This is a review of my all-time favorite waterproof cycling jacket, the Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Waterproof Cycling Jacket. First, here is an overview of the features of this cycling classic.
|Designed for maximum breathability for performance cycling.||Originally designed for elite athletes, but now loved by commuters and athletic cyclists of all levels||This is absolutely the gold standard of cycling jackets, with state-of-the-art workmanship, materials, and every possible detail a cyclist needs to stay warm and dry in extreme weather conditions||Nylon and eVent rip-stop fabric|
|Best price on Amazon right now: $269.00.||Click for the price on Amazon Canada||Click for the price on Amazon UK.||Click here to check the price on Competitive Cyclist.||Click here to check the price on Backcountry.com.|
This jacket is the top of the line in Showers Pass cycling jackets. Showers Pass know what they are doing when it comes to rain gear, as they are situated on the rainy west coast, in Portland, Oregon. Showers Pass aim to make the best possible technical cycling outerwear for year-round riding. Showers Pass was founded back in 1997, and the company states that it was born from the desire to develop clothing and gear that would get people out on their bikes no matter the weather.
The Showers Pass Men’s Elite 2.1 jacket is our pick for the very best waterproof cycling jacket because it has it all: the quality of the materials and the construction, plus careful attention to every possible detail. The Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Waterproof Cycling Jacket has so much going for it that it’s almost certainly got everything you need to ride your bike in the rain. First of all, it has three layers of eVent rip stop fabric, which gives exceptional breathability, waterproofness, and durability. The tail is especially long to ensure a dry lower back and butt. And the arms are especially long so you never end up with exposed wrists, even when you are really stretched out on your bike. Of course, you can cinch the wrists closed.
The Showers Pass Elite 2.1 features a large back pocket and a breast pocket. The breast pocket has an audio port for the cord of your cell phone. Both pockets are equipped with top quality waterproof zippers. In case you think zippers are not a big deal – in my experience, being able to quickly zip up in a sudden downpour can be a blessing. Cheaper jackets tend to have zippers that you have to to battle with before they will zip up or unzip.
The main zipper can be zippered in either direction (bottom to top or top to bottom). This gives you extra options for cooling down. Also, the main zipper tucks away at the neck so it does not irritate your neck! It is this kind of attention to every detail that separates a great jacket from a good jacket.
This video shows you all the features of the jacket, including the zippers:
An extra special feature is the moisture-wicking comfort lining on the inside of the neck, which can really help you to feel warm and cozy on a cold bike ride. Plus, you can cinch the neck with a pull cord to make sure no air gets in. The neck has concealed attachments for a waterproof hood (available separately).
One of the main problems with cycling jackets is that once you start cycling, you rapidly heat up. This cycling jacket tackles that problem with an impressive SEVEN vent options to let in air: two pit vents, two cuff vents, a two-way zipper and back vent. The two-way zipper means you can unzip the jacket from the top or the bottom to let cooling air get to your chest or stomach, as needed. Finally, there is 3M reflective trim all around the jacket to make you more visible. And it’s available in red, black, yellow, blue, and pink.
This is a simply outstanding cycling jacket – well worth the price for those who can afford it. No wonder it is the top-selling jacket from Showers Pass, and it is a top choice with everyone from bike commuters to pro cycling teams to kayakers to skiers to motorcyclists. It fits small, so order a size larger than usual.
Women’s Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Jacket
There is also an excellent women’s version of the Showers Pass Elite 2.1 jacket.
Maggie feels strongly that curvier women (such as herself) do better with dedicated women’s cycling gear. She says the straighter lines of clothing intended for men can make her feel like she is being crushed in various places. Of course, this might not be an issue with extremely lean women. The women’s Showers Pass Elite Women’s Jacket is available in Gold, Pacific Blue, and Electric Rose (pink).
Maggie found the women-specific cut of the Showers Pass Elite 2.1 jacket to be excellent. However, her personal favorite jacket remains the Showers Pass Club Pro, which she is wearing in the photo below:
One of the best things about the Showers Pass Club Pro is the remarkably low price (for a quality cycling jacket, that is):
Bottom Line on the Showers Pass Elite 2.1 Waterproof Cycling Jacket
If you want to bike in the rain and be comfortable, this jacket is well worth the investment. In our experience, quality cycling jackets last for years, and over time are very well worth the upfront cost. I well remember the first time I reluctantly forked out $300 for a cycling jacket. I never once regretted it, and 10 years later, I was still being protected by that jacket. Quality costs, but for year-round cycling, it is worth it.
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