Showers Pass. But Why Wait?
The Showers Pass Skyline Softshell jacket allows no excuses. Cold? Wet? Cold and wet? With this jacket, these are no longer adequate to justify staying inside on the trainer or rollers. That turned out to be very important to my Trans Iowa prep, as a 34 hour race in Iowa in April would likely, and in fact did have, all of them.
Showers Pass is based in Portland. As such, they have one of the best proving grounds for biking in the rain. The fact that their headquarters is in such a bike-centric community with an average of 164 wet weather days per year clearly shows in the design and function of their gear.
The Skyline Softshell jacket has a wide usage range. It’s not the lightest of their offerings and isn’t a packable shell for emergency situations. It is a dedicated softshell. But what that offers is true three-season function. Whether you are looking for a light jacket that is still perfect for cold days, or you need a rain shell for rainy and 60s, this jacket is perfect for you.
Close all the zips and the Skyline Softshell is ready for cold weather protection. It was 22 degrees and windy the first day I wore the jacket. With just a light baselayer, I found I stayed plenty warm. As I have mentioned in my cold weather clothing discussion, it doesn’t take a thick jacket to keep the cold at bay if the jackets blocks the wind. The Showers Pass does an excellent job in that regard.
If the day has a slight chill to it, this jacket is still a good choice thanks to ample venting options. My favorite ventilation for jackets is included as well. That is the chest zip. I have found that even a small zipper in this location can drastically cool me off should the temps start to rise. Combine that will the other options including large underarm zips, a unique zipper at the lower neck/upper spine, and zippers at your wrist that not only funnel air onto your arms but make putting on gloves much easier; and you have a variety of defenses against overheating or getting clammy.
A spring rain is no challenge for the Showers Pass Skyline Softshell. I got caught in a steady rain with temperatures in the low 60s. Some of the more strenuous climbs required me to vent the pits, but I still stayed dry and comfy. This was a gravel ride, so the pace was lower than on the road. Even with the low speeds, the ventilation was more than adequate. After this ride, as I was cleaning the bike, I turned the hose on myself to really test the jacket. No water penetrated the jacket, and I stayed bone dry.
Showers Pass makes a wide variety of wet weather gear. Their site has a nice rating system with this excellent little table (below) to help you pick just the right one. So whether you want a packable summer jacket, a light vest to keep the core warm and dry, commuter gear for keeping rain and crud off your clothes, or even head and footwear; Showers Pass has you covered, literally. If you want a jacket that offers three-season functionality, the Skyline Softshell is a fine choice. It retails for $180 and is available directly from the Showers Pass website.
– Alex (Steak Sauce)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Showers Pass Skyline Softshell for free from Showers Pass, in consideration for review publication