The Refuge is supposed to serve as a rain jacket for all (wet) occasions. It mostly can?
I am between sizes in many many brands, and Showers Pass is one of them. The sleeves on the medium could be a full inch longer for cycling. The front is normal rain jacket length, so it's going to hit the legs when on a bike. That would be fine as you can fold the front into itself to make room, however, the stiff vent zippers cause the jacket to move with the legs. Not ideal, not horrible, and I actually prefer a little more length here as well. One more nit - it doesn't pack up as small as one might like for carrying in the pannier. On the plus side, the drop tail is very nice, the coat keeps me dry, the vents work well, and the fabric seems to breathe well.
Other Outdoor Stuff
The hood would ideally completely cover a baseball cap, but it's not quite long enough. I'm not sure why. On the other hand, the interface between removable hood and collar is excellent. And again the drop-tail comes in handy for wet seats and extra length to keep the pants dry.
All in all, it's a good jacket, but I wanted a great jacket.
The refuge jackets is coated DWR (durable water repellent) coating. The DWR wears off when the jacket rubs against other things, is waded up or used in the rain for a month.. After the DWR wears off the jacket becomes a sponge and soaks up the water. The jacket must be washed in expensive ($20) special Nik Wax detergent to possibly restore the DWR. There are CFP's involved with DWR as well.
This jacket was intended to replace a basic windbreaker I was using for mountain biking in cold andor wet conditions, but it's so much more versatile. It's a vast improvement as it keeps me perfectly dry, yet allows for venting away sweat and condensation. The optional drop tail is a plus even when I'm using a rear fender. I've used it for backcountry skiing and splitboarding, as well, and it performs great. The reinforced shoulders, fully taped seams and overall workmanship inspire confidence that it will go the distance over the years. I'm 6', 185 and the large is a perfect fit, with plenty of room for layering as needed. I bought the neon green for high visibility when biking to local trailheads, plus it looks bold. The only downside is that this color shows every speck of dirt or smudge. I'm inclined to pre-treat it with Revivex or some sort of fabric protectant to allow for easier cleaning. I received a sizeable discount as a BTD Gold Member. making the jacket a pretty good value.
I'm 5'10 and 160 lbs, 42 chest 32 waist. Size medium fits perfectly with room for snug fitting base layer, and a mid layer(I use a variety of Castelli form fittingrace fit road jackets as mid layer depending on temperature). Great design with vent options and plenty of pockets. Heavy shell that's wind resistant, and water resistant. Super product...but expensive.
Yes it's expensive so it works like a dream. My commute is about 16 miles and I generate a lot of body heat, unlike other jackets I've owned this once does a great job venting.
I tested it last night in a hailstorm/rain deluge which lasted 45 minutes with 40 deg temps. I had 2 layers undeneath and the vents open halfway, and was completly dry when I got home.
The pockets are perfectly placed for me, the front vents seem to work better than pit zips and I love the longer arms.
The fit is snug which is great for riding, I bought a medium and I'm 5ft 9, 42 inch chest and can fit about 3 layers underneath.
The jacket provides full wind and rain protection and would be fine in snow as well. Although warm, it has excellent ventilation which prevents overheating when exercising. With a good base layer and another wool layer this will be good to 20 degrees no problem - for hard core winter you can add a down vest and be good to about zero F.
I really like the shoulder reinforcements since carrying a pack is common for mountain biking, commuting, nordic skiing and of course backpacking. Good job Showers Pass!
This is an otherwise very well designed jacket but the front-facing ventilation zips are problematic. I found them very stiff. They compress my torso when in a prone position, i.e. when riding on the hoods or drops. They rubbed uncomfortably against my ribcage when seated. It was so annoying I couldn't wear the jacket more than an hour or two. As to how well the vents work perhaps too well, because in my case I found it difficult to ride without opening them.
I notice Showers Pass is putting them on lots of their items (like the Atlas and IMBA) which is worrisome. I hope they don't do this to the Elite or spring classic.
Otherwise the jacket is very well fitted, which makes this particular design issue all the more frustrating. The front is a bit long for riding but a good compromise length for an around-town jacket. The gray jacket looks sharp and wears well over street clothes. I know the eVent fabric from the Elite jacket and it's a good balance of waterproofness and breathabilty. With the right underlayers I imagine this is a good jacket for snow sports
I recommend wearing this jacket on a test ride before buying it. Pay close attention to how those vent zips feels, because after a couple of hours they might drive you nuts.
Dry, comfortable, good looking, has detachable hood, pricey, seems to breath very weel and has great side vents - have used in rain up to mid sixties from 45 and amazing comfortable, may have to take layer off from underneath at some point in ride, Not easily pack able in Jersey. Hood attachment very nice - but does not fit over helmet but rather under - sometimes that can cause vision issues from side to side (use mirror) - all in all a great purchase
I bought this rain jacket to replace a 2.5-layer Patagonia rain jacket that left me feeling damp, cold, and clammy. This jacket kept me bone dry in a torrential rainstorm for 45 minutes (at which point I got bored of playing fetch with my Labrador and went indoors). The hood is adjustable to accommodate both helmets or nothing, with a snug fit to keep the elements out. Velcro sleeve closures and a velvety cuff are snug and comfortable. The construction is solid and durable, and can withstand an overjoyed Labrador retriever's greeting of jumping and pawing. I've used this jacket while riding a bike, hiking, and running in all kinds of conditions.
I'm a year-a-round commuter. I need solid gear that can handle anything mother nature throws at me...this is it. Keeps the water and wind out. It is not a thermal product so you will need your layers underneath to compensate for the level of cold that you may encounter. Only thing that falls short is the hood that doesn't actually fit over the bike helmet as claimed. Not a big issues as Taiga has the best product on the market for this solution that fits all helmets and has the proper features that no other manufacture covers inclusively for a helmet cover.