▹ Which jacket is best for me?
- All our rain jackets are shells, ie. they have no insulation. Your shell is the primary defence against wind and rain - and is good insurance to take on any ride at any time of the year. They are high performance jackets made from HydroFoil™ Plus fabric, providing effective protection in serious weather but still relatively light and low bulk to carry.
- The anti-Cyclone, Storm Trooper, Antidote and She Shell are tape-sealed and have hoods for maximum protection from the elements. They are most suited for multi-day mountain bike trips in the backcountry, commuting or touring when you're likely to encounter rain for more than a few hours.
- Zipping off the yoke and sleeves of the Flash Gordon lets you quickly change between jacket and vest mode. The hi-visibility vest delivers a decent shot of weather protection - all with substantially more breathability than the full jacket.
▹ How waterproof is it?
- The challenge is for a jacket to keep you as dry as possible. With all shell fabrics this involves a trade-off between waterproofness and breathability.
- Our HydroFoil™ Plus fabric is built to a very high specification with more than 20,000 mm hydrostatic head and a durable water-repellent finish. Many other lightweight fabrics with a 10,000 mm head are also described as waterproof. However all waterproof coatings become less waterproof with time and use. Our field testing over the years has shown that the higher 20,000 mm fabric stays waterproof for longer.
- Yet, even garments made from this most waterproof fabric will eventually leak when you're belting along at 30kph in the wet (rain gets in through the collar, cuffs or closures). So it's difficult to quantify waterproofness in meaningful terms for cycling. Keeping the wind out stops the majority of heat loss.
- The Flash Gordon provides extended protection and is good for up to a couple of hours in continuous rain.
- If you're heading into exposed areas for a day or longer or often ride in the rain for more than a couple of hours, then choose the anti-Cyclone, Storm Trooper, Antidote or She Shell for maximum protection - with their tape sealed seams and hood. And remember, if it all gets too grim then it's okay to hunt down a warm fire and a pint of Guinness.
- What ever your choice, it's important to use any shell in combination with an effective base layer (a Heatwave Merino, HyperActive top) so that any accumulated moisture is transferred away from your skin.
▹ How breathable is it?
- Cycling is a highly aerobic activity - so you sweat, a lot. Even the most breathable fabrics won't actually stop you sweating and because they're windproof, you lose the cooling effect of the air rushing past as you ride.
- Our rain shells are constructed from the latest new-generation 3 layer HydroFoil™ Plus fabric. It is more than twice as breathable as most other quality waterproof-breathable fabrics, it has a small amount of stretch allowing a closer fit - and a lightweight tricot mesh inside for greater durability and improved moisture dispersion. It's water vapour transfer rate is a whopping 33,000 gm per sqm per 24hrs.
- The full front zip on the Storm Trooper and She Shell provide additional temperature control, while the anti-Cyclone and Antidote sport mechanical venting at the chest and arms. Zipping off the arms of the Flash Gordon leaves you with just a vest.