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First look: New ‘Crosspoint’ gloves from Showers Pass

Posted by on January 30th, 2013 at 9:36 am

New Showers Pass gloves-7

The new Crosspoint Hardshell glove from Showers Pass.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland-based Showers Pass launched a new line of gloves at the Outdoor Retailer trade show last week. It’s an ambitious foray for the company, and it’s just the latest sign of their growth into new markets and a transition away from their commuter jacket reputation. As sales manager Stephen Lederer said during my visit to their southeast Portland headquarters a few days ago, “We’re branching out of commuter, into every aspect of bicycling.”

A major part of this new direction for Showers Pass are the four glove models they unveiled last week; the Crosspoint Hardshell, Softshell, Wind Glove, and Liner Glove. The new gloves won’t be in stores until fall, but I was able to check out some samples at the company’s headquarters in southeast Portland.

Showers Pass HQ needs no sign

Their HQ building doesn’t need a sign. It looks like a jacket!
Showers Pass HQ

The Showers Pass offices and shipping warehouse is at SE 6th and Lincoln.
Showers Pass sales manager Stephen Lederer

Sales Manager Stephen Lederer.
Showers Pass employee Stephanie Leikas

Operations Manager Stephanie Leikas.

The Hardshell, with an MSRP of $95, is the flagship model. Showers Pass says it is fully waterproof and breathable thanks to use of an “OutDry” membrane. OutDry™ is a patented technology (owned by Columbia Sportswear) that laminates a waterproof/breathable membrane directly to the outer layer of the glove. This makes for a water-tight seal between the inner lining and the exterior of the glove. Showers Pass says they’re only one of two companies to utilitze the OutDry process (the other being apparel juggernaut Pearl Izumi). Operations manager Stephanie Leikas says it gives their gloves several benefits. “With other gloves, water can get trapped between the inner and outer layers, which makes your hands cold and makes a barrier that prevents breathability”

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Diagram of the OutDry process.

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Palm of the flagship model, the Crosspoint Hardshell.
New Showers Pass gloves-5

As for fit, I loved the feel of the Hardshell glove. I especially liked the snugly merino wool inner lining. They’ve got ample cuffs and the entire palm area is lined with a non-slip coating that makes them look like leather driving gloves. Another thing I like were the slight openings at the knuckles to give a little extra room when your hand bends. Combined with the Liner Glove, these gloves seem like they’d be an amazing set-up.

The first step down in the line are the Crosspoint Softshell gloves (MSRP $80). These also have the OutDry membrane and come with the “waterproof breathable” promise. They don’t have the non-slip coating of the Hardshell model (or the merino liner), but they still seem like a very capable glove.

Showers Pass gloves

Crosspoint Softshell
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Palm of the $80 Crosspoint Softshell.

Next down in the line is the Crosspoint Wind Glove (MSRP $45). Unlike the top two models, the seams are not sealed; but Showers Pass says it’s still made from a a windproof, waterproof material. Like the other two, its got good padding, reflective trim, a big area for wiping your face/glasses, and spots of silicone for grip on the fingers.

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Palm of the Crosspoint Wind Glove.

Showers Pass is also offering a Liner Glove. At just $30, this glove offers a little extra warmth on its own, or it can be used inside more heavy-duty gloves. The Liner Glove is the only model in the line that will work with iPhones and other touch-screen devices.

Overall I was impressed with all the gloves. Stephen and Stephanie said they spent about two years in development. “We wanted to get it right,” Stephen said, “Everything we make is considered the best and everyone thinks of Showers Pass as being waterproof, so we had a lot to live up to.”

This is a big move for a growing and successful local company. We’re excited to see how these fare in the market when they come out this fall — and of course we’re curious how they do in real-world conditions. Stay tuned for a test once the gloves are available.

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  • Tom January 30, 2013 at 11:06 am

    sure do hope their quality increases … zipper problems, flaking liners (jackets)….poor warranty ..etc….would be happy to support a local company (tho Ch!nese manufacture)

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    • Spiffy January 30, 2013 at 11:15 am

      the problem with the zipper is that it negates the waterproof claim of the jacket… the first time I wore my “waterproof” Shower’s Pass jacket in decent rain I had a 2″ wet stripe down the entire front of me… and the things in the chest pocket also got wet… they need to put a flap over the zippers…

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    • John Defeo January 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      I think the best thing we can all do is judge something before we have used it. It is the American way. I have had nothing but great experiences with SP, and from the looks of their reviews in MTB UK and other publications I am not alone.

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  • Spiffy January 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

    with the 20+ holes on the palm area it doesn’t seem like it’d be waterproof at all… rain-resistant maybe, like their jackets, but not waterproof…

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  • Adam H. January 30, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Yesterday I rode in medium to heavy rain for 6 miles wearing my Elite 2.0 jacket, and when I got home, my base layer was quite damp. Not soaked or water-logged mind you, but definitely wet. I was under the impression that this jacket would be totally waterproof, but apparently this is not the case.

