I purchased a pair of Showers Pass Storm Pants in June 2011from BicyclingHub.com for AU$60.00 delivered to Australia. I decided to go with over-pants for this winter as I really want to improve my wet weather commuting experience and also because I tend to go touring in July each year, so being winter, having decent wet weather gear is a bonus on the off-road tourers in particular. Of course I am assuming the Showers Pass Storm Pants will meet my needs. Â BicyclingHub where easy to deal with, good communication and prompt delivery.
This review is going to be ratherÂ abbreviatedÂ as my time with the Showers Pass Storm Pants was rather limited as I managed to do a rather stupid thing and loose them along with my Showers Pass Elite 2.0 rain jacket on my July 2011 ride of the Munda Biddi Trail. While I am quite impressed with the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 jacket I was lessÂ enamouredÂ with the Storm Pants and have since replaced with another brand of pants. So for me the Storm Pants where not up to the mark.
Specifications of the Showers Pass Storm Pants
The Showers Pass Storm Pants are the base level over-pants product in the Showers Pass range. Â ThisÂ positionÂ in the Showers Pass range is also reflected in their price of AU$60.00 compared to the Showers Pass Roadie Pants selling for US$160.00. The price is an indicator I would suggestion of the design of the Storm Pants. Â For me it turns out to be a waterproofness versus breathability trade-off that in hindsight didn’t work for me.
The Showers Pass Storm Pants are rated by Showers Pass as having the best level of waterproofness in their range but they don’t rate on breathability. The Storm Pants are Â 100% nylon and nylon is not known for its breathability so the rating is reflective of the material used.
The features of the Showers Pass Storm Pants are:
- They Showers Pass Storm Pants come with a mesh stuff sack which is hooked to the rear pocket zip. The pants easily pack into the stuff sack and the stuff sack is around the size of a 650 ml bidon;
- All seams on the Showers Pass Storm Pants are taped to increase the level of waterproofness;
- The Showers Pass Storm Pants have a zippered back pocket, but the zip is not waterproof;
- At the ankles there are angled pieces of hook-and-loop cinch straps to allow one to tighten pants around the ankles, therefore keeping the pants out of the chain;
- There is a few pieces of reflective trim which is set-off against the black coloured material.
Performance of the Showers Pass Storm Pants
As I alluded to early on I only had a limited time with the Showers Pass Storm Pants but during that time I got a bit of usage out of them on a few commutes and one solid day of touring (~ 120 km) where it rained for most of the day. Â So how did I find them?
The first aspect is fit. Â I ordered my Showers Pass Storm Pants in a large size based on the Showers Pass sizing chart and it came in as a pretty good fit for me. The pants pull-up over my Skins Sports long tights and knicks without any tightness of fit. So from that aspect they worked out well.
From a product finish perspectiveÂ again the Showers Pass Storm Pants ticked the boxes. Â My inspection of the Storm Pants showed no sign of loose threads or poor stitching. The zips worked fine and all the seams where taped and the tape appears to properly applied. The hook-and-loop cinch straps are sown on which is a good sign of a better quality manufacturing. Â I did have one question about the Storm Pants and that is around the waistÂ there are four hook-and-loop tabs. I was at a lost as their role but thanks to Richard’s comment below, all is explained. Â The hook-and-loop tabs are there for those that wish to use braces with their pants. Thanks Richard for the explanation.
I do note that Showers Pass warrant the Showers Pass Storm PantsÂ to the original purchaser against defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the product so to me that says something about the quality of workmanship evident and it is good to see Showers Pass backing up their product in this manner.
One feature of the Showers Pass Storm Pants that I did like was the use of theÂ angled pieces of hook-and-loop cinch straps near the ankles as this allow for the cinching tight of the pants around the lower leg to keep it out of the chain and also to make a firm fit around the ankle. socks and/or overboots if worn. Â I did find them quite effective working inÂ combinationÂ with my overboots to keep my feet relatively dry.
The Showers Pass Storm Pants also have a reflective logo on the back of the pants and on the legs. Â Handy given their black colour.
The final aspect that I wish to comment on is washing the Showers Pass Storm Pants. Particular for the touring cyclist, simple straight forward washing instructions are handy and Showers Pass pretty much tick that box. Washing of the Storm PantsÂ Â is pretty straight forward. The Storm Pants should be machined washed in cold water with liquid detergent (that may be a bit of hassle on the road). The Storm Pants should then be rinsed well and hung out to dry. Bleach is a no go as is the use of fabric softner and dry cleaning. Â So other than the preference for liquid detergent washing of the Storm Pants is pretty straight forward.
The above all said, the key down fall with the Showers Pass Storm Pants for me is the lack of breathability. Â Of course Showers Pass clearly show that they don’t rank on breathability and I was aware of that and when I ordered the Storm Pants didn’t think it would be an issue, but I found it was an issue. Â I found the Storm PantsÂ clammily in the relatively humid and warm wet weather riding conditions I experience which in turn somewhat defeated the point of wearing them. On one hand I had a a pair of Storm Pants which where waterproof on the outside but I was getting damp on the inside due to the lack of breathability. Â So for me this was the deal breaker when it came to replacing them after my lost. Â I wasn’t interested in getting a second pair of Storm Pants and I couldn’t justify the price of the Showers Pass Roadie Pants so I went with a different brand. Pity really as Showers Pass product is good, it is just that the Storm Pants and myself don’t get on.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of the Â Showers Pass Storm Pants
- The fit was as per the Showers Pass sizing chart;
- Product finish was very good;
- Angled pieces of hook-and-loop cinch straps near the ankles;
- Reflective logos;
- Washing well maybe only a bad for the touring cyclist due to the preferred use of liquid detergents.
- Breathability. Â This turned out to be a deal breaker for me given myÂ relativelyÂ mild winter riding conditions.
Resources and Other Websites Related to the Showers Pass Storm Pants
- The Epicurean Cyclist review of the Showers Pass Storm Pant.