The Chainlink

The rain yesterday made me finally admit that my Marmot shell is no longer even remotely waterproof. It is something like seven years old and served me well, but hasn't been completely waterproof for a while now. It is time for an upgrade/replacement. I'd be grateful for any suggestions. Ideally the jacket will serve as an outer winter layer as well as a rain coat for the rest of the year. So a big heavy rain-coat kind of thing would be overkill, but then again, a flimsy rain/windbreaker type jacket won't quite cut it. Price is an issue of course, but durability and functionality come first.


1. Waterproof

2. Either breathable or well vented (pit zips).

Nice to have:

1. Removable hood

2. Multiple pockets 

3. At least somewhat packable.

I thank you in advance for any advice, anecdotes and experiences.

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I use my Marmot Minimalist jacket throughout the winter and it has served me well for the past 7+ years.  It's never not been warm enough (even that minus 40 windchill day a few years back!)  I do have to re-waterproof it once a year with Nikwax TX Direct Wash-In Repellent Treatment and keep it relatively clean, though--otherwise it's not waterproof anymore. 

I use a Showers Pass rain jacket for rain and as an outer layer in the winter and am very happy with it. There is a hood available for purchase separately. Plenty of pockets and several vents. I have the middle-of-the-road model; there are, I think, 3 price points so you can choose which model best fits your needs and budget. 

It's also fairly packable, enough that I stuff it in my pannier on mornings when I think the ride home may be rainy.

I second Jenny on the cleaning and re-waterproofing.

I also love Showers Pass. I tried two different brands before getting a Showers Pass jacket and I’m happy with it. This will be my 3rd year using it and I also use the TX wash. I bought a pair of their rain pants and I am equally pleased.

I've had a Showers Pass jacket since last winter, but I find that when I have a backpack on in heavy-ish rain, I get soaked through the pit zips.  Is that just me?  I can't tell if I have a defective jacket or it's just not designed to be worn with a backpack.

I've been using Frogg Toggs for a while now.

I can't remember where I bought them, and which model.  It's just a jacket and pants, with a hood.  I got the extra large size and I've worn it over a suit and it kept me very dry. Compacts very small and fits in the pannier easily.

Thanks everyone! Tony's Rain Shell 2017 is indeed a democracy, so I went with a Showers Pass. Specifically this one which seemed crazy on sale:

I've historically leaned toward function and budget, over form, so it seemed like time to err somewhat in the other direction. The thing looks fancy!

I'm also grateful for the advice re: re-waterproofing. I actually bought a bottle of Nikwash when I got my Marmot, but lazily, I never got around to using it. Consider me inspired 

It's nice - and I really like this post!  I have trouble with rain gear as well.  I don't like black because it's bike ninja territory unless I'm wearing safety vest - (see photo...)

I am with you on that! I do wear a safety vest most of the time while riding. In daylight, if I'm wearing a light colored shirt I might leave the vest in my bag now and then - but I wear the vest at night and any time I'm wearing dark colors or when visibility is compromised: stormy, foggy, snowing - whatever. 

I'm very pleased with my Showers Pass. Very waterproof yet the material is still breathable.

Great to hear. Thanks!

During the research I also noticed that the company seems like they actually care about biking - donating some profits to a bunch of bicycle organizations in Oregon for example. They are also all-weather cyclists themselves - in a rainier climate, so I reckon they have a lot of opportunities to test the products.

How is the sizing on the Shower Pass? Does it run small?

I have to assume that large men simply don't cycle, as there are very few safety yellow rain jackets in 2XL. I'm looking at the Showers Pass Refuge, and have had no luck in finding one in the largest size. I've been looking for a breathable shell for months with no luck.


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