The latest release from Portland brand Showers Pass is the Elements Jacket. Created using a lightweight, durable fabric, it’s the newest in their line of technical trail riding apparel.
The Elements MTB Jacket is the second iteration of their waterproof MTB-specific model, with an updated material that packs smaller while retaining breathability and waterproof performance.
- Lightweight, 2.5 layer waterproof performance fabric packs small for a hardshell
- Breathable fabric is seam-taped hardshell material
- Dual front handwarmer pockets with zipper closures
- Inside zipped front chest pocket with media port
- Long vents at the front with zippers to aid with managing heat
- Reinforced materials at the shoulders protect from wear from backpack straps
- Removable and adjustable hood fits over a helmet
- Double toggle cinch at the hem for keeps things snug and keeping spray off the bottom
The Elements Jacket is loaded with all the features you’d expect in a technical riding jacket, with characteristics intended to enhance durability, wearability, and performance in wet and variable weather conditions.
Part of the Showers Pass Clean Color Collection, the piece utilizes eco-friendly dyes that keep harmful chemical out of the manufacturing process, and out of the rivers in local area factories.
On the trail
Fall is here with the rainy season just around the bend. It can be a weird time of year where we often find ourselves overdressed or a bit chilly on rides. Do you go packable windbreaker, softshell, or hardshell? In this case, the light heft of the Elements made this choice a bit easier, as the ability to roll it up and pack it relatively small meant I was willing to tote it more often.
The light heft of the updated fabric makes the Elements stand out in my gear closet. The updated weight of the material makes a noticeable difference in reducing the “sauna factor”, which is significant as our chilly fall weather can also be quite humid. I already have a number of bombproof, waterproof jackets — several of which are Showers Pass models — but the best jacket for walking a mile in a downpour isn’t the jacket I want to be wearing during a sustained climb in already humid and foggy conditions.
Experienced wet weather riders know waterproof jackets are about compromise. The ones that keep you fully dry when its dumping are the same jackets that turn into a sauna by the end of a vigorous climb. The Element Jacket does a fine job walking this tightrope.
It’s a lighter weight material, so it retains less heat. If things get warm, I’ll run it unzipped with the vents open, and it does a fine job of letting air through.
If I’m on a ride wearing this jacket and the clouds suddenly start blasting down, I’m going to be taking shelter under the nearest tree. Though I pretty much do that even if I’m wearing my best rain gear.
The material has a small bit of stretch as well, which is significant for getting loose on technical trails where you don’t want to feel restricted in any way.
Fit & Sizing
The fit of a jacket piece can have a direct correlation with how a product works on the trail.
I prefer items that are more streamlined for trail riding, and less fitted for all-around use. A fitted hardshell (without stretch) can affect range of motion, but with less room for air underneath, I find they manage temperature a bit better. A more relaxed fit allows more options for layering, which is key for more extreme temperatures or multi-sport activities.
I’ve worn and tested both the size medium and small. After dropping some weight this year, at 5’10” and weighing 153lbs. (about 12 lbs lighter than previous weight) the medium feels and looks a bit large on me, which made the jacket fit more like the Refuge or Atlas models. With my current measurements, I’m finding the small works much better for me. That said, I find the sizing true to size.