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Showers Pass designed its new waterproof Elements Jacket for mountain bike riding, but it’s also a great rain jacket for most everything else. The 2.5-layer fabric is breathable with a bit of stretch, and the design is clean and modern. It is a surprisingly versatile jacket.
To get us a closer look, Showers Pass sent Man Makes Fire a review unit. After wearing the jacket both on and off the trail, this is what we learned:
Showers Pass Elements Jacket
Based in Portland, Oregon, Showers Pass produces high-performance apparel for bikers, runners, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The company’s Elements Jacket is lightweight but reasonably rugged. For the me, the fabric is thick enough to inspire confidence as you clip an errant branch on the way down the trail. And yet, it’s so light and flexible that I actually enjoy wearing it off the bike. There’s a tough balance here, and I think Showers Pass got it right with the Elements Jacket.
So what makes it mountain-ready?
Showers Pass added reinforced shoulders to protect the fabric from backpack straps. The black patches are slightly textured, which helps keep your backpack straps from slipping.
The helmet-compatible hood is also fully removable. If you need it, it’s there, and if you want to go light, you can zip it off and stow it it in your pocket — or leave it at home.
Outstanding Attention to Detail
If you’re considering Showers Pass for the first time, you should know that Showers Pass delivers outstanding attention to detail. The fit and finish of the stitching, the reflective piping, the zippers, the reinforced shoulders, adjustable hem . . . it’s all just excellent. I test and use a lot of jackets, and the Showers Pass attention to detail never disappoints. The overall construction is legit.
I’m a big fan of the slightly stretchy 2.5-layer breathable fabric. It’s fairly supple. Inside, it feels great on the bare skin of my arms.
Showers Pass uses a cool little carbon-print on the inside, which features thousands of tiny Showers Pass logos. Apparently the printing technique provides natural odor resistance and a drier next-to-skin feel than what you tend to get in most other 2.5-layer jackets. I don’t know about the odor resistance, but it feels good.
Once I work up a sweat, sure, I can feel some moisture there, but it’s definitely not as clammy as some breathable waterproof jackets.
Breathability is notoriously hard to measure, but it seems very good so far — no complaints here. At the same time, I like to use the two long vertical core vents. While on the bike, they produce good airflow and they’re very easy to get to. At any point I start to heat up, I open the core vents.
Because I’m usually leaning over the handle bars, the core vents are somewhat protected from the rain.
The overall fit is pretty spot on — I’m about 6’3 and 225 pounds. I’m on the borderline between an XL and XXL on the Showers Pass sizing graph. I opted to go with XXL, which fits me very slightly big. While I liked the XL and seriously considered it, I have extra long arms so that tipped me toward the XXL because I personally error toward sleeve length.
So, when you look at the photos, I’m wearing the XXL.
Based on this experience, I recommend that you go with your usual size.
Pockets and Zippers
I like strong, robust zippers that are easy to grab and work flawlessly. Showers Pass gets the zippers right. I’m pleased. I also appreciate the Showers Pass zipper pulls. This is a very small detail, but when you’re wearing gloves, the zipper pulls are easy to find and use — even while you’re on the bike.
For the interior of the front hand-warmer pockets, Showers Pass uses a super breathable mesh. That makes sense, but it’s also soft and warm on your skin — better than I was expecting.
The right side pocket comes with a handy chamois wipe for your glasses. Nice.
The Showers Pass Elements Jacket is a waterproof jacket designed for mountain bike riding, but it’s versatile enough to wear out and about around town, as well as while camping or hiking. The fit and finish throughout is fantastic — there is a lot of excellence here. Very highly recommended.