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    • Andrew January 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Ummm, that’s probably perspiration building up…

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  • rain bike January 30, 2013 at 11:28 am

    These strike me as over-engineered and priced accordingly.

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  • michael downes January 30, 2013 at 11:41 am

    The issues people have with the reality versus the marketing of ‘waterproof’ garments is almost universal. Despite thirty years plus of cycling in bad weather I have yet to experience a ‘waterproof’ glove. I have purchased dozens with that word emblazoned on them and not one has lived up to the hype. The technology describes sounds cool but going on past experience I will not be getting my hopes up……

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    • El Biciclero January 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      There’s plenty of stuff that’s waterproof. The marketing fudge is when anyone claims waterproof and breathable at the same time. I get soaked every time I wear any rain jacket, but it’s not from rain…

      The only reason I would ever wear a rain jacket is for lighter-weight warmth. If I wear enough (non-waterproof) layers to stay warm when it’s 35 degrees and raining, then I end up weighing an extra 10 lbs. after an hour in the rain. If I wear a single layer under my rain jacket, I can stay warm for only an extra 3 lbs. (Numbers are subjective, I’ve never actually weighed myself before/after a rainy commute…)

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    • Adam H. January 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      I never wear gloves in the rain if it is warm enough. Skin is waterproof, and any glove is either going to soak up water and make my hands cold, or protect them from rain but make my hands sweat. Either way, they’re getting wet. No gloves means the rain will just slide off my hands.

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    • pengo January 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      I can’t say anything for sure about these, but the Pearl OutDry (barrier WxB) gloves are far and away the best gloves I’ve used and the only ones that have really lived up to claims of being waterproof, windproof and breathable. There’s a very small amount of perspiration buildup in the glove but despite that they stay very warm. If these gloves are anything like the Pearls they’re probably pretty legit.

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    • Dave Thomson January 31, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      I generally don’t feel the need for waterproof gloves in our climate. I wear a thin REI glove liner under my regular cycling gloves and my hands stay warm (not dry) down to freezing. Below freezing in Portland either means it is sunny, in which case I wear my PI lobster mitts (not waterproof) or snow/ice in which case I am not riding.

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  • Paul Cone January 30, 2013 at 11:58 am

    How much is the Wind glove?

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  • Sorry January 30, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Would love to support a local company, but sadly, since they don’t seem to reply to e-mail through their website and only make pants for people that are 5’10” and taller, Shower’s Pass is not really on my radar right now…

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    • Ben January 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      In response to Sorry’s comment… I’m 5’7″ and wear the Showers Pass Storm pants (I think size medium). I think they work great, and have had no issues with them yet!

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      • Sorry February 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

        Tried them on, unfortunately even the mediums go almost half-way down my feet, not to mention they’re cut awfully skinny in the thighs–I’m 5’6″ with an admittedly short 29″ inseam and more a wrestler’s body type than a “typical” cyclist. The medium pants have a 32 inch inseam :/…a 30″ I could live with, but with the skinny cut thighs, I really need a size large, which means a 33″ inseam and is just plain MC Hammer looking :D.

        I tried contacting them to ask about custom lengths (I would pay good money for a pair cut at 29-30″ and still have the velcro in the right places) and heard nothing.

        For me, it’s about recognizing target market: If their target is “typically” built “cyclists” (long legs, skinnier, as opposed to aimed at fitting more mass market), then they’re there. If they’re trying to bring in larger market share, their sizing may need some work. And for *insert appropriate deity’s name here* sake, please at least respond to contacts from your potential customers, even it it’s to say “Sorry, can’t do it.”

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        • Tom February 4, 2013 at 9:29 am

          if they had much business smarts, mebbe they would peruse the comments in a story like this , make a statement , address some of the issues that were brought up. ?? waiting …..

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  • Tom January 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I was interested in their rain pants a while back .. checked them out on the web …one retailer had a chart of waterproofness & breathability. ….SP was rated 4 (of 5) on proofness and 1 (of 5) on breathing. Might as well get cheaper pants that are %100 waterproof if all you can get is 1 star on SP pants.

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  • grimm January 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    My Eilte seems to work fine. It’s my second one, my first one gave up the ghost after about 4 years of service while treating it poorly. I’ve had various other shells in between, but keep going back to my SP so eventually ponied up for a second. People complain, maybe it’s not perfect, but it does better than anything else I’ve found for a versatile commuter and training jacket.

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  • GlowBoy January 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Gloves seem especially difficult to make waterproof. Unlike with jackets I’ve never expected gloves to keep out every drop of water, just to reduce the torrent of cold water coming in.

    So far my favorite winter commuting gloves, BTW, are $20 cheapo work gloves from Home Depot. They have Thinsulate-like insulation so my hands at least stay warm when they do get wet in a 40 degree downpour, and they have day-glo backs with a reflective stripe across them for effective signaling of turns in the dark.

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    • CaptainKarma January 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      sounds good….is there a name or model or other info so i can get some too?

