For yours truly, rain jackets fall into the Goldilocks category of cycling apparel. Some jackets are waterproof, but don’t breathe enough to keep you comfortable. Others offer superior breathability, but don’t offer enough protection for extended downpours. Showers Pass of Portland, Oregon, knows a thing or two about riding in the rain, and the company’s Elite Pro jacket succeeds in delivering the just-right blend of waterproofness and breathability.
Showers Pass constructs the Elite Pro from elite™ fabric using what they refer to as their trim cut. The end result is a fitted, lightweight (250g for men’s XL) jacket that still has some room for extra layers. The drop tail provides plenty of coverage when you get caught riding sans-fenders, and the shortened front hem reduces bunching when you’re in the drops. I would describe the jacket’s cut as form fitting, but certainly not Euro-Pro-tight. If you have long arms (like me), you thankfully won’t need to size up to get the proper sleeve length.
My first few rides wearing the Elite Pro jacket took place in mild weather (low- to mid-40′s) with light drizzle. On those rides, I made extensive use of the jacket’s core and exhaust vent zippers to stay comfortable. While I was initially skeptical of air flow cuffs’ capabilities, I found them superior to elasticated cuffs for increasing ventilation. The real test of the Showers Pass jacket, however, would be how it performed during extended periods of hard, steady rain that I often encounter on my evening commute. I’m pleased to report that the Elite Pro jacket came through in those conditions with flying colors. My torso remained dry in downpours so heavy that my cycling shoes would remain wet for several days.
Showers Pass offers the Elite Pro jacket in black or goldenrod (pictured above), and both colorways feature 360-degree 3M™ Scotchlite™ reflective material. Seams are taped for maximum protection, and the jacket can be packed into its ample rear pocket. Suggested retail is $230.
Disclosure: Showers Pass provided product samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.