I owned and wore a Showers Pass Elite jacket for years, until I wore it out. If you only need a jacket for cycling, the Elite is probably best. However, I wanted my replacement jacket for hiking, walking, and wearing around town in addition to cycling. The Refuge jacket fits the bill. I ordered the XL rather L, which my Elite was, so it would be roomy enough to layer clothes underneath in cold weather. So far, it's been perfect as a winter jacket and for rainy days. It keeps me warm hiking in cold, rainy weather as low as the 30's with just a flannel shirt underneath. Since I do a lot of hiking wearing a day pack, the reinforced shoulders are a nice touch. Like the Elite, the Refuge is well ventilated when temperatures warm up, so you don't get sweaty.
My only complaints are: the collar apparently was designed for someone with a long neck, so it hits my chin. Also the side vents have a mesh that seems to serve no purpose other than to jam the zippers.
I have more than one Showers Pass jacket. They are well made, and comfortable. And more than any other brand of cycling apparel I've looked at, Showers pass includes design features important to cyclists: chest pocket for phone, additional pockets for storage of essentials, drop seat, and excellent wind and rain resistance. But the best feature, imo, is the added ventilation in the form of pit zips and ventilation yoke, and the Refuge is a clear winner here. There re long vents, from arm pits to hips, and a ventilation yoke across the shoulders. Those features greatly increase the comfort range of this jacket. It's clear that Showers Pass has listened to cyclists, and I suspect a bunch of them work there.
A excellent jacket for Oregon rains.....a heavy-duty jacket and not so easily stuffed into a jersey pocket if the rain stops. The bright green color is awesome and easily seen at a great distance!
The Refuge is supposed to serve as a rain jacket for all (wet) occasions. It mostly can?
I am between sizes in many many brands, and Showers Pass is one of them. The sleeves on the medium could be a full inch longer for cycling. The front is normal rain jacket length, so it's going to hit the legs when on a bike. That would be fine as you can fold the front into itself to make room, however, the stiff vent zippers cause the jacket to move with the legs. Not ideal, not horrible, and I actually prefer a little more length here as well. One more nit - it doesn't pack up as small as one might like for carrying in the pannier. On the plus side, the drop tail is very nice, the coat keeps me dry, the vents work well, and the fabric seems to breathe well.
Other Outdoor Stuff
The hood would ideally completely cover a baseball cap, but it's not quite long enough. I'm not sure why. On the other hand, the interface between removable hood and collar is excellent. And again the drop-tail comes in handy for wet seats and extra length to keep the pants dry.
All in all, it's a good jacket, but I wanted a great jacket.
Given the choice, I don't ride in the rain at all. That said, I sometimes do extended tours and I needed a rain shell to tuck away in my pannier for when I need it. I had heard Showers Pass had a great reputation but I always balked at the price. When this jacket went on sale I jumped on it. For its intended purpose I think it will serve me just fine. I wanted to point out a few nit picks I have with it. I am 6'1, 175 and went with the Medium mostly because a large wasn't available. According to the size chart a medium should work for me. I find it to be just a little short in the front. I feel like I am always pulling it down. Its an athletic cut so it is just a hair too tight for my liking. Again, I think it will work fine for having on the bike but I wanted it to be more of a multi-tasker. I think the fact that the fit is slightly off will keep me from using it for activities other then biking.
This is a really cool bike specific rain jacket. The shorter length is perfect for riding, but a bit short for full coverage otherwise. However, it certainly will work for around town after a ride. 4 stars, not 5, because the vent pockets are easily confused with the lower pockets as other reviewers have noted.
