The folks at Showers Pass know a thing or two about making gear that’s suitable for the soggy weather served up in the Pacific Northwest. The Syncline jacket is an affordable, cycling-friendly, all-around jacket that has a long going for it.

Showers Pass Syncline Jacket Features:

  • Artex™ Hardshell 2.5-layer fabric for waterproof-breathable performance without bulk
  • Seam taped construction for maximum wind and waterproofness
  • Cross-core vents
  • 360 degrees of subtle 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material for maximum visibility
  • Front handwarmer pockets with water resistant zippers
  • Adjustable hood fits under a helmet
  • Double toggle hem cinch for adjustability
  • Full fit
  • MSRP: $125

The Syncline is full-featured with lots of great features for the price.

Syncline is a commuter-special

Showers Pass calls Portland, Oregon home. With that, you can count on them to make great rainwear. As a Pacific Northwest native, I can appreciate a good rain jacket and a good rain jacket always includes a hood. But, a good cycling jacket rarely includes a hood (think flap, flap, flap). So, I’ve been coming to grips with the hood on the affordable Syncline — more on that later.

For starers, the Syncline is a hardshell jacket, so it has to have a generous fit otherwise it will be restrictive. That said, when the medium arrived, I was surprisingly-swimming in it, so in came the small and it has a perfect on-bike fit for my 5’11” 170 lb. body. I honestly can’t recall a time when I wore a size small jacket, but there’s a first for everything.

Speaking of scratching my head, the Syncline comes in at a great price point at only $125. With that, you get a 2.5-layer fabric that delivers excellent waterproofness while being quite-breathable. It’s not as breathable as the most expensive materials, but again, we’re talking a buck twenty-five for this jacket, so I’m feeling pretty good here. The entire package feels solid and is well-built with taped seams and everything else you could ask for in an affordable jacket.

Because this jacket is not super streamlined and it has the aforementioned hood, I was more inclined to test it mountain biking so that’s where the bulk of my testing came. Of course, I did do some running in it to test the breathability just for good measure, but it has been my cold-weather mountain biking jacket. Showers Pass calls this great for “biking, hiking, camping and walking in the rain,” but I found the cut to be more cycling-specific than all-rounder friendly.

The Syncline performed quite well for cold-weather MTB duty.

The shoulders and sleeves sit naturally and comfortably in the riding position and the frontside remains in place without pulling up. Sleeve length is also something that’s dialed here. Many times I have to sacrifice sleeve length in order to get a proper fit in the torso, but not here. The sleeves have extra length and stay put atop winter-weight gloves quite well. When off the bike, the shoulders felt a little uncomfortable — like I was fighting the jacket a bit. Again, I had nothing of the sort when on the bike.

Breathability is aided by the cross-venting core vents. The 2.5-layer fabric does breathe well, but you’ll notice your back and sleeves will be a little damp to the touch after a hard ride. The core vents minimize that, but perhaps a few back vents could improve things even more. All zippers feature absolutely-fantastic zipper pulls. I’m a zipper pull guy and these are keepers. They are easily-grabbed with and without gloves.

The fabric has been durable thus far with no signs of wear. And that’s after being grabbed by a gaggle of scrub oak trees which are notorious for sending less-durable jackets to an early grave.

The Good

  • Excellent construction quality and feel
  • Fits well in the riding position
  • Waterproof/breathability on par with price
  • Durable shell fabric
  • Core vents are nice
  • Zipper pulls are perfect
  • Lots of reflective touches

The Bad

  • Sizing is very generous
  • Cycling fit feels awkward in the shoulders when off the bike
  • A small chest pocket would be nice

The Bottom Line: Syncline Jacket

The Syncline is well-priced and really has some great touches to it. While it can be used for all-around duty, my testing revealed it is most comfortable on the bike. I’d say this one is a great mountain biking or commuting jacket for cold or wet conditions.

Buy Now: Available at REI

 

 

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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