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Like the look of the new Cloudburst Hoodie waterproof jacket from Showers Pass? Wondering how it might perform for cycling in rain or shine? Let’s take a closer look at this upgrade of the original Cloudburst Jacket and see whether it’s as good as (or, maybe, even better than) the OG.
TL;DR – I’ve been using the original Cloudburst jacket for 2+ years now. It’s my go-to cycling jacket for days when it’s raining or promising to (which is to say, most days here). It still keeps me dry and I love the packability of it when the sun comes out to play. With due apology to other road users, if I had to make a choice between my Cloudburst jacket or bike shorts, I’d be leaving the shorts back home in the drawer. Thankfully I’ve never had to do that, but I hope it gives you an idea of how much I like this jacket. The new Cloudburst Hoodie has the same construction and fit, fantastic breathability and waterproofing, and the additional hood is excellent. I love it.
Why I liked the original Cloudburst jacket so much
I reviewed the Cloudburst jacket back in 2021 and, at the time, was really impressed by both its ability to keep the rain out and (when it’s not raining) its ability to pack up small and light for tucking into your saddlebag or jersey pocket.
Fast forward to today, and I’m a couple years grayer ☹ though sadly no wiser ☹
So, I haven’t fared too well over that period, but what about the Cloudburst?
Well, it’s still my jacket of choice on rainy and wet days – or days when it looks like it’s going to get rainy and wet. The waterproof and breathable eliteAIR fabric still keeps the water on the outside, whether that’s rain or perspiration. And that fabric feels superb, by the way – it’s delightfully crinkle-free (unlike some cheapo rain jackets which can be weirdly noisy when you move). It’s also got great stretch – which is much appreciated when you’re cycling along.
Upshot is that I loved the Cloudburst jacket then and still love it now.
Is the jacket perfect? Well (as I noted in my original review) it has a few niggles although, for me, none of these knock it off the #1 spot in my closet of packable cycling jackets. To recap: (1) it’s not a cycling-specific jacket, so doesn’t have a drop rear hem (although the hem is generous enough that it does the job of keeping your butt dry anyway), (2) the cuffs are elasticated, not velcroed, so may not go over bulky gloves, and (3) it doesn’t have a hood…
…and that’s a good time to segue on to the Cloudburst Hoodie.
How the new Cloudburst Hoodie differs from the OG
Cloudburst Hoodie: Key Features
- eliteAIR waterproof and breathable fabric
- Crinkle-free and stretchy
- 3 large zippered pockets (2 x core / 2 inner mesh / 1 x rear)
- Packs into rear pocket
- Adjustable hem and elastic cuffs
- Adjustable hood
- Weight: 11.9 oz / 338g (Men’s Large)
The new Hoodie is the same construction and fit as the original jacket – I have the Men’s Large in the Jacket and the Men’s Large in the Hoodie fits me just as well (despite a couple of additional years on the waistline).
Let’s take a look at the details:
The Hoodie is available in a Men’s and Women’s fit. Both are available in five sizes (Small through XX-Large) and in three colors (Mandarin, Black and Poseidon).
I’ve been testing out the Men’s Large in the Poseidon color. I have to say, I’m a big fan of this color! It’s a mid blue, which hopefully shows up in the photos on your screen.
I said earlier that I really appreciated the packability of the original jacket and the Hoodie is no slouch in this department either. Weight-wise the Large Men’s Hoodie comes in at 11.9 oz / 338g, which means that the new hood (more on this in a moment) only adds 2.1 oz / 60g to the total. About the weight of 60 dollar bills, if you’re interested.
And, it packs up small too. Stuff it into its own rear pocket and you can squash the whole thing down to only around 6×4.5×3 inches or 15x12x8 cm. Again, only slightly larger than the original jacket (5x4x2.5 inches / 13x10x6 cm).
From what I can see, there have been two upgrades to the jacket design.
First, the zippers on the core vent pockets now have a length of cord added to them. This might seem minor but it actually makes a huge difference in how easy it is to open and shut the pockets with gloved hands and cold, numb fingers. It achieves this without adding much, if any, weight to the total jacket, which is another plus point.
The big difference between the jackets is, of course, the hood.
For me, the hood is a great size and fit. It’s not helmet-compatible, but it’s roomy with cinch cords to get the adjustment around the face just right for you. I’ve tended to wear this underneath my helmet, which keeps the wind and rain out nicely and stops drips going down the back of your neck.
Should you buy the new Hoodie: Yes? No?
We’ve seen that both the Cloudburst Hoodie and Jacket have got some great features: waterproof, breathable, packable, light, crinkle-free and stretchy.
Both have the same construction and fit, however the new Hoodie, funnily enough, comes with a hood.
There’s a $40 difference in the price right now and for that you get the additional hood and 2.1 oz or 60 dollar bills of extra weight.
So, which one should you go for? Well, here’s my view: If you cycle regularly in very rainy conditions (with a small chance of dry weather), choose the Cloudburst Hoodie for its additional hood. If you cycle more often in conditions where there’s some rain showers, but also a decent chance of some drier spells, then go with the slightly more packable Cloudburst Jacket.
The choice is clearly yours but, whether you choose the Cloudburst Hoodie or Jacket, this will likely be your new go-to too.