Punish Stuff: Gear Reviews

MSRP: $240.00
PROS: waterproof, breathable, pit zips, well-vented back, good pocket placement
CON: cuff fabric absorbs water
Made in China

MSRP: $135.00
PROS: built-in ankle straps, waterproof, breathable, appropriately-sized inseams
CONS: tight in the hips (choose a larger size), must remove shoes to put them on, reflective tape catches in the fold of the knees, hip pockets are inaccessible while riding.
Made in China

This spring I have been rolling with a Women’s Elite 2.0 rain jacket and a pair of Women’s Club Convertible rain pants from Shower’s Pass. Constructed out of a breathable, waterproof fabric, these garments keep the water out while letting air through. The jacket is made of eVent fabric, has pit zips, and a large back vent. The pants feature zippered ankles for easy on-and-off over the shoes, and legs that zip off just below the knee for a quick conversion to capris.

The first time I tried on the pants, I was a bit disappointed. To begin with, I couldn’t put them on over my shoes because even though the legs zip open to provide more room for doing just that, the reflective tape running around the top of the calf gives only about 1 inch more clearance than the zipped-up ankle cuff. The next letdown was when I sat on my saddle and suddenly felt how much the pants restricted the movement in my hips. Apparently, the sizes listed in the chart on the Shower’s Pass website are the actual garment’s dimensions, and not just a guide to how they will fit on a body that has those measurements while standing upright. Sitting down on something makes the hips wider and the fabric of the rain pants does not stretch; so to ensure proper fit, one would need to use the tape measure around the widest part of the hips while seated.

After sending the pants back and getting the next size up, I was eager to give this duo a test-ride. I headed out into the first rainstorm that came my way, and within feet I noticed the reflective tape encircling my upper calves was striking the area behind my knees with each pedal stroke. This was nothing more than a minor annoyance, so I continued onward. Water poured from the sky, beaded up on the fabric of my jacket, and ran down the arms where it was readily absorbed by the cuffs, soaking the fabric of the shirt I wore underneath.

Despite all of this, I’m pleased to say both the jacket and pants have performed well over the last month. I have worn them through rain, snow, and hailstorms several times, and have always arrived at my destination warm and dry. With the jacket’s cuffs tucked inside the sleeves, both pants and jacket keep out 100 percent of the rain, breathe well, and don’t make too much noise while I ride or walk. While I can’t slip the pants on and off without removing my shoes, they do cinch up nicely around the ankles and calves with built-in hook-and-loop straps. And the jacket fits like a glove. It’s hard to tell after only a month of use, but both garments seem to be durable, and are certainly comfortable once you have the right size. The Elite 2.0 jacket is spendy but definitely worth it, and while the pants could use some improvements, they appear to be some of the best women’s cycling rain pants on the market.

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