Jackets made for biking through ‘April Showers’

For the five-month duration of the Minnesotan winter, members of the GearJunkie office have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of springtime biking. Taking the 30 Days of Biking pledge to ride everyday in April was a no-brainer.

When 19 of those 30 days saw some form of precipitation (rain, snow, freezing rain—a lovely variety!), we turned to cycling rain gear from local favorite, the Minneapolis-based O2 Rainwear, and Showers Pass of Portland, Ore.

O2 Nokomis Jacket and Pant

From O2, we wore the Nokomis Jacket ($149.95) and Pant ($79.95). The Nokomis line is designed for competitive cyclists, featuring breathable, lightweight fabric.

Both pieces we tested are completely waterproof with taped internal seams and waterproof zippers all around. The jacket sleeves also zip off for ventilation, though we unfortunately never encountered a day warm or dry enough to present an opportunity to zip-off mid-ride.

The Nokomis Pant seals out water with an elastic waist and elastic ankle cuffs. The pants are tight enough for hard training rides or racing where you can’t afford unnecessary wind resistance but have enough room to allow for layering as need be.

O2 rainwear comes through in the clutch for an Almanzo 100 rider

One ride in particular stands out as a “thanks-to-the-gear-gods” moment for the O2 setup: During a late night commute the second week of April, one of our editors rode eight miles in driving, freezing rain and hail without issue. The Nokomis Jacket and Pant saved him from freezing and, amazingly, through it all he was dry.

Our second test jacket, the Skyline Softshell from Showers Pass, is not a rain jacket in the traditional sense. But as a waterproof softshell it stood up to the nasty weather in Minnesota this past month.

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