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If you want an attractive weatherproof jacket to keep snug and dry while pootling around town or riding to the shops, then the Showers Pass Rogue Hoodie is perfect. If you want something for commuting at a decent pace then its poor breathability will let it down. To be fair, Showers Pass describes it as 'streetwise' and emphasises its versatility, saying it's also great for 'hiking, camping, on the slopes and around town'.
It's a sturdily constructed winter jacket – much thicker and heavier than the Gore Power Trail Lady Windstopper Soft Shell Hoody I tested late last year – that'll see you through the worst of the British winter. It's toasty warm, so I never needed more than just a baselayer beneath it, even at 2°C.
Despite the jacket being described as only 'weather-resistant' (due to untaped seams), I found it performed admirably in the rain – the DWR (durable water repellent) finish was extremely effective at its job and the waterproof ArtexTM membrane sandwiched between the fleece lining and the outer face stopped rain soaking through, even when the material finally did wet out (during a hose spray test). Eventually there was some ingress at the shoulder seams but only with the hose test – it should keep you dry in all but the heaviest downpours. Also, it dries off very fast and is totally windproof.
Unfortunately, it doesn't perform as well on breathability (it's markedly hotter than the Gore Hoody). I quickly overheated on my commute even when it was very cold out, and the moisture was trapped inside, especially at the narrowly cut forearms. It could really benefit from some vents to let heat/sweat out.
The cut of the Rogue is intended to be fairly loose – or that's how it looks on the skinny models on the Showers Pass website. While it's generous around the body, it was quite narrow across the shoulders and particularly snug at the armpit seam (it's not me in these photos). This compromised its cosy comfiness a little as they niggled. I followed the size chart but would advise sizing up.
The sleeves are narrow, so no flapping material, and just about long enough for me (I do have long arms though). They have inner 'wrist gaitors' with thumb loops for extra warmth, which are comfortable because they are cleverly made without a hem to dig into your palm. The cuffs are adjustable but I found them too narrow to extend over thick winter gloves.
I'd also prefer the tail to be longer because it doesn't afford much protection from wheel spray.
The hood is a welcome feature that really enhances the jacket's versatility – I often used it on the walk portion of my commute. It is big enough to fit over a helmet if you really feel the need – and doesn't reach right to the front of the lid so your side vision isn't restricted – but it does restrict head movement if you want to look over your shoulder, so not really recommended.
Other nice features are the good-sized zipped hand pockets with their cosy fleece lining, which create another two open pockets inside, ideal for stashing bike lights. There's also a zipped rear pocket, plus a chest pocket with earphone cable port, although this was just too small to fit my Samsung Galaxy S5 in, which is smaller than an iPhone6... It's ideal for tickets, credit cards and the like.
There's a lot to like about the Rogue and because it doesn't really look like a bike jacket (the Scotchlite reflective strips on the back work well in headlights but are inconspicuous during the day) I've worn it while out walking and around town too, when the lack of breathability isn't an issue. But £135 is not insignificant for a jacket that has compromised performance, never mind how nice it looks.
Stylish and super-warm softshell ideal for gentle urban commutes and casual wear
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Showers Pass Women's Rogue Hoodie
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the jacket 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?
Showers Pass says: 'A street wise, bike friendly, and fiercely weather resistant technical hoodie, the Rogue Hoodie is like your favourite sweatshirt, in a flattering women's cut. The cosy fleece lined fabric wicks sweat away from skin, while the outer fabric and waterproof membrane keep wind and light rain at bay (seams are not sealed).'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Artex Softshell three-layer waterproof construction
DWR (durable water repellent) finish
58% polyester, 42% nylon
Adjustable drawcords at hem and hood
Minimally dropped tail
Wrist gaiters with thumb loops
Zipped hand pockets, rear pocket and internal chest pocket
Storm flap behind main zip witih zip garage
Reflective piping and logos
Usefully long zip tags
Light loop inside back pocket
Very well made, except one end of the hood drawcord pulled free of its eyelet (didn't affect usability as there are two eyelets). Could just be unlucky – no mention of similar in the 20+ reviews on its website.
Very good wind and water resistance but marked down on breathability.
Fairly heavyweight rugged construction suggests good longevity.
Waterproof membrane and DWR coating kept out heavy rain, but under persistent dousing the non-sealed seams let a little water in at the shoulders. It dries very fast.
Thickish three-layer fabric with fleece lining compromises breathability, even though Artex label describes it as breathable. I very quickly overheated and ended up with a sweat-soaked baselayer unless the temperature was well down in single figures.
The photos of models on the website show it as a loose fit. Personally I prefer a longer tail and I found it bit roomy through the torso (it's not me modelling it).
Size up if in doubt. According to the size chart I was a small, which fitted okay but it was pretty snug across the shoulders and especially tight at the armhole seam, so I probably needed a medium, but then the body would be overly baggy for my liking.
It's a warm winter jacket so isn't aiming to be lightweight.
Cosy and comfy except the underarm seams were a bit of an annoyance – the armhole is cut pretty small.
I like this jacket, especially its water-resistance, style and versatility for off the bike, but the lack of breathability and ventilation compromise its performance and £135 ain't cheap.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The usual: machine wash cold, liquid detergent only.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good: it's great for keeping you dry and warm when conditions are Arctic, but in temperate climes poor breathability is an issue.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Its appearance, great weather-resistance and crossover functionality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Lack of vents, poor breathability and tight armholes.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes, in the sale...
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes, if they feel the cold.
Use this box to explain your score
It's a stylish, well made jacket designed to be worn casually as well as for riding – full marks here. Performance-wise the waterproofness is very good but poor breathability means its usability is restricted to very cold weather or gentle urban potters – ride at any pace and you'll get wet from sweat inside, which brings the score down from an 8 otherwise.
About the tester
I usually ride: Marin Point Reyes 29er My best bike is: Whyte T-130 RS
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, mountain biking, audax