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Showers Pass Transit - Women's Review

An excellent choice for bike commuting in wet weather
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Showers Pass Transit - Women's Review
Credit: Showers Pass
Price:  $135 List
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Manufacturer:   Showers Pass
By Lyra Pierotti ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 25, 2023
67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 10
  • Water Resistance - 30% 9.0
  • Breathability - 25% 5.0
  • Comfort and Mobility - 20% 6.0
  • Weight - 15% 4.4
  • Durability - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

With remarkable gear, it is often all about the small things, the attention to detail, and the care that is put into the design. The Transit rain pants from Showers Pass are stellar, down to every detail. These are optimized for cycling, and especially well suited to bike commuting in cool, wet climates. They are made of rugged three-layer waterproof fabric, yet supple and breathable enough to be comfortable on the move. When the sky cracks open unexpectedly mid-commute, they're easy to throw on in a rush, thanks to the bottom leg zippers. The Velcro strips gather the material around your lower leg and secure it all, so you don't get your pants caught in the chain or pedals. If these positives weren't enough, head over to the Showers Pass website and search for one of their products by name. This detail did not go unnoticed by our reviewers; the women's model is listed first, followed by the men's. Get the skinny on how it stacks up against other top products in our article on the best women's rain pants.
REASONS TO BUY
Optimized for cycling
Thoughtful features
Durable
Comfortable
REASONS TO AVOID
Thicker fabric better for cooler temperatures
No vents
No pockets

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line A go-to for wet weather cycling and commutingAn affordable option that will stand up to moderate activityThese ultralight rain pants offer excellent comfort at a reasonable priceThese rain pants are highly versatile and affordable, a great option for emergency shell pantsAn excellent update to a longtime favorite for the price
Rating Categories Showers Pass Transi... Patagonia Torrentsh... Rab Downpour Eco Pa... REI Co-op Rainier F... Marmot PreCip Eco P...
Water Resistance (30%)
9.0
9.5
7.0
6.0
7.0
Breathability (25%)
5.0
7.0
7.5
7.0
6.0
Comfort and Mobility (20%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Weight (15%)
4.4
4.7
7.1
4.0
6.5
Durability (10%)
9.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Showers Pass Transi... Patagonia Torrentsh... Rab Downpour Eco Pa... REI Co-op Rainier F... Marmot PreCip Eco P...
Measured Weight 11.0 oz 10.5 oz 7.3 oz 11.5 oz 8.0 oz
Waterproof Material Nylon 100% recycled nylon Pertex Shield membrane Peak 2.5-layer recycled ripstop nylon NanoPro Eco
Face Fabric and Layer Construction Artex 3-Layer H2No Performance standard shell 50D recycled polyester, DWR coating Recycled ripstop nylon 100% Recycled Nylon Ripstop
Pockets None 2 zippered hand None 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hand
Side Zip Length Ankle 1/2 zip 1/3 zip Full length Ankle
Compatible with Hiking or Mountaineering Boots? Low top hiking/casual Mountaineering Hiking Both Hiking
Inseam Length (size Small) 32 32 30 31.5 30
Stows Into Pocket? No Yes No No No
Clippable Loop? No Yes No No No
Waist Band Style Elastic waist + internal drawcord Elastic waist + internal drawcord Elastic waist + internal drawcord Elastic waist + internal drawcord Elastic waist + internal drawcord

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Transit pants are an excellent waterproof shell for rainy bike commutes. Optimized for wet weather bike commutes, they define the standard in bike commute rain pants. These are made of thick, three-layer fabric and are designed by a company based in Portland, Oregon; as such, they are optimally suited to the cool, wet climate of the Pacific Northwet. (Not a typo.)

Performance Comparison


showers pass transit for women - ready for any weather, cycling in the transit pants.
Ready for any weather, cycling in the Transit pants.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

Water Resistance


Showers Pass has an extensive and informative website. Scroll through all the info tabs, and you'll find their rating system, which classifies their garments according to their waterproof and breathable qualities. The Transit pants earn 4 of 5 stars on their waterproof scale, which means they use fabrics rated 3,000-15,000mm and have taped or welded seams. The ratings can get pretty techy, but it's interesting to know how it is measured.

