The Showers Pass Women's Atlas is a casually styled and unusual waterproof jacket with some great features, including its bold reflective map pattern. It offers excellent protection against even the very worst weather, and is highly versatile for use on or off the bike.
This casual styled waterproof jacket comes from foul-weather cycling supremo Showers Pass, known for its exceptionally weather protective clothing and accessories. It's a rugged and sturdy jacket aimed at commuter cyclists and those who just want to be dry when they ride, rather than being a jacket for superfast road riders.
Showers Pass intends the jacket to be as useful off the bike as on it, and it's styled accordingly with a slightly roomier fit and a detachable hood.
The main USP on the Atlas, though, is its unique reflective map print. Every jacket is subtly different, as each is created based around a map of one of 11 cities around the world known for cycling – Portland, Washington DC, New York, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Newcastle, Berlin, Sydney and Taipei.
While the selection of cities might seem slightly arbitrary to the British eye, the reflective print really livens up the design of the jacket and also has the practical benefit of being highly visible in the beam of headlights – a great benefit for both cyclists and pedestrians.
The jacket is made from a tough and very resilient fully waterproof fabric, with taped seams throughout. It doesn't let any rain in, even on long, soggy rides or torrential downpours, but things can get a little warm and you do sometimes need to unzip the mesh-lined side vents to prevent sweat build-up.
The fabric is breathable enough to cope with normal riding and walking, but throw in a hill or step up the pace and it does need a bit of help. The vents work well, not allowing the worst of the rain in thanks to the mesh.
Other features include rugged shoulder patches that help protect the fabric when you're carrying a rucksack and prevent damp patches forming underneath the straps.
There are two zipped side pockets and also a zipped internal chest pocket that's big enough to take all but the very largest of smartphones (and Showers Pass states it takes a passport).
The roomy hood is easily detachable but large enough to allow for a helmet underneath and, thanks to adjustment cords, easy enough to secure to maintain peripheral vision.
A tag on the back allows for attachment of an LED, should the blinding reflective pattern not make you quite visible enough...
The fit is roomy but not overly so (it's not me in the photos). If you want a slimmer fit, or to only wear it in warmer months, you might consider going down a size, but otherwise it gives plenty of versatility for layering underneath as required, making it a good choice for rainy days in all but the very warmest months.
Everything cinches in too, ensuring no water gets in even if it's throwing it down all day, but there is a slight downside to that, as the sturdy and rugged front zip creates a stiffness in the collar when fully fastened, which can be a bit uncomfortable and irritating.
It's more expensive than a lot of similarly commuter-focused jackets, but its wet weather protection is impressive.
It's a similar price to the Vulpine Softshell Harrington and Resolute Bay Reflective Jacket, but Howies' Herald is £139, while Vulpine's lighter weight Portixol, which Simon was impressed with, is £100 and available in a women-specific version for the same price.
Out and about, the Showers Pass Atlas performed very well at keeping the rain out, even when torrential, but the fabric does run warm, making those vents crucial. Its cut, fit, design and performance make it an ideal choice for walking or mooching about in as well as cycling. I found myself reaching for it for wet weather walks as often as rides, and it very quickly became my go-to jacket.
It's not the cheapest, but that versatility coupled with its bombproof build and quality make it a good investment.
Really well made and comfortable to wear on and off the bike, the versatility and performance make it worth the investment
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Showers Pass Women's Atlas Jacket
Size tested: Large
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?
Aimed at the "world traveller, commuter and outdoor enthusiast" according to Showers Pass. It's a versatile jacket that works well on or off the bike for wet weather days.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Showers Pass lists:
MapREflect fabric is waterproof and breathable, with fully sealed seams
MapREflect fabric - visible from 200 meters with car headlights
Extra-long core vents prevent overheating
Exclusive airflow–regulating cuffs
Ergonomic easy-grip zipper pulls
Removable hood fits over a helmet and stows in inside pocket
Drawcord at hood and double toggle cinch at hem
Soft, moisture wicking lining at collar
Front hand warmer pockets and chest pocket with audio port
Light loops on back
Inside pocket fits a passport
Available in sizes S-XXL
Exceptional quality of fabric and build. This jacket should last for years.
Did a brilliant job of keeping out even the heaviest and most persistent rain. Runs on the warm side, though, making the side vents crucial.
With the quality of fabric and construction, this jacket isn't going anywhere in a hurry. Detailed care instructions on the Showers Pass website makes optimising future performance easier too.
No issues with wetting out even in persistent heavy rain. The manufacturer gives this a 5-star waterproofing rating (out of 5) and it delivered on that claim.
Showers Pass gives this 4 stars (out of 5) for breathability and that seems fair. It's not as breathable as the company's more technical jackets, but it's good for the uses for which it is intended. Those working up more of a sweat with their riding may want to consider a slightly more breathable jacket. The zipped mesh side vents do help.
It's a casual, looser sort of fit rather than a neat performance cut, but the shape is contoured enough to not flap around when you're riding.
Cut to allow for layers underneath if you want them, the fit is on the generous side but not overly baggy. For maximum versatility, stick with your usual size, but if borderline, consider going down a size.
This isn't the lightest jacket out there, but it's not really designed to be. It's light enough to pack in a pannier or rucksack, but it doesn't pack down small enough to pop in a jersey pocket.
Extremely comfortable, both in terms of cut/fit and also fabric breathability and texture, apart from the stiffness at the neck when done up fully, which does detract from its comfort a little.
It's not a cheap jacket but it'll last a long time and it's versatile and stylish enough to be wearable for casual use as well as on-bike use.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed fine. Detailed instructions on the website show how to best look after the garment.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed really well as a casual and versatile waterproof jacket, designed for both on and off-bike use.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Stylish, well made, tough, durable, protective, good reflectivity and versatile.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Slightly stiff collar area.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
More expensive than a lot of similarly commuter-focused jackets, such as the Chrome Signal, Howies Herald and Vulpine Portixol, but around the same price as the Vulpine Softshell Harrington and Resolute Bay Reflective Jacket.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Very much.
Would you consider buying the jacket? Definitely
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Aside from that minor collar niggle, this is a supremely comfortable and effective waterproof that offers versatility for on or off-bike use, and excellent visibility. It's very good and an easy 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
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, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.