I have gotten the system in quite a few heinous rain storms, and I was always able to stay nice and dry underneath the jacket and pants, and they breathed pretty well for rain gear. The jacket and pants were comfortable, lightweight, durable, with enough useful and functional features, while still retaining some simplification, especially the pants. They are so light and packable, that it’s easy to bring them along no matter what the current weather is like, which is a good thing since you won’t be caught with your guard down in a storm. The Hi-viz Yellow color will certainly let drivers, and other trail users know that you are there, but the light color did show some subtle pack stains from long term usage.
The jacket worked really well, and had a great combination of breathability and waterproofness, and the 3Flow performance fabric did an excellent job of not letting me sweat to death during downpours, even when cranking up long steep climbs, yet still kept me dry from the rain inundation. The jacket offered adequate length and roominess, but fit snug enough that it wasn’t flopping around in the wind nor on a ride. The form fit worked fine for me, and I was even able to wear a set of soft elbow/forearm guards under it. If you commute, you might want to get one size larger, for the varying thickness of street clothes? The length worked well in front, since it kept the jacket from snagging on the saddle when doing maneuvers on the bike. The diaper rear tail kept the water trickling down past your lower back and out over the saddle, and helped keep things covered when bent over the handlebars, keeping your butt drier, which was especially nice when not wearing the waterproof pants. The length of the rear droop worked perfect, since I didn’t have any snagging issue. The tall collar kept rain from creeping in, and the additional height towards the rear helped with the typical prostrate position on a bike. The jacket has two pockets, one large one at the lower rear, and a Napoleon. The rear pocket can also serve as a transportation pack, just reverse the pocket, and fold the jacket into itself, and then some handy Velcro straps allow you to fasten it to your seat post or frame. I never used this function, since I always carry a pack. The zippers are well sealed, and never leaked on me, and although they are robust, I found they have a tendency to snag and grab the adjacent thin material when using them. The zippers on the sleeves end right up where a pack’s shoulders strap hits, and on occasions, the small bump from the zipper slider can irritate the clavicle area, although moving them down slightly can sometimes alleviate the issue.
My favorite feature of the jacket, is that it can become a vest by unzipping the sleeves, and unsnapping the shoulders, which all comes off in one long piece, and can be stuffed into the rear pocket. I found it very handy for cooler days, evening rides, or when the air gets that chilled snap after a good rain, or when you just need something simple and light to take away the sting. An added benefit is the mesh section along the upper back, which does wonders for ventilation and comfort, and still keeps you warm.
The pants worked well, and didn’t adversely affect my pedaling, although on the right leg, I did need to use a Velcro leg strap on the lower calf to prevent the material from getting too near the drivetrain. They had a short zipper at the bottom to facilitate putting them on, and even my big fat mountain-bike shoes weren’t an issue to pull through the opening. The pants was simple, and besides the lower zipper, they had an elastic waist band with a draw cord and an elastic ankle cuff. They had a decent cut, being wide enough to give me room to be pedaled in and get my shoes on, without any noticeable bagginess. Like any pair of pants, they can droop somewhat, especially after they get in the rain, but a simple tug gets them back into position. I sat down plenty of times on rocks and the ground, huddled under trees during storms, and they were plenty durable and kept me dry.
- Jacket weight (large) – 382 grams/13.5 oz
- Pants weight (medium)- 221 grams/7.8 oz