Showerspass Rain Wear – Ecolyte Elite Jacket

Snappy colours, well known brand and an eco story. What could go wrong?

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Showerspass are a local company to me, I know they sell a ton of product and their range has grown year after year. Focused in the waterproof world they have always had high performing and durable garments which tend to be less on the racy side and more on the practical end of things.

With more emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsible products, there is a lot of textile change and innovation required to make a cleaner product. No small task, and a leadership step forward Showerspass released their ECO product several months back.

With all the goings on and latest flux in garments and sustainability / eco world (Gore bringing on line a new eco membrane and stopping production of its shakedry jacket … read here). I thought it would be good to take a Showerspass offering for an extended test ride.

Product Details

An eco version of a tried and true Showerspass Elite Jacket. The product uses recycled content fabrics, non toxic dyes and a polypropylene membrane (the barrier that lets sweat out yet blocks rain coming in) and eco friendly water repellents.

While not a 100% eco, this garment must get pretty close… 95%?. Some of the trim are not recycled content, I’m guessing the waterproofing seam tape, some of the cords and reflective items, but most parts and body fabrics are.

Price is $299 now and on sale for $250 puts it in the higher end of jackets.

General Features:
Removable helmet compatible hood.
Front pocket – iphone size
Rear should vent & Large zippable armpit vents
Wide rear pocket, great for handwarmers or spare set of gloves.
Reflective front logo and arm and back details

Techy Bits

3 layer technology – outer fabric, membrane and inner
Taped seams
Lightweight at -13.5 – 13.7 oz garmet weight
Proprietary Showerspass membrane manufacture
Polypropylene membrane, less enviro impact than PTFE and PU varieties
Eco PFC Free DWR finish on outer fabric surface

6ft 3, 160lbs, Size Medium

Details – Clockwise . 1.Collar lining 2.Hood Attachment and Showerspass reflective logo 3. Front collar and zip details 4. Wrist cuff 5. Front pocket

Pros

Ethos– High percentage of Recycled and environmental conscious materials and manufacture. This is excellent and I look to this as leadership, the next few years will be a wave of brands following suit.
Made with eco non toxic processes, i.e. color dying. This is definitely issues people don’t think about, but are very real. Water pollution from color dying is no joke.

Fit – Trimer yet flexible fit, layer a collard shirt and thin sweater, no problem. Cycling kit, not a problem either.I also like the position for the front hem and the length of rear tail. They seem to have been designed nice to have enough coverage but not excessive or too little. That’s something that can be really annoying in an after purchase if not quite right. On this same tangent, the arm lengths are great. Due to the bike position the well designed arm lengths are fantastic.

High Durability – at no point did I feel I had to be super cautious with this jacket (much unlike a shakedry), caveat the wrist cuffs (read below). the materials are made well and high quality and the garment has a last forever feel.

Trim – Nice material details on pullers and linings. Flocked collar gives a high quality tough and all zippers are of the very good kind.

Appearance – Killer colours! I get a lot of compliments on Glacier colour shown and a quite a few comments on my instagram. It’s a good alternative to Yellow and it still holds good visibility at lower lights and dusk/dawn.

Cons

Membrane – After quite a lot of commuting on dry and wet days, I established a base line with other jackets. – You knew this was coming but certainly the PP membrane isn’t as high performing as a PTFE membrane. The jacket gets a little hotter, a little sweatier. Much? no not much. Anything to worry about on a spritied ride, I don’t think so.

Cuffs – I have to say I don’t like these cuffs at all. Not one bit! They are a hybrid design with 2/3rds of the wrist circumference is the non stretch material and a 1/3rd thiner elastic. The problem is removing the jacket. easiest way to get these things is to invert the jacket and arms and pull off.
I can understand why they have done this, but in all practicality other solutions work better and this approach feels less durable. I’m looking for a bit more practical and easier to use. Now bear I mind I was testing a Men’s medium and the cuff diameters could vary among sizes.

Indifference

The new membrane makes a strange noise, and when I say this, I mean unfamiliar, the sound of the jacket scrupling. It sounds a bit more crinkly. Does it make any difference. No. I suspect its due to the new membrane material

The hood, I will probably never use, so I suggest they should sell it as a separate item to be even more Eco and less wasteful. Or maybe even an option to send it back to Showerspass.

Packable is a relative word. This jacket folds down into its own pocket, which is still large and isn’t what I would describe as packable. Packable to me means being able to get in a jersey pocket, which this is too big for. And that’s ok, as it’s not a deal breaker for me.

Summary

If you can live with some of the things I passionately dislike, such as the wrist cuffs, then this jacket is a great piece of kit, functions well and will last a long time. I am very excited about the eco angle and that makes a big difference in purchase for me. I just really wish the cuffs were better in my size, but your experience may vary.

Link here to the Showerspass website : https://www.showerspass.com/products/mens-ecolyte-elite

Questions, comments below please.


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