Showers Pass developed the Spring Classic jacket for Team Katusha; they've now moved into doing their own clothing but this top-end jacket definitely feels like a pro-level bit of kit with high quality construction and excellent performance.
With a trim cut for the serious rider's physique the Spring Classic Jacket is designed to flap about as little as possible. That's helped by the use of a stretchy softshell fabric on the sides of the jacket; the front and back are elite™ hardshell fabric which is thin but very, very waterproof. Overall the waterproofing of the jacket is excellent, keeping me dry in some pretty dismal conditions.
It's not perfect: the softshell fabric doesn't seem to be quite as impermeable as the hardshell so you get a bit of water coming in at the seams there if you're out in the rain for an hour or two. It really is only a bit, though. It's very windproof too making it a good choice for chilly, dry days as well as wet conditions.
Breathability is the other thing you're looking for in a jacket like this, and again the Showers pass puts in a strong performance. It's capable of getting rid of a lot of moisture when you're working hard, and it remains comfortable even when you're riding at chaingang pace. It's not quite best in class: the similarly-priced Gore Oxygen jacket is more breathable, and Gore's new One series jacket is apparently even better. Mostly I stayed dry in the Spring Classic, and when I didn't I found it was my arms that got a bit damp from the effort. Including a Velcro cuff instead of the elasticated ones used here might help with regulation there.
Fit on the bike is excellent: it's designed for riding and it works best when you're in a road bike position. It's not really the kind of jacket you'll be wearing for anything else (unless you like that showing-your-tummy-button look down the pub). That's good because it means it's a no-compromise cut. I was wearing a L and the Spring Classic was a race fit on me (1.89m, 92kg) so it's not like Italian sizing but it's sensibly sized. The thin fabric means that it packs down small enough for a jersey pocket so you can carry it easily enough if the weather forecast is unpromising. In spite of the thin fabrics the jacket has proved to be pretty hardy and has coped with knocks and scuffs okay.
Overall the Spring Classic Jacket puts in a strong performance and it's a useful addition to your riding wardrobe. It's breathable enough for warm, wet days and windproof enough for dry and cold conditions, so you'll get plenty of use out of it over a season of UK riding. It's expensive, and in terms of breathability it's not quite as accomplished as some others at a similar price, so it wouldn't necessarily be my first choice if I had £225 burning a hole in my pocket.
Great waterproofing and fit with good breathability from this top-end jacket
road.cc test report
Make and model: Showers Pass Spring Classic Jacket
Size tested: Medium, Cayenne
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: "Extend your training season with the new lightweight waterproof jacket that fits like a glove! The Spring Classic Jacket features super light eliteTM waterproof breathable hardshell fabric on the front and back of the jacket for excellent wet weather protection. Light and stretchy eliteTM waterproof breathable Softshell fabric is used on the sides of the jacket and sleeves to offer a form fitting but non-binding race fit. The fabric on the Spring Classic Jacket is 35% lighter (.165MM thick) than the fabric on our popular Elite 2.1 jacket."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Showers Pass says:
3-layer eliteTM waterproof-breathable lightweight hardshell fabric on front and back
3-layer eliteTM waterproof-breathable softshell fabric with 4-way stretch down the sides and arms
Fully seam taped for wind and waterproof protection
Wide tooth front zipper with storm flap and reflective trim
Dual core vents and upper back 'exhaust pipe' vent for airflow without billowing
Elasticized cuffs for trim fit and easy on-off
360 degrees of 3M Scotchlite reflective material for maximum visibility
Large zippered back pocket with storm flap
Jacket packs down to fit inside back pocket
Double adjust cinch cord at hem for a custom fit that won't ride up
Silicone grip at inside of drop tail hem
Angled front zipper and specially shaped collar reduce chafing
Soft, moisture-wicking lining at collar
Trim race fit
Very nicely made, feels like a quality garment.
Very waterproof, breathability is good but not best in class.
Considering the light weight of the fabric, it's pretty hardy.
Very good waterproofing, with only a little bit of ingress on the seams of the elasticated panels.
Good, although the arms can get a bit sweaty when you work hard.
Close fit with a sensible drop at the rear. Cuffs could do with a Velcro closure.
I was wearing a L which was race fit on me (1.89m, 92kg).
Super light and easy to pack
Good with a baselayer or long sleeve top, soft collar is a nice touch.
It's a high quality jacket that performs well, and for £225 you should expect nothing less.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Pretty easy to care for
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well: extremely waterproof and good breathability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Close fit, packability, waterproofing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Arms could do with Velcro cuffs and get a bit sweaty, breathability not quite up there with some others.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes, although it probably wouldn't be my first choice.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It performs very well, and in terms of value it's on a par with other similarly-priced jackets, but I don't think it'd be my first choice.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.