Rain doesn't care about your training plan or your desperate ache to be rid of the indoor trainer as early as possible in early spring. It'll fall; sometimes it'll turn to snow. Sometimes the possibility of it won't even occur to you till the asphalt becomes a pointillist canvas, gradually darkening under drops that started falling halfway through a ride that begun under relatively clear skies. Be prepared for the fickle primavera with Louis Garneau's Commit WP Cycling Jacket, whose strategic combination of weatherproof membranes balances protection with pack-ability and stretch.
The Commit features two different membranes—a 3-layer and a 2.5-layer model—both of the Canadian brand's Extenz family. Both membranes present a water- and windproof exterior to the elements while maintaining a breathability unheard of in cycling kit just five years ago. Despite the rigid protection, the jacket's high stretch lets it move with you in the saddle, so you're reach isn't hampered while fumbling for water bottles or gels with thick, weather-resistant gloves.
When the clouds clear and the deluge relents, the jacket packs down inside its own pocket. When stuffed into itself, the Commit can squeeze into a jersey pocket, but we often find that it's in competition with everything else we're taking off: gloves, soggy caps, knee warmers, etc. Given this, we've ocassionally resorted to stuffing it down the back of our jerseys—a trick we learned as youngsters watching the pros navigate changing conditions mid-race. The beauty of the Commit is that it's not just a PVC sheet like the peloton used to use, so while it's admittedly not ideal, it's far less onerous than indignities suffered by the heroes of our youth during changing conditions on race day.