The Showers Pass EcoLyte Elite Jacket is a lightweight packable shell designed with performance features and packability. In addition, sustainability was a design factor, with the goal of minimizing its environmental impact in production.
Many of the rain jackets available today utilize durable, water-repellant coatings imbued with chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other health problems, as well as dyes that pollute rivers surrounding the factories that produce them. In contrast, Showers Pass used a fabric with a Polypropylene membrane (lower environmental impact than PTFE or PU) as well as non-toxic color dyes.
The garment industry is known for being wasteful and a burden on the environment, so these are welcome factors in choosing performance garments.
- Core vents and back vent for temperature regulation
- Removable, adjustable helmet-compatible hood
- Recycled polyester face fabric and lining
- Recycled vent and pocket zippers
- Polypropylene waterproof-breathable membrane
- Reflective materials throughout the jacket
- Can be packed into the rear pocket
- Hem Cinch
- Listed weight: 13.7oz
On the bike
The jacket features a dropped tail design for coverage in the rear, with the front much higher. There’s no doubt this is a cycling-specific jacket with the dramatic lines of the dropped rear. It works well on the bike; there’s minimal if any bunching in the front and your rear is kept covered from the elements.
Designed with a mix of features from the Showers Pass line, the Showers Pass states it was created with “multi-day rides in mind”. That reads as touring and biking packing; to keep the bulk down, the EcoLyte forgoes hand-warming pockets at the sides to be more streamlined. It does retain two zipper pockets, with one at the chest and one in the rear. It also features two large zipper vents along its sides which help with heat dissipation, and are strategically placed under the arm so that they’re usable, even in the rain.
When it comes to waterproofing, jackets come in a range of water resistance and water proofing. The jacket that will keep you the driest in a downpour is the one making you sweat the most when putting in effort on the bike. Unlike downhill skiing or snowboarding, we pedal both uphill and down so it’s a balancing act in choosing the right jacket. If I’m shuttling, I’ll go with the most water-resistant jacket I can. If I’m pedaling I’ll pick a softshell or a shell that breathes; the downside is they’ll wet out if it’s actually raining. It’s always a toss-up – be wet from sweat, or the elements?
I’d put the EcoLyte on the waterproof side of the spectrum, which makes it a good option for commuting. In regards to performance, it reminds me of the bombproof Refuge jacket (see review) but in comparison, it fits better on the bike and is much lighter and streamlined.
Fit and sizing
The EcoLyte Elite jacket is more fitted than most of the other Showers Pass jackets I’ve worn. The fit is comparable to the Cloudburst running-specific model, but it’s actually a tad smaller. While I initially chose a small, I had to size up to the medium. (Note: I’m 5’10”, 170lbs, size 38 jacket)
The size medium fits well, even when paired with a base layer and a winter weight long sleeve jersey.