Whether you're commuting every day or halfway through a cross-country tour, the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Jacket will keep you dry and comfortable even in a mid-summer deluge. eVent fabric keeps the rain and snow out, and a variety of venting options keep you from turning the inside of the jacket into a swamp.
It's not waterproof! I don't know why this company is trumpeting this jacket as a "best" in terms of waterproofness.
This jacket is appropriate as a wind breaker with light rain protection. I live in Bangkok and in rains extremely hard, like today, and this jacket failed. It's not worth the money.
Similar Products Used: Burley Rockpoint (very similar but I retired it because of low visibiity)
Craft Commuter jacket (heavy and not breathable, but high viz)
a Cross Country Rider
from fort collins colorado usa
Date Reviewed: August 22, 2010
Strengths: looks nice
Weaknesses: price, performance
After my 3 week cycling trip in Italy, I'm completely disappointed that I spent 3X what this jacket is worth. It was the most swampy, unbreathable jacket I've used since my coated nylon Holubar rainjacket of 20 years ago. I've since had two excellent GoreTex cycling jackets, and decided to "go for it" and get the wunder-fabric Showers Pass touts. I cussed the jacket and hood (extra $) every kilometre of my time in the 12 days of rain I road in. Instead of the ride, I was obsessed with the bad fabric, and awful hood design. I could not figure out why the Elite II jacket cost more than a Hefty bag, because it was no more breathable. Until you go downhill, when all of a sudden it's like it doesn't block any cold wind at all, leaving you shivering at the bottom of a hill, soaked in the sweat you generated going uphill. After 20 years of GoreTex, I really wasn't ready for a product this awful at a price this high. The hood? The website said designed to be worn under a helmet. Why is it Pumpkin-sized if it is supposedly fitted to a bare head? When I rode, the floppy visor covered my face down to my mouth, making it imperative to fold the visor back for the whole trip. Truly a design by someone who's never ridden a bike. All in all, I've never been so angry at a purchase I've made, and never had a previous trip (Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, Italy, Ireland, Austria, Wales, France, England, Germany) ruined by a product so poorly performing, and so OVERpriced (poorly designed hood extra). Back to REAL GoreTex for my next cycling trip.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 26, 2009
eVent is Robert Gore's 1976 out of patent "porous polytetrafluroethylene". Think of the illegitimate son of the king. eVent is Gore Tex. Which was, and is amazing stuff. When p EPTF's patent expired, it allowed other people to experiment and market it.
eVent is one great case in point.
The Showers Pass 2.0 9 is a really nice jacket. The laminate will get wet, under hard riding, but not bad, 2.0 has the best bulk-moisture dissipation features on the planet, dual front zippers (unzip the bottom, up), nice piitzips, wriist velcros, and backvent.
The wrist-soaking neoprene cuff has been eliminated.
Order from REI, and the one-year warrantee is superceded. If you go two years and don't like it, refund or replacement. REI works with mfrs to fix defects. With a 10% dividend, a fabulous deal.
a Cross Country Rider
from Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 26, 2009
Strengths: Waterproof, wind proof, very warm (tested to -5F with nothing but a mid-weight Capilene base layer and Blackbottoms bib tights underneath). Core zips work for me -- I can feel a definite blast of air when I open them.
Weaknesses: Don't drink the eVent kool-aid -- the breathability does not live up to its billing!
I'm an unusually warm guy it seems. I wear polypro glove liners under a pair of half-finger riding gloves down to 30F with no cold fingertips (no shells), and only wore more than a base layer (e.g., Capilene or Terramar wool) under this jacket once -- when it was -12F (then I added a Performance micro-fleece vest). Most of my experience with this jacket was commuting through the Pittsburgh winter. It's not exceptionally cold here, most days in the teens or twenties. Occasionally it dips below zero, but not frequently. Exertion during most rides was even and moderate, with heart rates in the 130-160 range (70-85% of max).
I find this jacket far too warm for riding, and the promised breathability lacking. In the 20-25 minutes it took me to get home, the inside of the shell would be soaked with sweat, even with the zippers open. On days warm enough to rain, it did not seem to matter that I was wearing a jacket at all by the time I got home -- my shirt was soaked either way. I paid the premium price for the garment based on the expectation that it would perform miracles, and it turns out that this jacket does not. In retrospect, I was foolish to expect a three layer waterproof garment to breath better than a single layer Supplex or other non-waterproof fabric. That said, I think it is realistic to assume that a super-breathable fabric would release that moisture and let you dry out when you stop exerting yourself. That was not my experience with this jacket. It is, however, the way my Showers Pass Softshell Elite Trainer works, so I know it can be done.
