Whether you're commuting every day or halfway through a cross-country tour, the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Jacket will keep you dry and comfortable even in a mid-summer deluge. eVent fabric keeps the rain and snow out, and a variety of venting options keep you from turning the inside of the jacket into a swamp.
Weaknesses: Pricey, but less expensive than a lot of other hi-tech waterproof shells, and I would have liked side pockets as well as the Napoleon and rear pocket.
I've used this coat primarily on my early season brevet rides so far, and it has performed wonderfully. It will keep you dry, and it will keep you warm. On a recent 300k, we spent probably three or four hours in a cold, driving rain. I stayed warm and dry. I road in conditions like this before I got this coat, this is the sort of weather would leave me feeling hypothermic and shivering uncontrollably. On my most recent 400k, the temperature dropped to the 40's at night, and the coat kept me warm. If it's warm, I don't care if it rains, in fact I like riding in the rain when it's warm, so I don't need a rain coat for hot weather or if I'm hammering. What I need is a coat to protect me from the elements, and this coat does that perfectly. It is a shell in the literal sense of the word. It is very well designed with the Napoleon pocket accommodating an ipod, pit zips to help with temperature regulation and a fit that is perfect for being on the bike -- long arms and tail, short front. I'm looking forward to using it as a shell with a fleece for my winter commutes. In my opinion, this is an excellent product. YMMV
Weaknesses: Swampy. Ill-fitting pit zips. Extra cost hood falls off of jacket when you fold hood back because velcro doesn't hold. Cuffs wick water. Weird rear pocket in bottom of butt flap.
After my 3 week cycling trip in Italy, I'm completely disappointed that I spent 3X what this jacket is worth. It was the most swampy, unbreathable jacket I've used since my coated nylon Holubar rainjacket of 20 years ago. I've since had two excellent GoreTex cycling jackets, and decided to "go for it" and get the wunder-fabric Showers Pass touts. I cussed the jacket and hood (extra $) every kilometre of my time in the 12 days of rain I road in. Instead of the ride, I was obsessed with the bad fabric, and awful hood design. I could not figure out why the Elite II jacket cost more than a Hefty bag, because it was no more breathable. Until you go downhill, when all of a sudden it's like it doesn't block any cold wind at all, leaving you shivering at the bottom of a hill, soaked in the sweat you generated going uphill. After 20 years of GoreTex, I really wasn't ready for a product this awful at a price this high. The hood? The website said designed to be worn under a helmet. Why is it Pumpkin-sized if it is supposedly fitted to a bare head? When I rode, the floppy visor covered my face down to my mouth, making it imperative to fold the visor back for the whole trip. Truly a design by someone who's never ridden a bike. All in all, I've never been so angry at a purchase I've made, and never had a previous trip (Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, Italy, Ireland, Austria, Wales, France, England, Germany) ruined by a product so poorly performing, and so OVERpriced (poorly designed hood extra). Back to REAL GoreTex for my next cycling trip.
Strengths: Extremely versatile. First, the eVent membrane is one of the more breathable variants of Robert Gore's now-expired patent ePTFE membrane. But it's "secret" is under-shell-airflow adjustabilithy with bottom-up unzipping option, wide-openable velcro cuffs (neoprene "improvement" was abandoned), pitzips and a backvent.
It's actually an amazing shell. You figure out what layers you want to wear, after checking out the Weather Channel or Wunderground, how to open or close its undershell-airflow capability at different temps, and along your rides.
It's advertised as a rain jacket, but it's a terrific dry-air windbreaker as well.
Weaknesses: Water-resistant zips are a bit balky, but this is true for all water-resistant zips. SP 2.0 uses YKKs, the "gold standard" for outdoor sports zippers.
A really versatile jacket for wide-ranging conditions. I've worn it at 14 F and 54F. A little rain, mostly dry, some significant winds.
With REI membership, dividend=> ~ $200, less with their 20% off sales. Also, no hassle, you don't like it, money-back guarantee, doesn't require specific defect claim, just its not working for your needs. Wear it for fall-winter-spring and decide.
Similar Products Used: Marmot Exum alpine GTX parka, Bellwether Aqua-
No expired-patent Gore ePTFE membrane.
Lots of wind-breaking water-resistant jackets.
Bike Setup: Cervelo RS, SRAM Red.
Stumpy old-fashioned hardtail custom modified for snow and ice,.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: November 30, 2008
Strengths: Beathable while being wind and water proof
Weaknesses: Not easily packable. Material is stiff. Need a small backpack to pack it.
This seems to be a great jacket. I have used it from 40 degrees to 60 degrees. It is perfectly wind proof and very breathable. All other jackets I have tried do not breath enough for comfortable cool weather riding. Much more breathable than the Assos or the Showers Pass double century that I also have. I have limited experience in the rain but it is definitely water proof.
Weaknesses: Cuffs absorb large amounts of water, soaking your shirt underneath and take over 12 hours to dry. This seems to only effect newer models of the Elite 2.0 jacket.
The jacket itself is a decent design and is made of material that vents quite well. What made this jacket totally unusable for me are the cuffs ('improved' for 2008 - by all accounts the older models didn't have any problems), which are made of a very absorbent neoprene type material which collects rain like a sponge, not only soaking your shirt underneath, but also taking over 12 hours to dry. This is completely unacceptable in a high-end rain jacket.