How To Choose The Best Women's Waterproof Cycling Jacket

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How to choose the best Women's waterproof cycling jacket - showers pass

As leaders in technical cycling outerwear, we offer a variety of waterproof cycling rain jackets utilising different fabrics, different fit styles, and with different intended uses. The price range you see among waterproof jackets does not just relate to the level of waterproofness. It also relates to breathability; and special features like vents, zippers, adjustable cuffs, pockets and reflective trims.

This guide is designed to help you choose the best type of cycling jacket for your type of riding. If you overheat easily or plan on riding all day in the rain, a 3-layer jacket might be best for you. If you are only commuting short distances under 7 miles, our entry-level 2.5-layer jackets might be best for you. If you do many long training rides but don't like to wear a jacket when it's not raining, our lightweight and packable 2.5-Layer Century CC Jacket could be your best match. All of our jackets feature a DWR (durable water repellent) finish that allows rain to bead and roll off the jacket and prevents wetting out of the face fabric. Hardshell garments are best for fully waterproof protection while our Softshell garments provide warmth.   Unlike many of our competitors, we only describe our jackets as waterproof if they (1) have a waterproof membrane, (2) have a DWR finish, and (3) are completely seam sealed.

Elements to consider when shopping for a waterproof cycling jacket

 The Women's Jacket comparison chart below is designed to give you an idea of how our jackets compare to each other.

 Showers Pass Women's Waterproof Jacket Comparison Chart


3-Layer Jackets 

Fabric Type Breathable Rating Waterproof Rating Seam Taped Visibility Rating Weight (size small) Fit Style

Refuge Jacket

Elite 3-Layer 5-star 5-star Yes 4-star 15.7 oz Regular
Elite 2.1 Jacket Elite 3-Layer 5-star 5-star Yes 4-star 11.4oz Trim


Elite Jacket

Elite 3-Layer & MapREflect 4-star 5-star Yes 4-star 18 oz Trim
Hi-Vis Torch Jacket MapREflect & Elite 3-Layer 3-star 5-star Yes 5-star 18 oz Trim
Transit CC Jacket Artex 3-Layer 4-star 4-star Yes 4-star 18.5 oz Full
Navigator Jacket MapREflect  4-star 4-star Yes 4-star 19 oz Regular
Ecolyte Elite Ecolyte 3-Layer 5-star 5-star Yes 4-star 11.3 oz Trim
Timberline Artex 3-Layer 5-star 4-star Yes 3-star 14.3 oz Full
Cloudburst eliteAIR™ 3-Layer 5-star 5-star Yes 4-star 9.8 oz

Women's Hardshell Jackets 2.5-Layer

Fabric Type Breathable Rating Waterproof Rating Seam Taped Visibility Rating Weight (size small) Fit Style
Elements Jacket Artex 2.5 DC 5-star 5-star Yes 4-star 13.8 oz Regular
Century CC Jacket Artex 2.5 Layer 4-star 4-star Yes 4-star 11 oz Trim
Syncline CC Jacket Artex 2.5-Layer 4-star 4-star Yes 3-star 13.6 oz Regular

Showers Pass makes waterproof breathable rain jackets for women

3-Layer Fabrics

3-layer fabrics con­sist of a waterproof mem­brane bonded between a face fab­ric and a liner fab­ric. In addition to being the most durable construction, 3-Layer waterproof fabrics are usually the most breathable and comfortable against the skin. The lining protects the waterproof membrane, so the membrane can be finer, with more pores that allow body heat to pass through – reducing the buildup of condensation – while blocking rain from the outside. That inner lining also wicks moisture, and lifts the waterproof membrane off of the skin, reducing the “clammy” feel that is typical of lower-priced waterproof fabrics. 3-layer hardshells are usu­ally more expensive than 2 or 2.5-Layer shells but offer a better solution for people that ride long distances in the rain or tend to overheat easily.

