Rain Jackets PT 2…

27 01 2011

Gore Bike Wear Alp X Jacket...

So based on feedback I’ve rec’d on my rain jacket post and some additional reading I’ve done online here are the contenders at the moment.  If you’ve had any experience with ’em good or bad let me know.

Gore Bike Wear Alp X Jacket [image above]:

  • the Gore products seem to get good reviews from cyclists
  • very breathable
  • durable
  • checking on fit
  • easily packable in a handlebar bag
  • average cost of a quality rain jacket @ $279USD
  • comes in a variety of colours, but nothing super bright
  • not a lot of reflective material on it
  • limited venting options [relies entirely on fabric’s breathability]
  • I can order this to a friend’s place in the US and confirm size before taking it home to Canada

MEC Derecho jacket...

MEC Derecho Rain Jacket:

  • confirmed that it fits me well
  • probably a bit less breathable than other jackets, but offers a ton of venting options
  • durable
  • more bulky than other options
  • can return if I’m not happy
  • high visibility colour option and decent amount of reflective material [could use more]
  • under $200 so a bit cheaper than Gore jacket

REI Novara Verita Jacket...

REI Novara Verita Jacket:

  • I can try this jacket on at a REI on way home to confirm sizing [I tend to fit REI brand stuff]
  • eVent fabric is highly rated by endurance cyclists
  • limited venting options [relies entirely on fabric to breathe]
  • cost is under $200 – same as MEC jacket
  • can return on next trip to US if not happy
  • hate the colour and this is only option

Rain Shield 3Flow Performance Jacket...

Rain Shield 3Flow Performance Jacket:

  • not sure about fit
  • gets good reviews online for breathability
  • not rated very highly for durability
  • low cost at under $100 so durability less of a concern
  • light and packs well

At the moment I’m leaning towards the Derecho for the great fit and decent breathability [fabric combined with venting].  The moderate cost makes up for the bulkier size and worst case this will be a decent commuter/touring jacket even if it doesn’t meet my rando needs.

If the fit of the Gore jacket looks good [thanks for checking Val] than I may go that route and suck up the extra cost for better breathability and lower cost.

I’m going to try on the REI jacket if it crosses my path and see how it fits and how F-ugly the pumpkin orange is in person.  It has an outside chance at the present time.  For now the uncertain fit and low durability of the Rain Shield jacket are keeping it out of contention, but if I ever see one in person I’ll try it on and if the fit is good I might grab one to try out.



16 responses

27 01 2011

Last year, I picked up the Endura Laser 2 jacket. Given the realistic amount of times I’ll practically wear a rain jacket while riding, I just want one that isn’t hundreds of dollars and does the job of keeping my dry in a downpour. It’s not the most breathable jacket if that’s an important factor, but it is highly visible, fits great, and is less than $100 (US). Maybe worth checking out for you… I love Endura products, and have a lot of it.

27 01 2011

I would second your proposal to stop by an REI on your way home. I have an eVent rain jacket from some years ago that I got at REI and it has been supurb. Vents well, keeps me dry, long tail, snug fit. I think I share your need to try things out before deciding to keep an item of clothing. There may be other options that you haven’t listed that you might find in the stores. Internet research only takes you so far before you have to go try it on.

27 01 2011
doug d

I am pretty sure my current jacket is a derecho. For me it has been breathable enouth to use as a windbreaker when it isn’t raining and It even held up to a hawaiian rainforest deluge.

27 01 2011

I use another Gore Bike Wear jacket and absolutely love it. I’ve actually got a few pieces of gear from them. Everything has performed as promised.

27 01 2011
Val Garou

Excellent timing on this post, Vik. I threw on my Gore and rode over to MEC today and tried on the Derecho. The sizing is very comparable to the Gore, though Gore runs a much more “Euro” fit. I’m wearing an XL Gore, and the Derecho Large fits much the same. The sleeves are roughly the same length, and there’s about as much room in the torso-; ‘m fairly broad-shouldered and barrel-chested (not a cyclist’s body), but I have plenty of room to breathe and move in both of these. The Gore has a noticeably, but not radically, trimmer cut–particularly in the sleeves. I don’t think it’s as total a difference as Race and Club cut Jerseys, but it’s in that neighborhood. I wear a 42 in a Ralph Lauren suitcoat, and could send you more detailed measurements if you needed them.

