We gave tester Chris Zito a Showers Pass Torch Jacket to test a while back. Chris is an avid fat-biker and also a messenger riding daily and year ’round in Milwaukee so let’s check out his report on the Torch!
I’m assuming that I was gifted this assignment because of the nature of my current occupation. You see, this jacket will do you just fine while pushing your fat-bike in inclement weather through the woods or along the beach, but I truly believe that the brain-trust at Showers Pass intended for this garment to appeal to the “urban rider”. So, I took it to the streets. I didn’t just wear it out in the rain for a twenty minute loop through the park, I put it to the ultimate test of any cycling apparel, a month on a messenger. When it rained, it rained all day, and after a number of 8-10 hour days in the wet The Torch performed beyond my wildest expectations.
I haven’t seen a product this well thought out in a long time. Lets start with the Hi-Vis reflective material, or, as the label on the inside says, “Elite-waterproof, breathable performance fabric”. It’s shiny reflectivity dominates the majority of the garment, but is challenged by the Flouro-yellow highlights on the sides and arms. (Not sure what it is exactly, but I’m willing to bet 3M has a hand it.) If that’s not bright enough for you, it gets better, the jacket comes with four BEACON LED lights that fit into ports on the end of the sleeves and the rear flap!!!
As a courier going in and out of elevators all day, you get a number of people, commuters and enthusiasts and such, asking about gloves, jackets, foot wear etc… I have NEVER had so many people ask about a product than I have with this jacket. It is so eye catching, that on more than a few occasions, people getting off of elevators did the “step back and Whoa that’s bright move.” I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that anyone who wears this jacket, and gets hit by a car, is a…., lets just say you don’t belong on a bike. I hereby dub this jacket “The Epitome of Visibility”.
Moving on to the other amenities of this fine garment, it has durable YKK zippers that I have always found to be a quality product. It has a nice roomy back pocket for all the essentials of a day ride and a chest pocket with a headphone port for your phone or preferred device. There is a large vent flap on back and pit zips under the arms for regulating airflow and ventilation. The collar has a fleecy ling and a cinch to snug it up when the weather starts to get gnarly. There is also a cinch on the waist and Velcro cuffs at the end of the sleeves. Sleeves that are long enough that they don’t pull up and expose your wrists when you are reaching for the bars. My favorite feature of the Torch, is the one that took me the longest to figure out. The loop on the rear vent flap, for hooking a taillight to!!
I wore the Torch for a number of long, cold and wet rainy days and was not disappointed with any facet of performance. It kept me pleasantly warm and dry, and if every single car, pedestrian, and cyclist on the streets didn’t see me, they had their heads up their asses and them’s the ones we have to look out for anyway!! I highly recommend this jacket to anyone who rides in the city. Whether you are a commuter or courier, novice or a pro, you WILL be seen, and you WILL be comfortably warm and dry.
Hi Vis Torch Jacket Specs from Showers Pass:
- Waterproof MapREflectTM fabric on main body for high visibility to motorists
- Waterproof and Breathable eliteTM 3-layer ripstop fabric with brushed lining on the side panels for maximum weather protection and warmth
- Fully seam taped for wind and waterproofness
- 4 removable Red LED Beacon Lights offer high visibility at night with 3 flashing modes.
- YKK AquaGuard Vislon water resistant front zipper with storm flap
- Core vents and large back vent for flow thru ventilation
- Chest pocket with audio port and large back pocket
- Exclusive airflow–regulating cuffs
- 3MTM ScotchliteTM Reflective trim for even more visibility
- Soft moisture wicking lining at collar
- Cinch cord at collar and double toggle cinch at hem
- Hood compatible via hook and loop attachment points at collar
- Locker loop at collar
- Light loop on back vent
- Men’s size medium weighs 20oz
- Men’s and Women’s Torch Jacket – Retail $325 / £240
The Beacon light system shown here in the sleeve of the Torch Jacket…
also works with the Showers Pass Cloudcover Utility Back Pack that we reviewed a while back…