Last weekend, I ran my hardshell through Revivex to revive its water repellent layer, and finally "tested" it out on a shower on Saturday. I'm very glad to report that it worked very well!
The rain wasn't super heavy, was only in it for about 10 minutes, but it's heavy enough that you'd want to duck under a building for shelter. (My jeans and shoes were drenched, of course)
There were several times I had to wait at traffic lights, and the water beaded up quite well. I don't remember ever having been in such a shower when the hardshell was brand new, so I can't say how well it was compared to when it still had the factory coating.
When indoors, what water was on the shell evaporated rather quickly (yay Adelaide's low humidity).
Due to this little experiment, I've been looking at "waterproof" clothing more carefully, and also looking at what kind of clothing people used back in the day before high-tech fabrics. Waxed fabrics were one, as well as super tight weave fabrics like Ventile.
After all this, I think I may actually sell this hardshell and move back to a softshell; I enjoy wearing a shell out on cooler days, and the softshells I've tried before from Arcteryx and Mountain hardware are generally much more comfortable and are wind proof enough. As much as I would love to be toting a "waterproof" garment, the fact is I am don't need it for my mostly-city usage.
Verily, I'm probably going back to what I was wearing in montreal when the weather was just above 0C, a fleece + softshell (did I wear thermals? I can't remember.... probably need to check my older posts). And.... bring along a super lightweight rainjacket for the times it is really wet.
Or.... use an umbrella. The joke is... I bring an umbrella with my pack... and I have never used it, always lending it to those with me caught in the rain.
Oh well :)