The Cloudburst Jacket from Showers Pass is the first running-specific rain jacket from the Portland brand best known for cycling commuter wear.
Showers Pass dispatched a matching set of the men’s and women’s models for team Bermstyle to try, and of course, being cyclists first and foremost, we wore them on our next outing and rode some gravel. But first, here’s a bit about the jackets.
- eliteAIR fabric with soft hand and 43k breathability rating
- Seam-sealed construction for protection against wind & rain
- Tailored fit, full-zip front and large core vents that double as mesh pockets
- Reflective accents to improve visibility
- Back pocket for stowing essentials; can also be used to store the jacket when not in use
On the road
Inga handed me the jacket without the context of its intended use and I assumed it was intended for cycling. (as opposed to running or multi-sport use.) In hindsight, most Showers Pass cycling jackets feature a drop tail design in their rain jackets.. which should have been my first clue.
Later, Jeremy at Showers Pass filled me in with a bit more detail – though it’s designed with runners in mind, it’s positioned as a crossover piece. Which means if you run and bike, it should be doubly useful.
That said, the cut certainly works for cycling. On our rides to date with the jackets, we’ve experienced some light precipitation, and it worked well, keeping us dry without a sauna effect.
The Showers Pass Cloudburst vs the Showers Pass Spring Classic
Though they both share a similar hue, the Cloudburst and the road-specific Spring Classic feel like very different jackets to me. The Spring Classic is a lightweight 3-layer hardshell that is fully waterproof, cut for road cycling. It’s considerably more fitted than commuter-friendly models like the Refuge or the Atlas and breathes better as well, but the Cloudburst out does it in terms of breathability. Though, again, it’s a trade-off, as the Cloudburst doesn’t offer the same level of storm protection.
As I have the Spring Classic, I’d be more likely to wear it when I know I’m going to get wet. I don’t do as much performance road cycling as Inga, so I tend to use it for commutes when I feel like pushing a hard pace. On a run or a ride where I know I’ll be running it unzipped at some point due to overheating, the Cloudburst is the better option with its improvements in breathability.
Though we haven’t been out in a downpour in the jackets, it should keep you dry for some time; all the leak points at the seams are taped. (sorry, haven’t felt the need to go out when it’s been dumping) I don’t think it would keep one dry as the dedicated commuter pieces, many of which will keep you dry in monsoon conditions. Not to mention it doesn’t have a hood, which means water will come in off your head. That said, with waterproof gear, you’re always compromising water resistance with breathability and this jacket is intended for an intense activity like running.
The real test to any waterproof jacket, is how it manages temperature and moisture.. on the inside.
Ironically, we’ve also begun doing some light trail runs at our local green space during lunch breaks, as it’s a nice alternative to riding with the trails are mucky. The lightweight and breathability make it useful for a range of activities, whether it’s running or riding.
In its bright orange hue, it’s not my favorite choice for riding in the woods, but that’s simply because I’m not a big fan of orange in general. Personally, I would have chosen the titanium gray color which would suit my personal style more, but I can’t argue the effectiveness of the high degree of visibility of the orange, given how sketchy the roads are these days.
It’s obvious from our photos that this color pops. Whether you’re riding busy highways to hit your favorite stretch of unpaved road, or just wanting to be seen in the midst of hunting season, it makes for a highly visible option.
Inga and I had different takes on fit in regards to the men’s and womens models.
This year I’ve sized down from size medium to small in jackets as I’ve slimmed down (I’ve been gluten-free for a few years, plus working from home means not going out to lunch every day, instead eating chicken and rice) and prefer a more fitted top. I feel like I could size up to a medium in the Cloudburst but Inga thinks the small fits perfectly. It works for me with a sleeveless base layer and the Showers Pass long sleeve Apexmerino tech tee, which is as much as I’d consider wearing with this piece.
On the other hand, Inga is wearing a small and felt that she would ideally have sized down to the extra small.
It’s a bit too sporty for my regular trail rides but I’d consider using it beyond my road/cross bike and in the realm of XC mountain biking if it was gray. When braving the streets, my cold weather go-to has been to pair it with a sleeveless base layer and the Showers Pass Apex Merino long sleeve tee.