Showers Pass has created a good jacket for bike riders and cross-country skiers. The jacket is lightweight, adjustable, easily stow able, and most importantly, comfortable and breathable. The jacket’s ventilation allows it to adjust to a wide variety of condition. It is visible in low light conditions, and offers ample protection in even the worst rain storms.
Showers Pass is a company based out of Portland, Oregon. They are named for the popular trail area near Eureka, California where rain and hail is frequent. Unsatisfied with the choice in jackets, they set out to create a garment specifically designed for the needs of mountain bikers and cross-country ski enthusiasts. The Showers Pass Refuge Jacket is great for taking on hikes, and does exceptional on a bicycle. In its design and utility it was a jacket built by bikers for bikers. The jacket also features 360 degrees of 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material trim which ensures a degree of visibility when riding in low light conditions.
Every facet of the jacket is adjustable: the hood, the arms, and the torso. I found the jacket to be very easy to adjust comfortably to my needs. It is a high anaerobic activity jacket – meaning you keep yourself warm with your body heat. It is compact and can stow away even in an 18-liter pack. The hood section removes easily and can be stowed separately and then quickly reattached through a zipper and Velcro strips. A favorite feature of mine were the small vents on the side of the jacket that open up to reveal a mesh covering. These vents allow air circulation should the need arise.
When Showers Pass set out to create the Refuge jacket, they made a lightweight yet extremely durable garment. The fabric is extremely strong. Even when it got caught on rocks or rubbed up against cliff walls, it refused to scratch or rip. The jacket is perfect when partnered up with a midlayer especially when sitting around the campfire. It is useful for active sports as well as a barrier for wind and rain. I took the jacket out for a run but it felt bulky and awkward so I prefer to use it for biking, hiking, and for using as a shell while relaxing at the campsite.
The heavy fabric is great for wicking away water and did not feel heavy even when I was hiking with a large pack. I did notice the thick zipper on the front occasionally tends to get caught in the fabric though. The zipper takes a bit of care to prevent it from getting stuck on the waterproof material. On several occasions I had to pull the whole thing over my head to get it on and off. One feature I enjoyed were the hand warmer pockets in the front that protected my wallet and my cell phone. In addition there is a small chest pocket with an audio port that keeps headphones tucked away inside the jacket.
I thoroughly enjoyed a lightweight, breathable and durable shell that protects my gear from rain yet also provides ample ventilation and can be used through a variety of activities. The Showers Pass Refuge is engineered to any style of biking and it is customizability allows it to conform to many different sports and activity levels.
Showers Pass Features
- Twin ventilated shafts
- Adjustable hood
- Hand warmer pockets
- Chest Pocket with audio port
- Lightweight waterproof fabric
- Inside pocket
- Lightweight and well ventilated
- Easy to fold and tuck away in a small space
- Adjustable and comfortable
- Durable waterproofing and wicking
- Bright color for visibility
- Front zipper occasionally gets stuck in the fabric
- Bulky as a running jacket
Date available: Late May 2013
Listed Weight: 20 oz
Colors: Cayenne or Graphite
Materials: Fully seam-taped, three-layer Elite waterproof-breathable hardshell 100% nylon fabric.
Warranty info: “We unconditionally guarantee our outerwear for two years from the date of purchase. Defective items will be repaired or replaced…. We want you to be happy with your Showers Pass® gear, and we’re confident that somewhere in our product line is something that will work for you. Therefore our satisfaction guarantee grants you the right to a one-time exchange, but we are not able to offer cash refunds on worn items.”