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    • Julie January 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      When it’s really cold/wet I wear a pair of black knit wool-blend gloves with Thinsulate lining that I bought a couple years ago at Andy & Bax for under $15. My hands stay warm and they get a little wet, but as my skin tends to dry moments after taking them off, I really don’t care.

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  • ryderonthestorm January 30, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Not too shabby, gloves can be tough to make waterproof and not break the bank at the same time. I’ve been more than happy this fall with my Nemo gloves and only had to shell out $45 for a glove that was guaranteed by the company to be waterproof. So far they have yet to disappoint. Any moisture inside has just been my own sweat. http://www.endurasport.com/Product.aspx?dept_id=106&prod_id=527

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  • Chris January 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I really like SP products. I have 4 of their coats and they all perform very well. It is a fine balance between staying dry and getting wet from perspiration in any product I have used in my 47 years of being an outdoor junkie. SP products are no different. If I am taking it easy I can zip up more and close vents, but if going faster the venting is critical to keep from sweating too much.

    I did have a zipper issue on one coat, but SP great customer service took care of it it likity split and I have had no issue since. Manufacturing glitches happen. It is what happens after the glitch that sets the companies apart and I can attest, SP knows how to take care of their customers. If you are one of the people (some above) that expects perfection out of all products every company produces, well, you just don’t get the challenges of manufacturing.

    Currently my favorite coat is their new lighter weight soft-shell. I have been using it on nearly every ride since I picked it up last fall. It is an awesome coat for the 22 to 50 degree wet or dry days we have been having in PDX. Most days I use it with only a thin wool layer underneath. 5 stars in my book.

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  • dan January 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I agree with others – any perceived issues with Shower’s Pass are really issues around the whole category of waterproof/breathable membranes in general, and not any fault or flaw in SP’s design or build (with the possible exception of the leaky zippers noted above). They’re a local company that has outstanding customer service and is — as far as I can tell — putting out product that competes with the best in the industry. So, you know, maybe we shouldn’t be too hard on them.

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  • Andrew January 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Can’t wait to try out their gloves! Not quite sure why most of the comments are so negative. SP sponsors our 200+ member club here in NorCal. Maybe our weather isn’t nearly as harsh as up in the Northwest, but compared to other foul weather gear I’ve tried, their stuff works well. It’s well designed for bicyclists with appropriate venting and zippering. Their Elite pro jacket is by far the lightest and most breathable rain jacket I own (and the only one I wear these days). And that clear rain jacket is perfect to see the team kit during rain!. Corporate-wise, they support grass-root cycling and cycling as viable transportation, so kudos to them.

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  • Lenny January 30, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Shower’s Pass makes great stuff. Looking forward to these gloves!

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  • Joe January 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    hope price is right 🙂 look solid BTW

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  • Tom January 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    A friend went to the SP clearance sale …said that most every jacket had zipper problems.
    If you are going to buy SP gear, I’d suggest REI , now THEY have outstanding customer service.

    Winter gear is interesting to me, since I’m a 63 y.o. who rides 365 (3,200 miles in 2012) ..I’ve tried many
    “rain jackets” …SP, REI, Columbia OmniTech, Gore-Tex ..etc., in fact I did a jacket “shoot out” in my shower. Took 7 or 8 clothes hangers, hung T-shirts on them and then the closed down jackets over the T’s …hung it all up in the shower and ran water for 20 minutes or so , varying the angle with the shower head.

    Then pulled the jackets off, one at a time and examined the T’s …SP & GT were OK. OmniTech was better and the REI (Endura & Essentails) was best. YMMV.

    My SP did not have pit zips as most of the others did.

    That’s where I am in this whole conversation.

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    • Paul Cone January 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      I was at that sale. Grabbed a jacket that had the zipper problem and put it back, but later found one without with a tag that said “customer said leaks” but I could not figure out how, because zipper was intact. Unlike Burleys which have the zippers sewn in, the SP jackets are laminated in. Lamination is a better seal but harder to repair.

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  • Paul Smith January 30, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    I love the aesthetics, the knuckle slits seem a deft touch to make them more nimble/usable for something other than holding the grips (ie getting keys out of my pocket) and if the tech lives up to claims, these would be awesome! Showers Pass do you have a notification list or want a tester/reviewer/online influencer talking about these? Ping me! I’m just down the street in Ladd’s….

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  • Shabbis January 31, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I picked up a used Elite 2.1 prototype at their warehouse sale for dirt cheap. Always held off on getting an Elite in the past mostly due to the price, but now after commuting in one through the winter, I’ll never buy another brand. The 2.1 has a new, heavy duty zipper (larger teeth and zipper) that should not fail as easily as the 2.0. I look forward to trying out their gloves.

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  • RD January 31, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I currently own 2 of their jackets, (Touring & Portland) and their Club Pants and had great results. I had the Touring jacket for 2 years now, I used it for commuting and mountain biking. I treat both jackets with Revivex Water Repellent twice a year and its all good, the pants are great for the rain but they do not breath well at all. If you use Water Proof jackets very often you “Most Treat them with Water Repellent Spray at the very least once a year”

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