The thing I really noticed, though, was how heavy the Derecho is. I notice that MEC has it up with their “featured winter cycling gear” right now, and that seems right. The thing is THICK, the zippers are bomber, etc. Looking at the website, the claimed weight is over half a kilo–for a medium. That burliness seems good for around town, but somewhat less desirable for the rando training/event part of your plans. It also makes me nervous about the jacket’s ability to move heat and moisture. (I can’t help but notice MEC claims it breathes “steadily” rather than “well” or “rapidly.”)

Hanging next to the Derecho was something called the Secteur, which I would probably give a closer look if I was going to go the MEC route. The sizing is comparable.

27 01 2011
Rick C

I can’t say I’ve had any experience with the above garments, but honestly, I believe that if breath-ability is the big issue……any waterproof jacket will not cut it for someone doing an aerobic activity such as biking. The amount of sweat generated for someone walking might not be an issue but there is too much moisture generated while biking for any fabric to properly wick away. In my experience, if you need waterproofing you might as well go to plastic rain gear. If it’s wicking moisture your after, layering of materials other than water repelling fabric is your best bet.

28 01 2011

How about REI Airflyte Running Jacket 🙂
I got this after wearing some they had in store for 20 minutes each on rather warmer layer to see how it handles and Airflyte turned out to be winner for me. It also has hand pockets which I find more useful than just back pocket. It is long in sleeve and rather longish cut at the back which works great on bike despite it is labeled as running jacket. Loving mine.

28 01 2011

Check out Showers Pass from Oregon.

28 01 2011

@Brian – breathability is the most important factor within reason I don’t care how much it costs if it works great.

@Val – thanks…I’m a solid MEC medium so I’d probably order a large Gore…I’ll ponder for a couple days. You are right about the weight of the Derecho.

@Paul – I tried on the SP products and they don’t fit me.

28 01 2011

@Rick – some fabrics are so breathable now they are not bothering with the physical venting any longer. The difference between plastic rain gear and eVent or high end Goretex is huge and well worth the $$$.

28 01 2011

@Bored – good point – I’ll check out REI’s running selection when I go. The store near my friend’s place in Pasadena isn’t big so I sometimes have stock issues, but worth a look!

28 01 2011

With REI, you can also order what you want on-line, have it delivered to the store in Pasadena for free, pick it up there, try it on, and immediately return it if doesn’t fit. I live in Seattle and shop at the mothership and still do this to make sure they have what I want to try on when I get there. I usually order about 10 days before I plan a store run to make sure it has time to get there and get processed. If I am not sure what size to get, I’ll order them both, try them on, and return the one I don’t want.

29 01 2011

@Amy – good point about REI. I’m going to think about rain jackets this week and then decide what to do.

30 01 2011

Although you already seem to have some excellent options, you might consider checking out Foxwear clothing. It is all hand-made by Lou Binik in Idaho. Sizing and fabric choices are all custom, so you can get pretty much anything you want. The pricing quite low considering the made to order nature of the clothing. He uses Polartec fabrics. I don’t have much experience with his rain gear, but there are some articles on Icebike.com about his rain pants. They seem to be excellent and I would imagine that if he can make great rain pants, then making a jacket would be simple. The best part is that Lou works directly with you so you get exactly what you need. His website is http://www.foxwear.net.

31 01 2011

@Brian – I had a look at that Icebike review and the Foxwear site – he doesn’t make any waterproof breatheable products like rain jackets. His stuff is windproof/water resistant.

11 02 2011
REI Verita Cycling Rain Jacket… « The Lazy Randonneur

[…] Thanks for all the feedback.  I’ll let you know how it works after the spring is over on Vancouver Island….=-) […]

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