This test describes the pressure of water it takes to leak through the fabric. Imagine a one-inch by one-inch square tube. Fill it with water and measure the height of the water at which the fabric leaks. In a jacket rated up to 15,000mm, this means that the tube would need to be filled to a height of almost 50 feet before the fabric would leak. This is not conceptually easy to relate to normal use, but useful to compare to other garments which use other fabrics, at least when you have experience with a few different types of materials. This is where our field testing becomes useful.


The Transit pants are made of waterproof-breathable Artex Hardshell three-layer ripstop fabric. Three-layer materials are the burliest of all waterproof fabrics; they also often feel thicker and stiffer and are typically best for cooler climates or environments. On our rides, these pants were reliably waterproof. The fabric is excellent, and the seams are taped, further ensuring they remain wind and waterproof.

showers pass transit for women - three layer waterproof fabric plus a cinching waist and velcro tabs...
Three layer waterproof fabric plus a cinching waist and Velcro tabs (to secure 4 point suspenders) ensure great protection from the elements.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

The fit ensures excellent protection from rain when bent over on a bicycle, as the waist is high enough to help prevent any unintended gaps and is easy to cinch and hold in place. The pants are also compatible with their four-point suspenders, should you want extra security.

Breathability


Here is where we find another techy data point from Showers Pass; the Transit pants achieve another 4 of 5-star rating for breathability. According to this scale, that means the fabric is rated to at least 10,000g/m2/day and has wicking linings or multiple venting options.


Numerous tests report the transport of water vapor in grams per square meter in a 24-hour period, 10,000 in this case. They essentially all attempt to measure how much water vapor passes through the fabric membrane in a day. As we know, lab tests can only tell us so much about how well gear will perform in the wild.

Over a series of various rides and field testing, we assessed what this “4-star” rating felt like compared to other similarly rated garments. As a 3-layer fabric, these pants are on the burlier, thicker side of pants in this review. The company, Showers Pass, is based in Portland, Oregon, and we feel these pants are optimally designed for the cool, wet climate of the Pacific Northwest.

We preferred to wear light pants underneath on our longer rides, as the thicker material blocks wind well enough to limit the chill of our early morning commute. These pants do not have any vents; however, on a bike, we think they would be annoyingly flappy, and if anything, we often want to block the wind when going at relatively high speeds on a bicycle.

A Note About Artex 3-layer Fabric
Showers Pass explains on their website that the “laminated tricot liner offers increased protection of the membrane and drier feel on the skin while cutting down the bulk of traditional two-layer fabrics that have hanging liners. The extra protection allows for a thinner membrane with a higher concentration of pores and, therefore, a more breathable, durable garment.

Comfort and Mobility


According to Shower Pass, the Transit pants have a trim fit. However, we found they were relatively spacious when compared to other pants of the same size (in our fleet). This allows you to easily and quickly layer these pants over your casual pants when the sky cracks open during your commute. The cuff zippers help speed up the effort, as well.


The elastic drawcord hem quickly secures the pants in place, while the Velcro tabs at the ankles (one of our favorite features) allow you to cinch the pants (with your casual pants securely underneath) close, so the material doesn't get caught up in your pedal or chain. Swift, secure, smooth, brilliant; they're so great that we sometimes wanted to wear the pants on sunny days - just so we wouldn't have to roll up our jeans.

showers pass transit for women - cinching the pant legs close as we prepare to hop on our bike. no...
Cinching the pant legs close as we prepare to hop on our bike. No flapping and catching fabric for the pedals and chain to snag when riding in the Transit pants!
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

If these features aren't enough to make you feel footloose and fancy-free on your bicycle, they also have articulated knees, which makes pedaling feel unencumbered by the otherwise stiff materials of a hardshell pant such as these.

