Showers Pass Elements Jacket: Quick Review – by Guitar Ted
The time has come this year to start thinking about jackets and wet weather gear. Recently, Showers Pass reached out to us and asked if we’d like to preview their new Elements Jacket for MTB and gravel travel. I agreed to take on this titanium colored sample which was specially made for media preview use.
What It Is: The Elements Jacket is a lightweight, durable hardshell type garment with a removable hood. Showers Pass lists the following attributes for the Elements Jacket:
- Fully seam taped Artex 2.5 layer double charcoal print waterproof-breathable hardshell fabric
- Reinforced shoulders protect the fabric from backpacks straps.
- Extra long core vents prevent overheating.
- Ergonomic, easy grip zipper pulls.
- 360 degrees of 3M Scotchlite™ Reflective Material Trim for maximum visability.
- Removable adjustable hood fits over a helmet and stows in inside pocket.
- Double toggle hem cinch for adjustability.
- Soft, moisture wicking lining at collar.
- Light loop (For a blinky)
- Front hand-warmer pockets and inside chest pocket with audio port.
- All products come with a 2-year guarantee. Visit www.showerspass.com for more information.
I received the Elements Jacket at a time when our area of the country went into its longest dry spell of the year so far. Not to mention that it also happens to be our hottest time of the year also. So, with that being the case, I had limited opportunities to actually put the Elements Jacket into, well…….its proper elements. This meant that I had to jump at the chance to ride in some sketchy weather recently and I did wear this jacket out in a thunder and lightning storm once as well, just to check out its waterproof feature. Additionally, just before publishing this review, we did go into Fall temperatures and I was able to ride on a blustery, showery day.
Showers Pass claims the Elements Jacket is packable. I will say it is reasonably packable. It can be rolled down to the approximate size of a small coffee can or smaller with some patience. That’s not ‘bike packing small‘, but it will fit into a Revelate Tangle bag, as that’s where I stowed mine. Getting it out to ward off a heavy mist/light rain I was caught out in was done without issue, and taking off the removable hood is simple. Rolling it back up out in the field is pretty easily done.
Riding on a day that was in the 70’s, raining, and very humid (think sauna-like) was just outside of what this jacket can handle, in my opinion. The jacket kept the elements out, and I was dry-ish inside for a minute or two. Then with my exertion I was soaked with sweat, which was about an hour at best when the rain stopped. I got out of that jacket the minute that the weather allowed. It just was outside the limits of its temperature range for use while riding. This jacket strikes me as more of a cool weather jacket where staying cool and dry inside while wearing the Elements Jacket would be easier to manage.
So, that actually happened. I had a day just before this review published that was in the low 50’s, blustery, and with occasional showers. The Elements Jacket is wind proof, and again, great at keeping rain out. However; even at this lower temperature I experienced some sweating out in the arms, and this relates to my one issue with this jacket’s design having to do with the vents.
Those long vented zippered openings on the torso did help if I was moving along, as did the Velcro closure wrist openings, which can sort of scoop up cooler air and direct it up your arms a tiny bit if you let the openings loose. However; without any ‘pit zips’ in the arms, the ventilation is stifled in that area for the most part. So, the 50-ish degrees and showery weather was a challenge for this jacket, in terms of breathability. I would probably be okay wearing this jacket in colder weather for sure, but the temperature range I’d be comfortable with could be higher on the upper end given some more venting in the arms.
So, that was the ‘not-so-good‘. The Good? I did like how this jacket fit and while riding, it was a jacket that never got in my way. The zipper pulls are easily handled with gloved hands. The zippers worked well while riding, meaning that you can operate them one-handed. The jacket is definitely waterproof, as evidenced by my running around outside while a thunder and lightning storm was occurring. (Not an advisable thing to do, and definitely not riding weather here! Don’t let yourself become a lightning rod!)
At The Finish: This is a well made garment from a company with a good reputation for foul weather gear. The Elements Jacket would make a fine piece for the commuter, gravel rider in certain situations, and for mountain bikers. It isn’t ‘super-packable‘, but you shouldn’t have any issues getting this rolled down to fit in a 10 liter sized rucksack or bigger, and as I stated, it fits into a top tube frame bag as well as many larger seat bags.
The jacket’s venting is good where you have vents. The lack of pit zips was definitely a downer. Keep in mind that I sweat a lot from the arms, so your mileage may vary. That said, I would have been a lot happier had there been some zippered venting option in the arms/pits area. Obviously, more zippers means more expensive jackets, but I feel this is kind of a necessity in good rain gear. When I mentioned my concerns about the lack of pit zips to a representative at Showers Pass, I was told pit zips were actually considered, but that Showers Pass’ designers felt that they would make the jacket less packable. The designers also were not convinced pit zips could be done and be waterproof to the level that was desired for the Elements Jacket.
The jacket repels water excellently, and the option to have a hood or not is great. My inclination is to say this is more for weather in the transitional seasons of Fall and Spring where cooler temperatures will allow you to not sweat out while wearing the Elements Jacket. This could also be a high mountain jacket or a Winter jacket where it makes sense to have something like this hardshell piece.
In those situations I feel the Elements Jacket will keep you dry, warm, and comfortable with freedom of movement in the riding position The inner liner feels good against dry skin, and the Artex 2.5 layer fabric is a bit less stiff than many 3 layer rain jackets. The fit was spot on for me, and the quality construction speaks to a long life for this jacket.
The Elements Jacket retails for $199.00 USD and comes in Titanium (shown) or in “Night-Ride” in Men’s and Women’s sizing. You can check out the Elements Jacket on Showers Pass website here.
Note: Showers Pass sent over the Elements Jacket for test and review at no charge to Riding Gravel. We were not bribed nor paid for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.