Sombrio Kettle women’s softshell

November 24, 2013

Kettle women’s softshell
by Sharon Anderson for Two months.

Grinder 85-23

As a person who hates draughty riding, this weatherproof jacket keeps out the cold with style. As soon as I put it on it felt great. The cut is flatteringly tailored and the stretch enhances this, allowing free movement without bagginess. The jacket is usefully long in the body and provides good cover when in a racier position. A shock cord pulls tight around the hips preventing cold air from sneaking inside.

The hood is so well shaped that it stays on without adjustment, even on the windiest of days. It isn’t designed to go over a helmet, but I found it great to pull on in bad conditions, during pre-ride faffing, or when waiting for an uplift. The fit around the chin is snug, but not too tight, and a velvety chin guard prevents chafing.

I didn’t use it, but you might appreciate the built-in media pocket and cord port. I did find the two concealed zippered pockets useful for keeping ride essentials secure.

This isn’t a superlight packable shell, or something you would take as a just-in-case cover up. This is a jacket you would start a cold ride in and plan to wear the entire time; alternatively, save it for that after-ride warm up. Pricewise it sits within the range of other quality softshells, but value for money is to be had in the fact that it can easily double up as your regular casual jacket. Simple versatile styling and tidy details give it a look that is not cycling-specific. Of course if you ever venture out without the bike, it would be perfectly serviceable on footpaths too.

Overall: A real chill stopper that multi-tasks.

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