Race Face Aquanot Ride £110
Silverfish 01752 313253
We’ve been using the old Aquanot for several winters now and it’s still going strong. The new jacket has been doused, dusted, ridden in, rolled around in and generally abused since we got it a month ago and apart from some grease stains it still looks new.
Race Face. Canadian riders who sprung forth from Rocky Mountain to produce bike components, Built up great reputation for bombproof kit, then moved into clothing of similar hardcore quality. Been evolving their wardrobe of tough singletrack / DH friendly garb ever since.
Medium is long enough in arm and hem for a 6 footer, with masses of arm, shoulder, back and belly space for armour or extra fleecy insulation (not that you’ll need extra heat). Loads of roll up room in cuffs, but manages not to billow badly thanks to fabric and cut.
Fully waterproof with taped seams all round means rain just rolls straight off. Storm flaps on all pockets and main zip stop seepage. Big cuff flap keeps everything sealed and you could probably grab that and the cord toggles on all the zips with boxing gloves let alone biking gloves. Draw cord hem stops breezes from below. There’s no cord on the fleecy collar but it’s so high we’d defy much water or wind to ever get down there.Cargo?
Big front hand pockets for off the bike, zipped inside chest pocket (not big enough for a map) and zipped rear tunnel pocket (big enough for an atlas).Steam?
The Aquanaut fabric trades breathability for toughness, so the jacket is fairly quick to work up a sweat if left sealed. That’s not much of an issue though as Race Face have put even bigger 10″ double ended pit zips in this year, as well as big cuff mouths so cooling airflow is huge. Positioning means they work fine with Camelbaks too (unlike some chest and back vents).
The big roughty toughty feature of this roughty toughty jacket are the (again bigger this year) heavy duty Cordura elbow sliders. It’s the same stuff they use on the base of rucksacs and courier bags designed to be dragged repeatedly over pointy rocks, so at least you know your jacket will be OK if you have a habit of hitting the deck. To make sure it’s your fault your using the elbow pads, not some nocturnal motorist there’s loads of reflective piping and logos too.Overall?:
This has always been our favourite hardcore riding jacket and though the price goes up £10 this year so does the ventilation and protection, which seems fair to us. Not everyone will get on with the baggy cut, weight and ‘doesn’t really pack’ size but for a crash proof, filthy weather singletracking jacket, it’s top of the hucking lot.
Check out www.silverfish-uk.com for the details of the rest of the range including the showerproof Aqualite Ride and Freeride jackets, and the mac daddy of the range the storm force Aquamax.