Features


The feature set of the Transit is very well-tailored to their intended use as a bicycle commuting rain pant. They have roomy legs that allow you to layer your casual pants underneath, and they're easier to throw on in a rainy rush. The ankle zippers ensure you're able to easily pull them over your bike or casual shoes, as well.

showers pass transit for women - lightweight, breathable rain pants with features well suited to...
Lightweight, breathable rain pants with features well suited to cycling.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

The elastic drawcord hem secures the waist, and the Velcro tabs are compatible with 4-point suspenders, which are available from Showers Pass. The articulated knees ensure comfort while pedaling, and the reflective stripe along either leg gives peace of mind on the shorter days of the year. Finally, our favorite feature, the Velcro ankle tabs, allow you to cinch the material around your calves closer, so the pants don't get caught up in your chain or any other moving parts while pedaling. These thoughtful cycling rain pants made our wet weather commutes smooth and enjoyable.

Weight


At 11 ounces for a size small, these are not the lightest rain pants in the review. However, weight is not as critical as it might be if they were intended for backpacking or climbing, where every ounce counts (since you're carrying them on your back). Since these are optimized for cycling, we kept them with us on our commutes, just in case the weather turned wet. We do still like to minimize the weight of things we carry on our back, even on a short bike commute, and this category was not the strongest for the Transit pants.


Packability



The mesh stuff sack helps compress the pants and makes it even easier to toss them into the bottom of our bike commuting backpack (or pannier) for when the weather turns. The pants are made of relatively thick three-layer fabric, and we were pleasantly surprised at how small of a stuff sack they (easily) stuffed into. This is great for keeping bulk down in your commuting bag and allowed us to save space for a healthy lunch and gym clothes.

showers pass transit for women - the transit pants from showers pass pack down to a relatively small...
The Transit pants from Showers Pass pack down to a relatively small size in the included mesh stuff sack.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

Durability


The Transit pants are made of very durable 3-layer waterproof fabric, which is the burliest waterproof fabric. They're very well made and are hailing from a high-quality factory. The taped seams ensure these pants will be reliably waterproof for the long haul.


We carefully examined and imagined the most likely ways to damage or wear out a pair of cycling rain pants. The top risk we came up with is getting the cuffs caught in the chain, which is not only bad for the pants but also for the bike! The Velcro cinching system is a brilliant fix for this risk. The next most significant concern is the amount of friction concentrated by the repetitive motions of cycling.

The articulated knees help to reduce the strain on the fabric in the knees and legs, and the use of burly three-layer fabric helps ensure durability as well, including sitting on a wet seat for long periods. That said, we do recommend a seat cover if you'll be leaving your bike outside in the rain. Even if the pressure of sitting on the seat doesn't force water through (which it did not in our tests), the water under your tush will feel cold.

showers pass transit for women - with the pants velcroed tight around our calves, these pants steer...
With the pants Velcroed tight around our calves, these pants steer clear of the pedals and chain.
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

Should You Buy the Shower's Pass Transit Pants?


The Transit pants are the way to go if you ride your bike in an area that is prone to rain. Although they are designed specifically for biking, they are still simple and practical for a variety of other uses. These are the way to go if you need a pair of rain pants for your bike commute that also function well for hiking or mountaineering if need be.

showers pass transit for women - cloudy skies ahead? no worries, ride on when you're wearing the...
Cloudy skies ahead? No worries, ride on when you're wearing the Transit pants!
Credit: Lyra Pierotti

What Other Rain Pants Should You Consider?


Because the Showers Pass Transit pants are designed for cycling, they sacrifice a bit in terms of comfort and breathability. If these factors are critical for you, we recommend the top-tier Patagonia Torrentshell 3L. The Transits also aren't the most affordable model. If you're looking for a budget-friendly pair of rain pants that performs on par with these in many aspects, check out the Rab Downpour Eco Pant.

Lyra Pierotti