Showers Pass Ultralight Wind Jacket: Quick Review – by Guitar Ted
With cooler mornings turning into hot afternoons, the timing of this review for Showers Pass’ Ultralight Wind Jacket couldn’t have been better. The Ultralight Windjacket is also packable, so that makes things that much better. Let’s take a quick look at the features and then I’ll get to what is good and maybe not so good with the Ultralight Windjacket.
What It Is: The Ultralight Windjacket is Showers Pass’ answer for those looking for a garment to take the edge off cool breezes and chilly air. The pack-ability aspect of the Ultralight Wind Jacket adds to the versatility allowing the wearer to quickly stuff the jacket in the provided pouch or into a jersey pocket or a bag on the bike easily.
The jacket is, as the name would suggest, very lightweight. The jacket goes 194 grams on my digital scale in its stuff-sack, size 3X tested. The retail pricing on the Ultralight Wind Jacket is $96.75USD. Following are the features Showers Pass lists for this jacket.
- Ultralight nylon ripstop fabric
- Zippered hand warmer pockets
- Reflective accents on the back and zipper pulls
- Packs into included stuff sack
- 5.3 oz / 150g in size medium
- DWR helps repel light rain, splashes, road spray
First Impressions: The sizing chart led me to requesting a 3X size jacket and when it arrived I found that it fit…..generously. This is definitely not an “athletic” fitting wind jacket. In my opinion that’s perfectly fine, and probably a good thing, given that most cycling gear is fitted to an idealized stereotypical athletic cyclist. Which, let’s be honest here, is a stereotype most cyclists don’t “fit into”. So, the bottom line here is that the fit is probably not going to satisfy the racer who is wanting a more aerodynamic fit, but for most folks this garment will be found to be quite comfortable and accommodating. By the way, the size chart was an invaluable resource and was very helpful here.
Beyond that the Red Orange color I received is eye-catching. (There is a Sky Blue option also) The arm length is spot on for a cyclist. Plenty generous in that department. The collar covers the neck well and there is an extra “weather-flap” that prevents wind from cheating its way through to the sensitive neck area. The two outer zippered pockets are large and positioned well. There are two inner “kangaroo pouch-like” pockets that are positioned right behind the outer hand pockets. Strange, but there they are.
I found that the fabric was rather soft and supple with a comfortable “touch” against the skin. The side panels are stretchy and breathable, a nice detail. The zipper pulls are a bit undersized for a gloved hand though, but they are there. More on that in my “Good-Not So Good” list below…..
- The jacket is very comfortable when on. Both standing and in a cycling position. The fabric doesn’t feel stiff, plasticky, or otherwise weird on the bare skin.
- The hand pockets are generously sized and very nice to have. The do unzip and zip up nicely.
- Long enough sleeves means no exposed wrists while riding.
- I didn’t get over-heated easily while riding in this jacket.
- The upper “flap”, weather guard thing (?) causes the zipper to come to a dead stop and has to be carefully manipulated to get the zipper all the way way up to seal off the collar area. Not an ideal situation if you wanted to zip this up while riding. Oh, and while I’m here, I’d like bigger zipper pulls for gloved hand operation.
- While the generous sizing is welcomed, there is no way to pull the hem at the bottom of this jacket tight against the body which may allow wind up under the jacket. This also causes the bottom part of the jacket to “flap” more in the wind than it might if there were a draw-string on this jacket.
- The inner pocket positioning is odd. Carrying anything in it makes the cargo sit against the lower part of the abdomen which is not ideal, especially if you cycle in a more aero position which can allow that cargo to bounce off the top of your thighs while pedaling.
- I would have liked a higher positioned inner pocket for something like a cell phone.
At The Finish: In the end the Showers Pass Ultralight Wind Jacket is a “good” item and mostly because it is so easy to pack away, deploy, wear, and repack, that I would choose it for any longer adventure where I was expecting cooler, windy conditions. In its intended role, the Ultralight Jacket does what is expected. It’s light, for sure, keeps wind off you, and fits and feels well enough that I have no real “deal-killer” issues with it. I can imagine this being a great jacket on a tour where you might need it not only for cool mornings/evenings, windy days, but also for those times you are standing around mid-ride repairing something or for a stop of any kind.
I do think it is a miss for this jacket to not have a waist drawstring, or any way to secure the lower hem to keep it from flapping in the winds. My other nits are less egregious, but if you can get by without having a drawstring at the waist, then this jacket gets a higher recommendation from me. And as I said, I would still choose this as a portable apparel item that I can break out and utilize when conditions call out for a wind jacket.
If you are in that majority of cyclists that doesn’t fit the mold of the athletic, racer-type and would like a roomy wind jacket that doesn’t make you feel self-conscious, then this jacket should be high on your list to check out. It is very packable, light, and this makes this jacket worth consideration for many adventurous cyclists who are looking for a good way to ward of winds and chilly air.
Note: Showers Pass sent over the Ultralight Wind Jacket for test and review for no charge to Riding Gravel. We were not paid nor bribed for this review and we strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.