The Chainlink

Product Review: Showers Pass Short-Sleeve Bamboo-Marino Henley

Quite a few of the Chainlink ambassadors and racers really appreciate Showers Pass jackets and waterproof pants for riding in inclement Chicago weather. So it’s no surprise when we were offered a new performance shirt to review, we had lots of volunteers. Leah and Zach both received a Showers Pass short-sleeve Henley made of a combination of bamboo and merino wool to test and review for The Chainlink.

 

The shirt has both long-sleeve and short-sleeve options, depending on what you need. The long-sleeve would make an excellent base layer as well as a stand-alone for commutes when the weather doesn’t require extra layers. The short-sleeve shirt is great for warmer weather bike commutes or under a jacket when you don’t need a lot of coverage. The shirt is meant to be versatile so while you don’t have the rear pockets of a typical bike jersey, you do have the ability to wear it on and off the bike without looking super “bikey”, making it perfect for hiking, jogging, and other outdoor activities.

 

The bamboo material provides antibacterial properties while also being soft and cool to the touch. Both merino wool and bamboo do an excellent job of wicking moisture reducing the post-ride sweaty, stinky feeling. Showers Pass added mesh panels under the arms to further reduce moisture while you ride.

Women's Short-Sleeve Bamboo-Marino Henley

By Leah Barry

 

As I have ramped up the frequency and intensity of my bike commuting, as well as my training, I have found myself gravitating toward clothes of comfort: Spandex, chamois, the whole nine yards.  This past winter, I discovered the magic of Merino-wool, which is soft, lightweight, keeps you warm even when soaking wet, but is also comfortable enough for warmer weather with it’s antibacterial and wicking properties.  Showers Pass has combined a layer of warm, odor-resistant Merino-wool layer on the outside, with soft, naturally wicking bamboo fibers on the inside to create a uniquely comfortable short sleeve Henley jersey with a wide range of temperature compatibility.

 

Enjoying a warm February day in the Showers Pass Bamboo Merino short sleeve Henley

 

I received the Showers Pass Bamboo Merino short sleeve Henley to review in February, and it arrived on one of those glorious 60+ degree-days.  Upon initial inspection the jersey felt extremely soft to the touch, with modest, non-revealing mesh underarm panels to help ventilate, a gently tapered hem, and flat seams to prevent irritation.  The jersey runs slightly large, I received a women’s medium but found the sizing to be looser and more casual than what I normally gravitate toward, which gives it a more laid-back look akin to a club jersey, rather than a race cut. The jersey has four buttons at the collar, and does not have rear pockets, helping lend a casual-chic look that translates nicely off the bike for working at the office, or attending an event. 

 

The jersey has a casual-chic look that carries over nicely into the office

 

I’ve given this jersey quite the run-through, and have found it to stand up strongly to both its wicking, and anti-odor claims.  In 30-40 degree temps I wear the jersey with a lightweight wicking Columbia cycling jacket and have found it to be pleasantly warm, while allowing enough airflow to keep me from arriving to work damp with sweat.  I put the jersey through its paces on a training ride last weekend, with temps in the low 50’s at the start, and 70’s upon arriving back home, and found myself, Queen Sweaty, not only pleasantly dry, but also surprisingly not funky smelling.   To give the claims of odor-resistance their best test, I wore the jersey for a hard training ride and four days of commuting between Chicago and Oak Park without washing, and found them to be truthful; while the jersey was beginning to develop a mild “damp musk”, it was not slapping my nose with 100 miles of B.O. smell.

 

Sweating (but not stinkin’!) on a sunny training ride

 

Overall, I have been pleasantly impressed with the Showers Pass Bamboo Merino short sleeve Henley! As a recent convert to the wonders of wool, this jersey further reinforced my faith in natural fibers, truthfully holding up to all claims of warmth, wicking, versatility, odor resistance, and comfort.  The Women's Showers Pass bamboo-merino short sleeve Henley is available online and retails for $75, a fair price for a jersey with such a versatile range of wear.

Men's Short-Sleeve Bamboo-Marino Henley
By Zach Schneider

When it comes to cycling, there are a lot of things that one needs to consider such as the right bike, shoes, helmet, security and yes, having the right clothes.  

I have a wide variety of clothes for the varying Chicago weather. Most recently I was given the opportunity to try Showers Pass’ new Bamboo Merino short sleeve Henley. My experience with merino wool has been primarily with socks and they haven’t failed me yet. So I was excited to put this shirt to the test.

First thing I wanted to do when I received this shirt was go for a ride. The weather was beautiful, temperature was in the mid 50’s and sunny. I had some concern that I was going to overheat but that turned out not to be an issue. The shirt was effective at wicking moisture and kept me cool throughout my ride. The shirt fit like a glove the first time I put it on. I got a size medium in this shirt which is what I usually wear for cycling clothing. This shirt can fit over/under base layers and/or a jacket. The shirt would be ideal for temperatures between the high 40s and low 60s.

I usually wear my cycling-specific clothing only on rides. I feel comfortable wearing this shirt on my morning commute and date night after work with zero concern of odor. The Showers Pass’ shirt is unassuming and does not look like a bike jersey or technical clothing. I wouldn't want to wear spandex on a date so this is a perfect alternative that allows me to ride my bike to the date and not be sweaty when I get there.  

 

While riding with the Henley I never felt restricted as I would on my casual shirts. Compared to a casual shirt, it had more give in the shoulders. This shirt is a hybrid between business casual clothes and my weekend riding clothes.

If you have a longer torso, I recommend going with one size larger than you normally do. If they could make improvements, a hidden zipper pocket would come in handy for storage. The Showers Pass men's short sleeve bamboo-merino Henley retails for $75 which I find to be very fair for the versatility of this shirt.

 

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