La Passione PSN LS Rain Jersey review
Great for changeable days in milder weather but breathability isn’t outstanding
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Offering great protection from the wet in a package that's more breathable and closer fitting than a traditional hardshell, La Passion's PSN LS Rain Jersey offers a low cost entry into the world of softshell jackets. That said, breathability isn't quite as high as some other softshell jackets, which does limit its scope of use a little. That said, those other softshell jackets are much more expensive and the breathability can be mitigated by using a quick wicking baselayer.
Robust front zip
Breathability isn’t as high as other softshells
No zipped valuables pocket
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La Passione’s PSN LS Rain Jersey is designed as an alternative to traditional hardshell rain jackets (opens in new tab), promising better breathability and a stretchy, close fitting cut.
This kind of softshell construction is now commonplace across essentially all the best winter jackets (opens in new tab) but unlike these, the PSN LS Rain Jersey forgoes any form of fleecy insulation, making it best suited for wet and mild conditions.
The construction: La Passione PSN LS Rain Jersey
The main body of the jersey is constructed from a three layer windproof and waterproof fabric with a hydrostatic head of 20,000mm. This equates to really quite a high level of waterproofness – although some rain jackets go as high as 30,000mm, many are only rated to 10,000mm.
That said, a garment is only as waterproof as its weakest link and as the seams of the PSN LS Rain Jersey aren’t taped, water will find its way into the jacket sooner than the 20,000mm rating would suggest.
As a jersey designed for inclement weather, there are reflective details on the arms and at the rear, along with a dropped tail to protect against road spray and long, stretchy cuffs.
The three large rear pockets don’t feature a storm flap at the top, but do have drainage ports to stop water building up there. Although the main zip of the jacket features large and robust teeth with a reasonably sized handle, there isn’t a zipped valuables pocket for storing cards and keys.
Pulling the jersey on for the first time, the fit was spot on, with no excess material to get caught flapping in the wind, whilst also not being overly tight or constructive in any areas. With the material itself being so stretchy, there’s complete freedom of movement too – in terms of fit, it’s quite simply like wearing a long sleeve Lycra jersey rather than any form of rain jacket.
And in the wet, the waterproof performance is very good, with rain simply beading off the surface and running down. In more prolonged rain, water does end up eventually seeping through the seams but I didn’t find that an issue. Being a little damp isn’t a problem, it’s when you’re cold and wet that things get really unpleasant, but the windproofing of the jersey did a great job at isolating me from the chills.
However, I did find the balance between breathability and waterproofing to be a little off. I would have actually preferred the jacket to be a little less waterproof in favour of further reducing the sensation of clamminess – while it is much more breathable than most hardshells, the PSN LS Rain Jersey is more muggy than other softshell jackets.
Wearing the jersey with a base layer did help to mitigate this, as it would wick sweat quickly away from my skin and from there it could take its time working its way through the material of the jacket.
This proved a pretty great combination for cool, rather than cold, rides. The sort where you’re thankful for the lack of hot, fleecy material when the going’s slow, but that would become unpleasantly chilly on faster sections – were it not for the windproof properties.
And, naturally, that combination was also good for rides in the warm but rainy conditions that made up an unfair proportion of my summer riding.
But it would have been better still – and more versatile for a wider range of conditions – had the fabric been a little more breathable. Sacrificing some of the waterproofing wouldn't really be a loss, the jersey is more waterproof than it needs to be – especially as the seams aren’t taped – and besides, it is much more pleasant to get a little wetter than it is to feel clammy.
At £120.00 / $150.00 La Passione’s PSN LS Rain Jersey is significantly cheaper than the Castelli Perfetto (opens in new tab), which comes in at £210.00 / $249.95. That said, Perfetto performs better for breathability, taking the opposite tack to La Passione and utilising a merely water resistant fabric yet still taping up the main seams.
Usually dhb can be counted on to deliver a cheaper option that still performs comparably, but in this case La Passione has managed to undercut even Wiggle’s in-house brand. The dhb Aeron Rain Defence Polartec Jacket retails for £150.00 (opens in new tab) / $190.00 (opens in new tab).
La Passione’s PSN LS Rain Jersey offers a great alternative to a hardshell rain jacket, providing great protection from the wet in a package that’s more breathable, and closer fitting.
That said, with regards to breathability it does still land at the lower end of the softshell spectrum, making it less versatile than some of its competitors. However, this can be mitigated by using a baselayer. Considering the price, fit, and overall performance, the PSN LS Rain Jersey is a good option, but there are better jerseys if you’re willing to pay more.
- Weight: 332g (size small)
- Sizes: XS – 3XL
- Colours: Orange, Black, Blue
- Contact: lapassione.cc
What is a softshell cycling jacket?
A softshell jacket offers better breathability than a traditional hardshell rain jacket, but with a sacrifice to the level of waterproofing. This makes softshell jackets best for higher intensity sessions where moisture management is key – better getting a little wet from the rain than stewing in your own sweat.
Is a softshell jacket worth it?
Softshell jackets can be quite expensive, as the fabrics required are more technical and specialist. That said, prices are coming down and the benefits they offer in terms of increased breathability, closer fit, and general versatility all make investing in one a decision you’re unlikely to regret.
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After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back.
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