Our criteria for a rain jacket aren't numerous, but they we refuse to use any rain jacket that doesn't meet them. They are that a jacket must be waterproof, windproof, fit well, and be stowable. Giordana meets those demands and more with its Men's Monsoon Shell Jacket, which ticks off each item on the list and adds a bonus: a buttoned chest strap secures the front even when the zipper is open to ventilate. That means you can get some airflow after you descend a few thousand meters and the temperatures rise.
Weather protection remains the jackets number one job, though, and the eVent Spider membrane fulfills expectations. It's water- and windproof, as you'd expect, but it also begins to breathe immediately rather than waiting for the accumulation of moisture like many other membranes. That makes it ideal for the kind of on-again/off-again conditions where packable rain jackets really come in handy, helping to keep you comfortable even in changing conditions.
The zipper is also waterproof, and additional rear zippers provide access to jersey pockets underneath. When the clouds clear or you reach the bottom of a chilly descent, the jacket packs down into its own pocket for easy storing in those erstwhile concealed jersey pockets. The extended collar protects your neck from water, and reflective detailing on the lower back help keep you visible in the low-light conditions of a sudden spring shower.
- A cycling jacket for just-in-case weather situations
- Wind- and waterproof membrane protects against the weather
- Begins expelling water vapor immediately to maintain a dry core
- Chest strap secures front even when waterproof zipper is open
- Packs into its own pocket for stowing when the sky clears
- Rear zippers provide access to jersey pockets underneath
- Reflective details help maintain visibility in dreary conditions