Showers Pass Double Century EX waterproof jacket review

It’s intended as a roadie jacket, but its excellent breathability and small pack size makes the Showers Pass Double Century EX a good off-road option too.

They know a thing or two about rain in Portland, Oregon, from whence comes this simple, packable waterproof shell. The Northwestern US city gets 950mm of rain per year on average. That’s a lot more than London (650mm) or even Manchester (810mm). And like British cities, Portland tends to get moderate rain for a few days at a time, rather than brief, intense downpours.

You’d therefore expect the Showers Pass Double Century EX to work well in British weather, and this is what we find.

For starters, it does what you need a waterproof to do and keeps the rain out, thanks to Cocona Xcelerator waterproof fabric. This keeps out water in the usual way: durable water repellent coating on the outside makes most of the water run off and a membrane in the fabric stops the rest from getting through.

A broad vent across the back is edged with reflective tape and has a loop for a rear light.

But keeping water out is easy. The trick for a mountain biking jacket is to let sweat out too. The Cocona membrane includes microporous charcoal particles derived from coconut fibres that Cocona claims makes for very high breathability.

It seems to work. We didn’t get as sweaty in the Double Century EX as we’d expect to in most breathable jackets, despite some deliberately high-effort belting around the woods and attempts on the commuting land speed record.

A big vent across the back helps sweat get out of the Double Century EX and if that’s not enough you can open up the armpit zips for even more ventilation. When the weather turns really rubbish, Velcro closures round the wrists seal out the elements and there’s a drawstring at the bottom to snug it in.

The collar has your usual ‘zip garage’ to protect your neck, and is lined with comfy soft fleece.

When you’re not wearing it, you can roll the Double Century EX up to about the size of a 440ml drink can, so it’ll easily slip into a rucksack pocket.

Given how generally good the Double Century EX is, it’d be nice to see Showers Pass use it as the basis for a dedicated mountain biking jacket. It could use a bit of reinforcement in vulnerable areas such as the elbows and shoulders; the fabric’s not featherlight, but we can’t see it surviving a big off.

Velcro cuffs seal out the weather.

There’s a waterproof zip on the chest pocket and a headphone port for your mp3 player (but keep the volume down so you can still hear the traffic eh.) Reflective stripes on the arms and back boost visibility.

Finally, the collar is very comfy thanks to a lining of thin, light fleece, but the omission of a drawcord or other means of cinching it to seal out the chill is a bit mystifying.

Verdict

A great all-rounder that could do with a few detail tweaks to make it a top-notch mountain biking jacket too.

Price: £119.00
More information: Showers Pass Double Century EX
UK supplier: NRG4

What Showers Pass says about the Double Century EX jacket

The Double Century EX is a super light, packable shell for your most memorable rides. Built with Cocona® Xcelerator™ naturally derived waterproof-breathable technology, in a 2.5-layer construction for a drier next-to-skin feel. Packs down to fit in a jersey pocket when the rain clears.

Seam taped for wind and waterproofness
Core vents and back vent for flow thru ventilation
360 degrees of 3M reflective trim
Chest pocket with water resistant zipper
Hood Compatible
Light loop on back
Cinch cord on hem
Easy to use two way zipper with storm flap and rain gutter

  1. Fiona N

    I have a slightly older, women’s version of this jacket that I used for all my Paris-Brest-Paris qualifying rides (in the Scottish Borders mostly) in 2011. It was ideal for that – packs small enough that it doesn’t take too much space in the saddle bag but functional enough that you can wear it for 12 hours too (as I did on several occasions).

    What I really like is the slightly longer and looser cut, compared to my Gore roadie jackets, so it goes over a normal roadie-type jersey. My Gore jackets are so race-cut that the jerseys are longer at the front than the jacket so soak up the water, although they are better if you go out in the rain from the start and expect to be in all day so you dress appropriately (i.e. don’t bother with a jersey).

    A potential downside to the Showers Pass jacket that I have, for mtb use, is that the fabric is nothing like as robust as even Paclite Goretex. I doubt that it would survivr even contact with gorse bushes never mind full-on gravel.

    1. Showers Pass

      We’re glad to hear you’ve enjoyed your Women’s Double Century Jacket! The new EX version is the same fit you love, but a much nicer fabric (though still not designed to withstand a spill on gravel). Also available in women’s!

  2. John Maroni

    I have yet to try this jacket but I have been very pleased with my Elite Pro for a while now. It seems that Showers Pass a good grasp of creating a functional, aesthetically pleasing, and well priced jacket. Which is more than I can say for other companies out there.

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