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This year we've been relatively lucky in that we've had a summer without constant deluges. But Winter Is Coming and with it inevitable rain. These Showers Pass Transit Pants will protect you from it, but you'll need to try before you buy to get the sizing spot on.
Based in Portland Oregon, in the USA's rainy Pacific Northwest, Showers Pass have specialised in cycling clothing to get riders out on their bikes regardless of the weather since the 90s. Their Transit Pants are basically waterproof over trousers that allow you to keep going whatever the weather. They are effective if a tad on the small side; the legs are narrow so get the size right.
Waterproof overtrousers may not appeal to the all but there is no doubting the job the Transit Pants do. Made from a waterproof and breathable Artex hardshell 3L ripstop fabric, the Transit Pants do a great job of keeping the water out.
They achieve this by having the seams taped which allows them to be wind and waterproof. To keep the trousers away from the chain and cranks you have some velcro cinch straps that allow you to keep the material tight on your leg rather than flapping around. They have a long zip on the ankle to ease taking them on and off over shoes or boots.
The waist is slightly elasticated with a drawstring but if that isn't enough you have the option of keeping them up with braces that attach to velcro flaps on the waistband. These braces are soft and supple and their elasticity provides support and flex to assist in keeping them in place.
The biggest negative of the Transit Pants is that they are are not the widest in the leg. A lot of riders may struggle especially if you are wearing them over additional items in the first place. Showers Pass do say, "this style runs small, size up if you are layering over street clothes," so you can't say you weren't warned.
There is no doubting they're very good at keeping the water out but it would have to be a seriously wet day in the first place to warrant their use. They get a lot of those in Portland though: over 125mm of rain a month from November to January on average. You might get less use from them in London (average 70mm in December, the capital's rainiest month) but you'll appreciate the weather protection; they are great for commuting but may prove too bulky for much more.
To go with the commuting theme there is a full leg length reflective trim to aid visibility in low light. If you want to transport them they have a mesh stuff sack for easy packing. To sum up, if you wanted to wear your every day clothes but still travel by bike in wet conditions then the Transit Pants would be a decent choice.
Effective overtrousers that keep you dry but you might struggle to get them on in the first place
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Make and model: Showers Pass Transit Pant
Size tested: Medium, Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
For those days when it really is raining cats, dogs and everything else the Transit Pants offer a great deal of protection. They'll do an equally effective job if you are wearing them over your everyday clothes and just want to arrive at your destination dry and comfortable. The company ethos is to design cycling clothing that will allow you to ride regardless of the weather. They will do that but the sizing needs to be looked at. If you are wearing these pants over other cycling clothing as they are designed to be then you need something that will fit comfortably and allow you to pedal.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Transit Pants are made from a waterproof and breathable Artex hardshell 3L ripstop fabric. The material is robust on top of doing the job it is designed for. The trousers need to be flexible enough to bend when you pedal but the ripstop fabric has shown no weakness in keeping out the rain.
The seams are all sealed on the inside to ensure effectiveness and the external ones are are limited in their number. The zip at the ankle is easy to use and thick to prevent any leakage. The ripstop material is certainly robust but offers enough flex to make them comfortable.
For keeping the water out, the Transit Pants are very good. The seams are minimal and the zips despite their length work well.
Given the excellence of the material used the Transit Pants offer plenty of protection from the elements and have proven a tough and durable addition.
The ripstop material is not heavy despite the fact that it is to be worn over other clothing so you won't feel over dressed.
The Showers Pass Transit Pants are a good idea and well made but the fact they are made for the straight legged amongst us make it very difficult to get a decent fit. The legs are long so almost the equivalent of skinny jeans. If you can get the fit right you'll have a decent pair of waterproof over trousers.
At £70 the Transit Pants represent good value for what they are designed for and how effective they are. However at this price you want something that is a more suited for all riders. With lycra you can get away with a tight fit and there is some give and this is part of the design. With the ripstop material it is has flexibility in terms of movement but this cannot alter the shape.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Transit Pants are designed well for keeping the water out but choose your size carefully.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The Pants do a very good job of keeping the water out and the extra support is a good idea.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fit - a little more room would be appreciated.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, for their effectiveness but the fit lets them down.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? With the caveat on the size.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Effective at keeping you dry but it may prove a struggle getting them in place.
Age: 45 Height: 178cm Weight: 80kg
I usually ride: Currently riding a Pinnacle Evaporite Three My best bike is: As above
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, mtb, Not yet but looking to dip my toe in the world of TT