This time of year riding weather can be unpredictable for us northern hemisphere dwellers. So a flurry of new jackets keep packing themselves into our inboxes to keep you sheltered from the cold, wind & rain.
The Showers Pass Ultralight Wind jacket makes for affordable protection, while Sportful’s ultralight Hot Pack gets updated with a Norain treatment, both packing down in to tiny stuff sacks. Then Castelli goes a bit deeper with their new Rain or Shine (RoS) jersey and jacket, each of which is designed to transition from cold & dry to the unexpected cloud burst.
Showers Pass Ultralight Wind Jacket
The Ultralight Wind Jacket is an affordable packable shell at just $80/73€ that you can stuff in a jersey pocket for added insurance. Its Elite Wind Fabric is designed to block all the wind, and with a DWR coating shed light rain as well. The jacket claims decent breathability so you don’t overheat.
It features an asymmetric front zip so it doesn’t interfere/rub with your regular jersey, gets stretchy panels under the arm & on the sides to ensure a close, flap-free fit, plus a silicone gripper on the drop tail. Weighing in at 165g (M) it includes a small stuff sack. The jacket comes in a four size range (S-XL) and in two colors – sky blue & red orange – with 3M reflective detailing on both.
Plus, Showers Pass is offering 15% off at checkout through Dec 6, with code GIFT15 at checkout.
Sportful Hot Pack Norain Ultralight Jacket
Sportful’s Hot Pack gets a bit more advance bringing their Norain fabric to the super light packable jacket. The $130/199€ Hot Pack Norain Ultralight Jacket fits like a regular packable wind shell, but gets a fully seam sealed construction, waterproof zipper with storm flap, and a stretchy Ultralight Rainlite fabric that delivers a highly water-resistant & breathable jacket, at a weight below most wind-only shells.
With a water column rating of 20,000mm for the fabric, it’s probably as close to fully waterproof as needed for active riding, especially as an emergency shell. Then factor in that weighs just 105g and stuffs down tiny to barely even be noticeable in a jersey pocket. (Crazily enough, you can even drop down to just 50g for the standard, non-waterproof Hot Pack Ultralight Jacket. And there is a non-waterproof Hot Pack Ultralight Vest at just 39g and $100/120€ ).
The jacket includes a rear pocket, plus a mini stuff sack. It also features reflective detailing for visibility and a long drop tail in the rear. It comes in light gray or fluo yellow, and in a wide XS-3XL size range.
Castelli Rain or Shine jersey and jacket
Castelli’s new Rain or Shine (RoS) line was created to more smoothly bridge the gap from cold & dry to cold & wet. Optimized for cool or cold dry days, it still offers protection when there’s a chance of rain. Castelli achieves that with a mix of Gore’s light Windstopper 150 fabric with a DWR coating and selective use of seam sealing & waterproof zips.
The $350/290€ Alpha RoS Jacket uses Gore fabric throughout and seam seals the shoulders to keep you warm & dry in most conditions. It then adds in an insulating layer underneath to keep you warm, while still allowing for good breathability & moisture wicking. The 380g jacket uses raw cut cuffs & waist for a lie flat fit that works well with a range of glove types. It is available in red orange, black or blue and S-XL sizing.
The $250/230€ Alpha RoS Jersey is meant for less frigid temps. The 262g jersey pairs the Windstopper 150 front, sleeves & lower back with Castelli’s own NanoFlex Xtra Dry upper back for improved breathability. It comes in black, blue, or gray and a wide S-3XL size range. Both get three standard rear pockets with reflective accents & laser-cut drain holes.