I purchased the Showers Pass Elite 2 Rain Jacket in June 2011 from BicyclingHub.com for AU$249.00 delivered to Australia. I decided to go with Showers Pass jacket this winter as I really wanted to improve my wet weather commuting experience and also because I tend to go touring in the wetter months of the year (summer is really too hot for touring here in Western Australia), so having decent wet weather gear is a bonus on the off-road tourers in particular. Of course I am assuming the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 will meet my needs.
Showers Pass Elite 2.0 waterproof cycling jacket specifications
The Showers Pass Elite 2.0 is the premium jacket in the Showers Pass range being made of eVent waterproof fabric which is a three layered material. From my bushwalking experience I know of the value of three layered jackets, owning a Gore-Tex jacket of similar layers. I had also heard good things of eVent waterproof fabric so paying a premium for a jacket of the likes of the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 is justified in my view; assuming of course it performs as expected.
I have the golden rod colour which is a bright gold/yellow colour. Not my personal preference but it seems that stock levels where low around the place so I didn’t have much choice. On the positive side, the colour really is a good low visibility colour.
The features of theShowers Pass Elite 2.0 are:
- All seams are taped to increase the level of waterproofness;
- Full length two way zipper. This is pretty cool as the bottom can be unzipped to increase breathability whilst still staying “zipped up.” The zip is a waterproof style;
- Adjustable cuffs which add breathability;
- There is a zippered pocket on the rear of the jacket. The pocket appears to be a fairly large with its depth running across the back of the jacket. I am not sure if it is very functional. The zip is of a waterproof style.
Under the armpits, the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 has 28 cm pit zips. Early use of the jacke suggests that these work well.
On the left had chest, the jacket has a map pocket with an audio port (little port to allow a wire to pass through). The audio port is a raised part at the top of the zip. The pocket appears to be a reasonable size. The zip is a waterproof style.
On the back of the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 jacket, running right across the back, is a vent for breathing. There is no option to seal up the vent should it be so desired.
To aid visibility there is reflective tape by 3M on the arms and back as per the photos above.
The Showers Pass Elite 2.0 collar is made of a soft micro-chamois material. As well there is Velcro on the neck to allow for an optional hood to be fitted.
Showers Pass Elite 2.0 waterproof jacket warranty and care instructions
Warranty: Shower Pass warrant the jacket to the original purchaser against defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the product. Pity this does not extend to loosing the jacket on the trail 🙁
Washing Instructions: Showers Pass state on their website that they
“recommend regular machine washing, with cold water, liquid detergent in the gentle cycles.” Regular washing helps to maintain breathability, water repellency and good zipper function… Nikwax Tech Wash or a gentle liquid detergent that is free of dyes, or fabric softeners is recommended, always wash with cold water and hang dry. On jacket label it is suggested that washing should be frequent, more is better and that ironing once the jacket is dry is required to assist in revitalising the repellency of the eVent material.”
eVent on their website suggest a different washing and care approach. Why can’t manufacturers get such critical information correct? eVent state:
Regular washing of your eVent garment will enhance product performance. Your garment may be machine washed in warm water (110F / 40C) with liquid detergent, and we recommend a second rinse to remove all traces of detergent from the fabric. We recommend you drip-dry your garment. Remember also to refer to the garment manufacturer’s guidelines. You may also use NikwaxÂ® Tech Wash or Granger’s XT Proofer.
Do not use fabric softeners or bleach. Never dry-clean your garment. We also recommend that you avoid ironing the garment but if you do use the steam setting on no higher temperature than “warm”. At some temperatures, the heat from the iron can have a rejuvenating effect on the DWR finish but there is a greater potential for fabric damage if the iron is too hot…
Your eVent garment contains a durable water repellant finish (DWR) on the exterior of the fabric that serves as a first barrier to penetration of the fabric by external water. This DWR finish degrades over time and will occasionally need to be replenished. You will be able to tell when this water repellency has degraded because water will cease to bead up on the fabric. Even though the waterproof eVent membrane is still keeping the water from passing through the fabric, performance will be increased if you maintain the DWR finish with regular treatments.
We suggest treating the DWR finish at the same time as your regular garment washings. Once the garment has been washed, we recommend using Granger’s aftercare products or NikwaxÂ® TX-Direct to completely restore surface water-repellency.
Note the comments on ironing and post wash treatments! Showers Pass suggest ironing and eVent say don’t.
I have had a response from Showers Pass on Twitter which explains the variance in advice. Showers Pass do not recommend ironing as it may damaged the seam tape. There twitter response was:
We don’t recommend any heat application to our jackets as this can damage the seam tape.
As it turned out I lost my Showers Pass Elite 2.0 on my ride of the Munda Biddi Trail in July 2011 so haven’t had a chance to put to the test the washing instructions.
Performance of the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 waterproof cycling jacket
The first critical questions is how does the Showers Pass sizing workout. Well I ordered a XL sized jacket based on Showers Pass’ sizing chart and it came in as a pretty good fit for me. If I wore another layer underneath (I currently just wear my jersey) it would still be a comfortable fit. So the first tick to Showers Pass on the sizing.
The second critical question is how does the finish come up upon inspection? Well the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 came up with a big tick on my inspection. I found no signs of loose threads or poor stitching in the jacket. The jacket’s zips worked fine and all the seams where taped and the tape appears to properly applied. Â Handy given you really don’t want the water leaking in through the seems.
So for me a big tick to Showers Pass for their quality control at this point.
As mentioned early, I only got to use the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 for a limited time before I managed to do the stupid thing and leave it on the Munda Biddi Trail somewhere between Nannup and Donnybrook. My initial use of the jacket was on a couple of commutes in light and torrential rain where my experience of it was pretty positive. My second and biggest day of use was on the first day of the Munda Biddi Trail ride where I spent the pretty much the whole day riding in the rain. This was a long slow day on my mountain bike pulling a loaded trailer into a headwind. So all up this day really put the Showers Pass jacket to the test. In terms of jacket it come up trumps. I didn’t overheat at all and it did a pretty good job of keeping me dry. Handy as I was camping out that evening – no showers or other luxuries on offer.
My only niggle with this jacket is that it is a bit bulky when packed up and bit on the heavy side. Not really a roadie’s jacket as it does not go into a jersey pocket to well. More suitable in my view for touring or commuting where it can stowed in a pannier or backpack.
That all said I do need to consider a replacement jacket and the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 is well up on the list of waterproof cycling jackets to be considered for sure.
The good, the Bad, the ugly of the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 waterproof cycling jacket
- The overall quality of the finish of the Showers Pass Elite 2.0;
- Sizing was pretty spot own with the Showers Pass sizing chart;
- The waterproofness of the jacket;
- Its breathability;
- Sufficient number of vents;
- Good pockets with waterproof zips;
- The main zip can be zipped down or up to provide further ventilation options.
- Bulkiness – the jacket does not pack down well so not the sort of thing you can easily put in your jersey pocket for example;
- Bit on the heavy size.
- Nothing ugly about the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 waterproof cycling jacket.
Resources and other websites related to the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 waterproof cycling jacket
Your Turn To Talk
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