Parrot Hydroline Jacket
It’s winter, we’re in England. I think that pretty much covers it.Who?
Rather than trying to stand out in a bike shop full of similar jackets, Parrot have been establishing a great reputation for sensibly designed high performance clobber supplied direct to the buyer to keep costs low.What?
The Hydroline is Parrot’s fully waterproof biking jacket using a waterproof face fabric with a fabric “Dri-Liner” to help wick sweat away from the skin.
You get a full-length double-ended front zip, with double storm flap as well as drawstrings on neck and hem, which managed to keep the recent gales out. Arms and back are cut long to stop exposed spots when riding and the light ‘silky’ fabric and generous cut moves easily when you’re shifting about on the bike.
A small valuables pocket is tucked in the front, while a big rear zipped stow pocket gets a full storm-flap to stop it turning into a pond.Does it work?
We’ve yet to meet a waterproof that doesn’t eventually get as damp inside as out, and the Parrot is on par with other jackets at this price. The advantage is that the fabric liner cuts down on chill once you are wet, and the jacket itself dries quickly. Yet again we missed pit zips (like those used by Ground Effect, Altura and Race Face) to give a blast of cold air through sweaty pits. Although we haven’t had any problems (despite our usual quota of crashes) the fabric also looks slightly fragile for bush whacking.
On the plus side, the cut is good for riding without being too obviously bikey down the pub (though the big stripe of mud up the back might be a giveaway) and it’s light (about 1lb) for it’s price and proofing levels. The internal liner means it won’t pack down too small though, and after a few weeks riding all that sweat sieving through it tends to build a ‘distinctive’ odour.Should I buy one?
If you like your fabrics soft, light and floppy then the Parrot offers full weatherproofing at a good price. Actual fabric performance is par for the price, but apart from the double ended zip a lack of venting elsewhere can leave it steamy. The sub £100 waterproof jacket market is getting more and more competitive which means this is not a definite must buy, but certainly worth a look.
Coming soon: More winter warmers from Parrot as we pull on their Amazon pullover.