Dry, comfortable, good looking, has detachable hood, pricey, seems to breath very weel and has great side vents - have used in rain up to mid sixties from 45 and amazing comfortable, may have to take layer off from underneath at some point in ride, Not easily pack able in Jersey. Hood attachment very nice - but does not fit over helmet but rather under - sometimes that can cause vision issues from side to side (use mirror) - all in all a great purchase
I bought this rain jacket to replace a 2.5-layer Patagonia rain jacket that left me feeling damp, cold, and clammy. This jacket kept me bone dry in a torrential rainstorm for 45 minutes (at which point I got bored of playing fetch with my Labrador and went indoors). The hood is adjustable to accommodate both helmets or nothing, with a snug fit to keep the elements out. Velcro sleeve closures and a velvety cuff are snug and comfortable. The construction is solid and durable, and can withstand an overjoyed Labrador retriever's greeting of jumping and pawing. I've used this jacket while riding a bike, hiking, and running in all kinds of conditions.
I'm a year-a-round commuter. I need solid gear that can handle anything mother nature throws at me...this is it. Keeps the water and wind out. It is not a thermal product so you will need your layers underneath to compensate for the level of cold that you may encounter. Only thing that falls short is the hood that doesn't actually fit over the bike helmet as claimed. Not a big issues as Taiga has the best product on the market for this solution that fits all helmets and has the proper features that no other manufacture covers inclusively for a helmet cover.
I'm 5'10 and 160 lbs, 42 chest 32 waist. Size medium fits perfectly with room for snug fitting base layer, and a mid layer(I use a variety of Castelli form fittingrace fit road jackets as mid layer depending on temperature). Great design with vent options and plenty of pockets. Heavy shell that's wind resistant, and water resistant. Super product...but expensive.
This is an otherwise very well designed jacket but the front-facing ventilation zips are problematic. I found them very stiff. They compress my torso when in a prone position, i.e. when riding on the hoods or drops. They rubbed uncomfortably against my ribcage when seated. It was so annoying I couldn't wear the jacket more than an hour or two. As to how well the vents work perhaps too well, because in my case I found it difficult to ride without opening them.
I notice Showers Pass is putting them on lots of their items (like the Atlas and IMBA) which is worrisome. I hope they don't do this to the Elite or spring classic.
Otherwise the jacket is very well fitted, which makes this particular design issue all the more frustrating. The front is a bit long for riding but a good compromise length for an around-town jacket. The gray jacket looks sharp and wears well over street clothes. I know the eVent fabric from the Elite jacket and it's a good balance of waterproofness and breathabilty. With the right underlayers I imagine this is a good jacket for snow sports
I recommend wearing this jacket on a test ride before buying it. Pay close attention to how those vent zips feels, because after a couple of hours they might drive you nuts.
Yes it's expensive so it works like a dream. My commute is about 16 miles and I generate a lot of body heat, unlike other jackets I've owned this once does a great job venting.
I tested it last night in a hailstorm/rain deluge which lasted 45 minutes with 40 deg temps. I had 2 layers undeneath and the vents open halfway, and was completly dry when I got home.
The pockets are perfectly placed for me, the front vents seem to work better than pit zips and I love the longer arms.
The fit is snug which is great for riding, I bought a medium and I'm 5ft 9, 42 inch chest and can fit about 3 layers underneath.
The refuge jackets is coated DWR (durable water repellent) coating. The DWR wears off when the jacket rubs against other things, is waded up or used in the rain for a month.. After the DWR wears off the jacket becomes a sponge and soaks up the water. The jacket must be washed in expensive ($20) special Nik Wax detergent to possibly restore the DWR. There are CFP's involved with DWR as well.
I use this for rain and wind. It's great, has air ventilation pockets and back flap. Wrists have Velcro, so the men's small fits me, 5'4 and one for my daughter 5'7 fits her perfectly. Would buy again. Sale day was great!
The jacket provides full wind and rain protection and would be fine in snow as well. Although warm, it has excellent ventilation which prevents overheating when exercising. With a good base layer and another wool layer this will be good to 20 degrees no problem - for hard core winter you can add a down vest and be good to about zero F.
I really like the shoulder reinforcements since carrying a pack is common for mountain biking, commuting, nordic skiing and of course backpacking. Good job Showers Pass!