The Showers Pass Cloudburst waterproof jacket has breathability during highly active use at the centre of its design.
A pared-back style and minimal cut put the focus on the performance of the material, which does not feel like your traditional waterproof hardshell.
Showers Pass Cloudburst details and specification
The Cloudburst eschews the hardshell waterproof jacket norm, and is instead made from an eliteAIR softshell material with a 10,200mm water column rating. It has been fully seam taped to improve water resistance.
Showers Pass says the four-way stretch material is smooth to the touch both inside and out, and is comfortable enough to wear next to the skin over short sleeves as well as long. The stretchiness should make it move with your body, which is ideal for mountain biking.
The flip side to the lower than average waterproof rating is the “industry leading” moisture vapour transmission rate. This figure, according to Showers Pass, is 43,000mm.
The fit is claimed to be tailored, but thanks to the forgiving four-way stretch there should be enough room to layer up in the colder months.
It features two long front pockets, which are mesh lined and when opened up can be used as vents too. The whole jacket packs easily into its zipped rear pocket.
Showers Pass Cloudburst performance
It’s been interesting to test a jacket that prioritises temperature regulation throughout an autumn that has stayed stubbornly warm, with unpredictable showers rather than freezing rain.
Worn over my regulation long-sleeve Merino baselayer and trail riding for three to four hours in conditions ranging from damp 9°C mornings to mid-afternoon highs of 18°C, the Cloudburst has established itself as a riding favourite.
One of the reasons I reach for this jacket so regularly is it feels more like a long-sleeve mountain bike jersey than a waterproof jacket. The emphasis Showers Pass has placed on breathable performance versus higher-level water protection is evident when you ride.
The comfort has been so good that I’ve double checked the taping more than once and found myself waiting for it to leak.
Well, I’m still waiting for that leak, and despite heading out in some committed downpours have yet to get wet.
I noticed that beads of water on the surface of the fabric have a tendency to sink in if they aren’t shed rapidly. Water doesn’t penetrate through to the inside and you don’t get wet, it’s just different from the usual ‘shake dry’ of a hardshell.
The fit and shape are good, allowing for easy movement on the bike, with shoulders that enable you to move without taking the rest of the jacket with you.
The stretch adds to the ease of movement and underlines the sensation of wearing no more than a heavy jersey. It really is a delight to ride in and the Cloudburst has been almost perfect for transitional riding.
However, the lack of a hood and the fact that the rear hem could be more protectively generous makes us hesitant about how it will ride in the hostile conditions (think sideways rain) of a UK winter.
How does the Showers Pass Cloudburst compare to the Endura GV500?
The Cloudburst and the GV500 are both packable styles that emphasise breathable performance, but I like the Cloudburst most for shorter hard rides or on days when the forecast makes the lack of a hood less of an issue.
The GV500 is a better call for all-day trail outings that have the potential for greater exposure or very wet conditions.
Showers Pass Cloudburst bottom line
If you prioritise breathability for high-octane riding over maximum protection, the Cloudburst is a waterproof jacket that’s well worth looking at.
How we tested
This year, we tested five of the most popular and innovative waterproof jackets to find out which one is best at keeping you dry and comfortable out on the trails during the wet winter months.
We compared their breathability and waterproofing, along with how they fared when temperatures stayed high and dropped down.
Jackets on test