It’s been a pretty wet April. Hail and heavy downpours and high winds have featured a lot this month. Riding in this weather isn’t the most fun, we’ll agree, but with the right clothing it needn’t be so bad.
There’s plenty of good high quality cycling waterproof jackets on the market, but we’ve just received two waterproof jackets from brands that are better known in the outdoors world. Mammut and Marmot aren’t familiar names in the cycling scene, but the two jackets we’ve just taken delivery of tick the boxes we look for in a decent jacket.
Mammut’s new jacket isn’t actually a cycling-specific number, but that aside we don’t see why it can’t work on the bike. It’s the type of jacket you might buy if you also want to use it off the bike, whether it’s for other outdoor activities or for popping to the shops.
Lightweight has been a top design brief here. At 300g for the women’s Keiko and 365g for the men’s Kento, they’re both in the right area, though they’re not super lightweight (for comparison the Gore Bike Wear Active Shell is 265g).
Their own Drytech Premium fabric is waterproof and very thin, so it packs down really small. It comes with all the trimmings; there are a couple of well placed pockets, the orange is just the right shade of acceptable, and there’s a hood for when it gets really messy, and adjustable everything.
It looks more like an 'outdoors' hiking jacket than the stylish Marmot below, but the bright orange and contrasting panels is growing on us, and there's no getting away from its high quality finish and appearance.
£175 from www.mammut.ch
Marmot is a well recognised name in the outdoors world, but the Paceline has been designed specifically for the “needs of bikers."
The company’s own MemBrain Strata fabric is 100% waterproof with taped seams throughout, and manages to be breathable as well. Details that separate it from outdoors jackets include a textured surface around the shoulders and hips to help stabilise a hydration pack.
Extra details includes a chest pocket with a water resistant zip, hand pockets with neatly concealed zippers, adjustable hem, asymmetric cuffs and a something called ‘Angel-Wing Movement’ that gives a full range of movement in the arms without the jacket riding up.
It costs £150 from http://marmot.com/products/paceline_jacket
What these jackets both have in common is their ability to keep the rain out. And seeing as we’ve got the perfect weather for testing that at the moment, we’ll be reporting back very soon with our findings.