Showers Pass Waterproof Breathable Fabric Brands Technology

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Women's 2.5-layer waterproof breathable fabric by showers pass

2.5-Layer Fabric

2.5-layer shells are made of a face fab­ric bonded to a waterproof mem­brane, with a raised printed pattern on the inside (the “half layer”) that helps pro­tect the mem­brane from abra­sion, body oils, and other damage. 2.5-Layer waterproof fabrics offer the benefits of being lighter weight and more packable, but they are typically not as durable or breathable as their 3-layer counterparts. 2.5-layer shells are a good option for people looking for a lightweight packable jacket – a good choice for long distance riding in the "best" category, or shorter commutes under about 7 miles in the "better" category.

Showers Pass 2.5-layer waterproof fabric brands technology

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2-Layer Waterproof Fabric

2-layer shells consist of a face fabric and waterproof membrane bonded together. Some 2-layer jackets feature a drop lining. This protects the membrane and increases comfort, but make the jacket considerably heavier than a 3-layer jacket of the same performance. Without a drop lining, 2-layer fabrics are very easily degraded by abrasion and body oils. To combat this the membrane can be made thicker, but that leads to dramatically reduced breathability. For these reasons, we don’t generally use 2-layer fabrics in our jackets. Our Clear Pro Tech ST jacket is the one exception because it uses a unique 2-layer fabric construction with no face fabric. The two layers are the waterproof membrane (on the outside), and a thin tricot lining that lifts the membrane off your skin. The Pro Tech ST is our lightest weight jacket, but also our least breathable.


 Ratings Scale Explained

Breathable Scale

1 STAR fabrics rate at least 1,000g/m2/day. Great for pre-race warm-ups or unexpected cloudbursts, but not recommended for long fast paced rides or warmer conditions.

2 STAR fabrics rate at least 5,000g/m2/day. This provides some moisture vapor transfer, but if you’re riding hard enough to sweat, especially in cold and rainy conditions, you will probably see some condensation on the inside of the garment.

3 STAR fabrics rate at least 10,000g/m2/day, and the garments have some venting capability. Most people can stay comfortable in these garments, especially if they take advantage of venting capabilities like pit or core vents, 2-way front zippers, or open cuffs.

4 STAR fabrics rate at least 10,000g/m2/day, might have wicking linings, and the garments have multiple venting options. Wicking linings aid in the efficiency of moisture vapor transfer, and provide a drier next-to-skin feel. Venting options like pit or core vents, 2-way front zippers, or open cuffs allow you to adjust airflow.

5 STAR, Industry leading breathability here. At least 15,000g/m2/day, wicking linings, and multiple venting options. For high output activities in varying conditions, this is the way to go!

Waterproof Scale

1 STAR garments will at least be treated with a Durable Water Repellant (DWR) finish and/or have a tight weave and design that will provide some water repellency. Great for short rides in light/intermittent precipitation.

2 STAR garments will use fabrics rated 3,000mm-10,000mm or even higher but might have strategic panels of non-waterproof fabric, or unsealed seams. Generally designed to be waterproof in the areas where you’re most likely to get hit by raindrops and road spray, but not designed to keep you completely dry in a downpour.

3 STAR garments use only fabrics rated at least 10,000mm, but might not be entirely seam sealed. These will keep you dry in most conditions, but you might see localized areas of leakage in extended downpours.

4 STAR garments will use only fabrics rated 3,000-15,000mm, and have taped or welded seams. Bring on the rain, snow, wind, sleet, hail, drizzle, fog, and mud. If all your vents, zippers, cuffs and collar are sealed, these garments should keep the elements out for most rides.

5 STAR garments will have fabrics rated at least 15,000mm, and have taped or welded seams. If you’re going to be out in nasty weather for extended periods of time, these are the garments for you! Just make sure to seal all your vents, zippers, cuffs and collar before stepping out into a downpour.

Need some help choosing the right size?

We design our cycling jackets with long sleeves to accommodate reach while in a road bike cycling position. We offer a range of fit styles for different riding types. Full fitting jackets are designed with the ability to fit bulky street clothes underneath. Regular fitting garments are designed to fit a few warm cycling layers underneath. Trim fitting garments are designed to be worn with 1-2 trim fitting layers and some garments may feature some type of stretch material. Our sizing is closer to US sizing than Euro sizing.

Showers Pass Women's Size Chart

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