Item: Spring Classic Rain Jacket
Maker: Showers Pass, Portland, OR
Material: 3-layer Elite hardshell front and back, softshell sides
Order: Showers Pass Link
What it is: A high-performance outer layer for those 40-60-degree spring days.
Strengths: Breathability, construction, fashion, fit.
Weaknesses: Thankfully you get a lot, because it's not cheap.
Remember when I said that Showers Pass was now officially trolling me with the new "Spring Classic" jacket, a name sure to rope in any Flandersophile like me? Well, I have one. It' a real thing. And it's spectacular.
I have been riding the Spring Classic for a couple months now, daring it to rain on me (it has), and taking it out for longer rides to make certain of how it functions. And the feedback is all very good.
Mostly, I don't notice it. It certainly blocks out moisture when it rains (duh), or cold when it doesn't, as well as any jacket I've had. It's made primarily of lightweight (approx. 300 grams), hardshell 3-layer material that breathes while protecting you from the elements. The features for airflow include not only the breathable hardshell material, but a band of softer, better breathing fabric on the sides from the hip to the armpit to the wrist.
The black stuff is the softer, breathable material, a smart move considering those aren't places where you need much rain protection. It also takes a bit of the tension off of what is a very form-tailored fit, making it comfortable without any excess material. There are pit zips and a back vent, tastefully effective reflective strips, top quality in the seams, stitching and zipper, and a warm neck band that nonetheless wicks away moisture. There's even a bit of silicon on the band of the extended tail to lock it down a bit better than your average spare flap.
That's what's on it. As for my experience, it's been sublime. This is the best-looking, best functioning jacket I've ridden. It's a bit more flexible and comfortable than the Metro, thanks to the softer fabric. It's the best-tailored fit I've experienced, and you can see from the top photo how well it covers the torso without flapping in the wind. It feels lighter than other coats I've tried, and downright invisible when I'm riding. The neck zipper is a bit of a matter of preference, as it jags slightly off-center to avoid the stacking of zippers among your layers. That's clever enough, but I'm not sure it's really necessary, and it takes a little getting used to. But like so much else with this coat, once you start riding you'll forget all about it. And that's the ideal... a jacket that leaves you nothing to worry about. At $289, which is the high end of the market, it is what you deserve.