
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I have a light Activent jacket in a Closet , I actually wear a Parka.. Neon Lime , reflective bands ..
I have a Showers Pass Portland Jacket , Its kind of tweedy looking ..


The Gore Tex Company also has a division making stuff Too.

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Old 12-01-15, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Fly2High
I was out shopping and saw for the first time the P.R.O. line from Pearl Izumi for winter. This jacket reminded me of a Columbia system jacket in that it had a removable liner. Seemed to be very warm for those really cold days. Are you looking more for a waterproof jacket or are you looking to keep warm in cold temps (range?)
Thanks for mentioning this, but damn lol - their Men's Pro Softshell 180 jacket looks like it might be exactly what I was looking for for winter biking, but I just ordered a different jacket 2 days ago and it's arriving tomorrow. Hmm, wonder if I can find this in-store anywhere to try it out, I could return the other one it was from amazon...

Men's P.R.O. Softshell 180 Jacket - Pearl Izumi
Perfect for drier riding conditions with wind and water resistant Softshell in the front, and highly breathable thermal fabric on the back.
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Old 12-01-15, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
One of each!

I've got vests, lightweight wind jackets, and a couple different heavier waterproof breathable jackets.


I also have a Coleman rain jacket ... I wore it in cool rainy conditions over a couple weeks, and discovered that it was one of the coldest, most uncomfortable jackets I've ever cycled in. I think I would have been warmer and drier if I had gone without a jacket. It might have been all right for sitting around a campground on a drizzly day, but not for cycling.
Yes, you will end up needing both over time. I have layered multiple windbreakers too and it really helps. Good to have around when the temperature is going to be a wide swing during your ride. I Put the Coleman Jacket in the trunk of the car. It's not even comfortable sitting around a campground.
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Old 12-01-15, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Fly2High
Just a thought, if a jacket is breathable, will it not let air out? What stops it from letting air in? I seriously doubt a jacket can be both breathable and windproof. Just seem contradictory.
That was the problem Gore-Tex was invented to address. Gore-Tex is a thin teflon membrane applied to a fabric backing. The teflon is stretched before being bonded to the fabric, in a manner that creates microscopic holes large enough to allow water vapor (i.e. sweat) to pass through, but too small to allow water droplets (i.e. rain) to enter. Thus, it can be both breathable and waterproof.
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Old 12-01-15, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers
I got the feeling from mention of pit zips that he was actually talking about the weight as in "this component adds 20 grams to my bike" regarding "weight". Maybe he can correct me if I'm wrong. I think he used the word "performance" referring to fabric working less effectively because of things like pockets:



I don't think "to thick for it's purpose in athletic activity" would describe shower's pass eVent fabric in their jackets.
Actually, I was thinking too heavy for its intended purpose. All features add bulk which means they don't stuff in your pocket as nicely. if I need to open zips, I'll just stuff the jacket in my pocket or open it up a bit and widen the cuffs if I can't quite give up that much protection. Given all the other stuff I lug, a couple ounces makes no difference. The bulk though is relevant because your ability to carry stuff is limited.

EVent is good stuff and is many regard it as somewhat more breathable than Gore-Tex though it is also seen as less durable. Both products rely on the same basic technology. Regardless of what waterproof technology is used, other design characteristics as well as fit and layering strategy make a big difference in how a garment performs.
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Old 12-01-15, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers
Thanks for mentioning this, but damn lol - their Men's Pro Softshell 180 jacket looks like it might be exactly what I was looking for for winter biking, but I just ordered a different jacket 2 days ago and it's arriving tomorrow. Hmm, wonder if I can find this in-store anywhere to try it out, I could return the other one it was from amazon...

Men's P.R.O. Softshell 180 Jacket - Pearl Izumi
Perfect for drier riding conditions with wind and water resistant Softshell in the front, and highly breathable thermal fabric on the back.
Actually that one is nice too but the one I saw was at thebicycleplanet.com and was originally 375 but is on sale for much less

Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell 3x1 Jacket - The Bicycle Planet Long Island NY
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Old 12-01-15, 07:19 PM
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The Gabba from Castelli is great as a windstopper as well as a rain jacket. It breathes well enough if you are not wearing it fully zipped in the 60's. I have the convertible with the option to remove the sleeves (to short sleeves, not sleevless), and more often than not, I leave the sleeves off and wear armwarmers. I have done wet cross races in the low 50's and cold and windy descents in the mid 40's with this setup and been comfortable the entire time.
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Old 12-02-15, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Fly2High
Actually that one is nice too but the one I saw was at thebicycleplanet.com and was originally 375 but is on sale for much less

Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell 3x1 Jacket - The Bicycle Planet Long Island NY

Well I thought it was so nice that I decided to buy it myself!!! Sorry!! It was the last one they said. I even got a 10% extra of the 262.50 price for being a bike club member.


