First things first: it’s got a hood, making it more useful as a general purpose jacket when you get off your bike. Though that hood isn’t big enough to fit over a helmet and when down reduces rearward visibility.
The cut is quite fitted, with hem drawcords hidden in the pockets and volume adjusters on the hood and collar too. The 13% Spandex in the fabric mix makes it quite clingy around the arms but that has the benefit of keeping you snug. The softshell has a soft and matte outer surface, while the inner face is smooth and unbrushed so this isn’t as warm as some other softshells. It’s proved to be very water resistant though and has taped seams, too. It’s long enough at the back to cover your arse fairly well without the unpleasant looks of the classic cycle rear flap and there’s plenty of length in the arms. It does have what we’d consider to be a ladies’ zip (i.e. it zips left-into-right, rather than right-into-left) leading to a bit of fumbling, occasional trapped material and a mild sense of transgression. It is cut fairly closely under the arms causing the zippered underarm vents to bunch up a bit when closed. However, the vents do have storm flaps and we’ve not needed to keep them closed.
There are two hip pockets and one Napoleon pocket into which a smartphone fits with room to spare; it’s a tidy-looking jacket for dual use but stealth black and no reflective bits means it will leave you almost invisible on any road pedalling you have to put in.
Overall: Good all-rounder that definitely leans more toward ‘understated’, rather than ‘rugged’.
|Product:||Vapour Storm softshell|
|Tested:||by Patrick Ward. for|