STEF: Up until age 22, I had spent every season of life in San Diego, California. Running gear for the “seasons” was just a rotation of shorts, sports bras, tanks, and a couple of long sleeves here and there. Gloves, waterproof anything, wool? I had no idea about gear for extreme elements. Until I moved to Chicago and experienced a run along LSD with a wind chill of -40 degrees F and was certain my nose was going to fall off. Over the years, I have become a merino wool freak to get me through Colorado winters, so needless to say, I was stoked to give a few Showers Pass pieces a test go.
JARRETT: Showers Pass is a Portland, Oregon-based apparel brand specializing in waterproof and breathable active apparel. They pride themselves on high-quality rain gear, which makes sense since rumor has it Portland experiences rain 50% of the year. Before being allowed to try out their gear, I wasn’t aware of the brand. I now know what I was missing, and my excuses to get out on those crappy weather days have drastically decreased.
STEF: The Apex merino long sleeve is cozy! I was a big fan of the color (Clay — perfect for fall) and loved the relaxed fit. I toggle back and forth on liking tight-fitting long sleeves vs a more comfortable fit, and these days, I love the nerdy option of tucking in a loose-fitting long sleeve into my tights/capris/half tights. The Apex wicked sweat well, and I felt adequately thermoregulated in temps that started in the high teens and got up to the mid-30s by the end of my run. Best of all, the 18.5-micron merino ring spun around a nylon core isn’t itchy at all, and I went three wears without washing it — and no stink. Washing was easy, though I opted to hang dry. The care instructions state you can place this top in the dryer here and there if you’re short on time, so it’s not a super fussy wool product.
JARRETT: The Showers Pass Apex Merino Tech T-Shirt comprises an 87% Merino Wool and 13% Nylon blend. This provides a sweat-wicking and light shirt that can stretch when needed. Most Merino shirts I’ve tried are love handle hugging tight. I appreciate that the Apex can have a nice slim fit that doesn’t require you to have a Zeus-like figure to wear outside.
The merino wool did wick away sweat to an extent, but once it starts holding the sweat, it’s obvious. It doesn’t get saggy and heavy, but the dark sweat spots stand out like a sore thumb compared to the standard gray shirt color. The Apex shirt dried super quickly to make up for the sweat, and the antimicrobial odor protection is real. Multiple runs without a wash, and it still smells fresh. The quality here is top-notch. Grab it in either Alpine Blue or Dark Shadow.
PRICE: $89 for LS / $75 for SSShop Apex Tech T-Shirt – Men Shop Apex Tech T-Shirt – Women
JARRETT: A lot of rain jackets on the market become a sweat-soaked sauna while out running. The Showers Pass Cloudburst incorporates eliteAir, which is a super breathable and waterproof fabric. The two substantial side pockets extend up to chest height and double as ventilation. As I started to get warm in the middle of the run, I unzipped the pockets 2-3 inches (they unzip beginning from under the armpit), and the airflow was euphoric. There is a third pocket on the back, which the jacket packs into for easy storage on trips.
I was slightly skeptical as to whether the jacket fit me when I first tried it on. The medium I received was a touch on the snug side with just a shirt underneath. Once running, I really appreciated the fit as it stayed in place and wasn’t flopping around. The jacket also has partially elasticized cuffs to keep the arms in place and fully taped seams for even more waterproofing.
It took a few days for it to rain for me to test out the waterproofing. Before that, I was running my arm underneath the sink in complete awe at the water rolling right off. When it finally did rain, the Cloudburst held up phenomenally. I do think there should be a version of the Cloudburst with a hood as some water did get in through the neck, but otherwise, it worked as advertised and kept my body dry. The Cloudburst jacket might be a rainy day’s kryptonite.
PRICE: $189Shop Cloudburst Jacket – Men
JARRETT: I’m reasonably confident I have awful circulation because my fingers are always cold. I can run in shorts in 30 degrees, but if my fingers are cold, I’m done for. Showers Pass sent me the crosspoint waterproof knit wool gloves to put to the test. These gloves have three bonded layers: a wear-resistant knit exterior that feels like a regular knit glove, a waterproof-breathable Artex membrane, and a moisture-wicking, antibacterial Merino wool lining. The silicone on the fingers and palm is there to help with grip.
These gloves feel great to the touch and have a nice snug fit to them. I always have to stand around waiting for a minute or two while my Garmin finds the GPS, and the gloves keep my hands from getting cold. While running, my hands never overheated. I really like the crosspoint gloves without factoring in the waterproof aspect. Add that into the picture, and they become a powerhouse.
My current glove rotation is either super thin liners that do nothing or heavy-duty snowboard gloves (yes, I have done plenty of long runs in giant winter gloves to stay warm). The crosspoint gloves are going to make the next few cold months much more bearable. Bring it on, winter!
STEF: The Showers Pass Crosspoint waterproof knit wool gloves held up to their claims as I took these out in a freak sleet/light snowstorm last month. I was impressed with their warmth without a wind shell outer material or any synthetic insulation. They feature three bonded layers — a wear-resistant knit exterior, a waterproof-breathable Artex membrane, and a Coolmax moisture-wicking antibacterial knit lining. There is silicone printing on the palms to offer grip in wet conditions, and I could see these being excellent on a rainy hike with boulders, etc.
PRICE: $50Shop Crosspoint Waterproof Knit Wool Gloves
JARRETT: One of my biggest gripes in life is wet feet and socks, so it seems like waterproof socks would be a no-brainer. The crosspoint essentials socks are made up of 3 layers; a wear-resistant knit exterior (feels like a regular sock), a waterproof breathable Artex membrane, and a soft, cotton-poly inner layer for comfort. Compared to your thin running sock, these are on the thicker side, and with three layers, they have some form to them. Walking through puddles in just socks and having dry feet is a weird experience. The crosspoint essentials really are waterproof!
I plan on using these for slushy winter runs or wet hikes. I tried running in the socks a few times, but they were a bit too warm for 50-degree mornings. Even though the water wasn’t getting in, my feet were getting hot and sweaty. The biggest pain comes with washing the socks. Since they’re waterproof, the directions recommend hang drying. The inside was soaking coming out of the washing machine, so I had to turn them inside out to squeeze out water trapped and then flip them a few times over the span of a day.
Quit wrapping your feet in plastic bags to keep them dry. Get some waterproof socks!
PRICE: $29Shop Crosspoint Essentials – Men Shop Crosspoint Essentials – Women
STEF: These lightweight Crosspoint Classic socks genuinely are waterproof. I briefly submerged them in an alpine lake, and my feet did not become soupy. The knit weight of the socks feels very similar to the Crosspoint gloves with a three-layer system, featuring terry loop cushioning across the footbed and against the skin, a Coolmax FX lining for sweat wicking, and of course, the waterproof-breathable Artex membrane. My feet stayed warm in sub-freezing temperatures, and I never got that numb toe feeling at any point, even after getting these guys wet.
PRICE: $37Shop Crosspoint Classics – Men Shop Crosspoint Classics – Women