It has a snap in balaclava, bag, lite-fill insulated liner (that has separate zippers to control heat) and a couple zippered pockets. Really like it. Also, it is a bit more form fitted than the Elite Softshell I have and definitely warmer. I am sure this will take me to the single digits with the liner in and cover what the other jacket does as well. Both myself and the salesman agree that PI should have continued making this jacket.

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Old 12-03-15, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Fly2High
Actually that one is nice too but the one I saw was at thebicycleplanet.com and was originally 375 but is on sale for much less

Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Softshell 3x1 Jacket - The Bicycle Planet Long Island NY
Tried some other Pearl Izumi stuff as REI tonight. I always have an issue trying to find clothing that's long enough, I'm not overly tall just have a longer torso. :-/ Seemed like whatever sizing Pearl Izumi uses is not for me after all...
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Old 12-03-15, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
Actually, I was thinking too heavy for its intended purpose. All features add bulk which means they don't stuff in your pocket as nicely. if I need to open zips, I'll just stuff the jacket in my pocket or open it up a bit and widen the cuffs if I can't quite give up that much protection. Given all the other stuff I lug, a couple ounces makes no difference. The bulk though is relevant because your ability to carry stuff is limited.
Ah, closer to what I was saying, but not exactly the same thing. My Shower's Pass jacket is packable enough for travelling but not for a jersey pocket. My use is winter riding, I haven't tried opening up the cuffs but it would put losing heat at the wrong end of the jacket.

Originally Posted by banerjek
EVent is good stuff and is many regard it as somewhat more breathable than Gore-Tex though it is also seen as less durable. Both products rely on the same basic technology. Regardless of what waterproof technology is used, other design characteristics as well as fit and layering strategy make a big difference in how a garment performs.
It's not the right fit for me personally, but I saw (I think) this jacket at Erik's made out of windstopper "active" and it looked like you're describing, very lightweight and low bulk, much smaller packed up than my showers pass jacket. Sounds like you might be able to get full goretex jacket's at that size as well though:
Specialized Deflect H20 Expert Jacket
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Old 12-03-15, 09:31 AM
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That's the Morphis jacket. Yeah I like mine, not a true rain jacket but does have some water resistance and is fairly well vented.

LIKES:
trimmer fit than other convertible jkts tried and vest mode looks good and not too baggy; versatile; hi-vis(mines hi-vis yellow); vented; longer back tail; zippered back pocket; easy conversion on AND off, good value.

DISLIKES:
easy conversion comes at a price-magnets make it a bit heavy; not packable, although just the sleeve cape stows fine in jersey pocket.
Give it a try and see if it works for you.

Originally Posted by jtaylor996
Well, I just ordered this cannondale jacket yesterday. Yay or nay here?
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Old 12-04-15, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers
Tried some other Pearl Izumi stuff as REI tonight. I always have an issue trying to find clothing that's long enough, I'm not overly tall just have a longer torso. :-/ Seemed like whatever sizing Pearl Izumi uses is not for me after all...

Just a head's up, make sure you try it in a 'cycling' position. Most are cut a little shorter in the front so that when you are bent over you do not have a big fold in front of material in the way. I hear you. Some can be rediculously short/long. Having a bit of weight still to lose, I tend to go to larger sizes and I have found, infrequently though, that some jackets and jerseys are too long.

In the end I hope you find what you are looking for and suites your needs so you can continue riding all year long.

happy holidays and best wishes
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Old 12-07-15, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by colnago62
If you get a chance, check out the Gabba jersey or the Transperante Due jersey Castelli. It is made of Windstopper, but without any insulation.
I actually bought a Gabba LS from backcountry during the black Friday sale, based on yours and some others' recommendations, here and elsewhere. Thank you!

I've only worn the Gabba a few times thus far, so first impressions only... Love the cut, lower body is very closely fit (unlike some other Castelli jerseys I have that are inexplicably loose around the stomach). Much cooler while riding fast than my Gore Fusion jacket, and so much more useful for Seattle "winters". Layering it with a long sleeve compression shirt works well, lightweight merino base layer might work in a pinch, but nothing heavier than that will fit underneath, because the sleeves are tight against my entire arm. Not uncomfortably so, but enough to see veins in my forearms (and I don't have huge arms, at all).

Last edited by C9H13N; 12-07-15 at 10:27 AM. Reason: correct quotes
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