To be fair, it is well designed and constructed, and does keep you warm. I appreciated it when I was a course marshal for the Punk Bike Enduro, during which I stood around for 45-60 minutes in near-freezing temperatures directing riders around corners.
The bottom line: have realistic expectations. If you sweat a lot during workouts, you will likely be sweaty even when wearing this jacket. If you sweat enough to get wet without a jacket, this jacket will not help you. I have a hard time believing the premium price on this jacket can be justified over similar waterproof breathables that cost much less. If you value breathability, go for something water-resistant like the Softshell Elite from Showers Pass. I live it that jacket now, and it performs the way I would expect (I still get wet, but dry off once I stop).
Strengths: Vents water vapor far better than Gortex. Windproof. Very light, supple and folds very small. Doesn't constrict body motion. Zipper works flawlessly with no overflap bother.
Weaknesses: Very expensive
It's the best I've ever worn. I've had it for over two years, but can't remember how long. Worst condition used was last Christmass day. Climbed Pinhoti-1 (Gilmer county,GA) in about 30-degree sleet.
Under the Showers Pass was a medium weight Patagonia LS capilene shirt with a silk-weight Capilene under that. Not positive I was wearing the silkweight.
No sweating on the tough climb and no chill on the long downhill. Very comfortable except for the feet. Forgot my toe-covers.
If you wear too much clothing you'll sweat. It's not sweat proof, just far better than Gortex.
Never have the cuffs gotten soaked as a previous post indicates. Just got a brand new one in today for my wife. Same cuffs as my older one. Possibly I've not ridden in heavy enough rain. No matter, the jacket is so good it would be a minor liability to me.
The Price is for the wife's new one. I paid much less for mine, but can't remeber the amount.
When I bought mine, I actually talked to the lady who was making them and the owner/designer who found the Event material in Europe. Event is the most breathable alternative available.
Now they've gone big time and it's made overseas.
Note, most of my experience with Gortex is not in cycling, but in the other activies listed. I tend not to cycle in as bad weather as the other activies.
Similar Products Used: Many Gortex jackets/parkas used cycling, backpacking, hiking & wilderness canoe tripping.
Bike Setup: Stumpjumper FSR
a Cross Country Rider
from London, England
Date Reviewed: October 20, 2008
Strengths: Most breathable waterproof fabric available
Good quality - will last a long time
Cycling-specific cut and design features
Excellent venting, air through-flow without letting water in
Weaknesses: Neoprene cuffs soak up water
Cut is boxy, US rather than Euro
Sleeves, body are long - means fit is slightly odd
eVent is still not a panacea - you'll still get sweaty inside
A good jacket, well designed and made of an excellent fabric. The jacket is good quality (though made in Vietnam, which is hidden behind the "Designed in Portland" marketing), and will likely last for a long time.
It manages airflow very well - even in heavy rain you can leave the cuffs open and air flows through and out the back vent, keeping you cool. If it's warm, you can open the pit vents too.
It's not a deal killer, but the neoprene cuffs are a design error. When dry, they have the ability to seal closed better than most other options. The problem is they soak up moisture - when you're wearing the jacket they stay warm and are tolerable, but if you take it off in the morning and put it on again in the afternoon, they'll still be wet and therefore unpleasant.
The website makes a thing of the unisex sizing. I'd clarify that it's still boxy - certainly more in line with the sizing of a brand such as Descente or Pearl Izumi than Assos or Etxe Ondo.
The chest pocket is really handy, but the tail pocket is a bit of a pain to access whilst riding (the zip direction seems counter intuitive, forcing you to pull 'up' to close. It also doesn't take much to overload this pocket and pull the jacket back at the shoulders (minipump, minitool, legwarmers and a clif bar, for example).
At bottom line, it's the best cycling-specific jacket on the market, at a price that's altogether reasonable, certainly when compared to high-end hiking / alpine jackets. Given this, the faults can be overlooked.
Similar Products Used: Gore, Gore XCR, Gore Paclite, proprietary materials from various manufacturers
Bike Setup: Seven Sola, custom Audax bike
a Cross Country Rider
from Riga, Latvia
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2008
Strengths: Good venting.
Weaknesses: Cuffs absorb large amounts of water, soaking your shirt underneath and take over 12 hours to dry. This seems to only effect newer models of the Elite 2.0 jacket.
The jacket itself is a decent design and is made of material that vents quite well. What made this jacket totally unusable for me are the cuffs ('improved' for 2008 - by all accounts the older models didn't have any problems), which are made of a very absorbent neoprene type material which collects rain like a sponge, not only soaking your shirt underneath, but also taking over 12 hours to dry. This is completely unacceptable in a high-end rain jacket.