As Spring blends into Summer, and the winter wardrobe takes more of a back seat, having a lightweight jacket is a must for any riding kit bag – and the Howies Doyle looks as if it ticks many-a-box.
Howies is a brand that many UK based outdoor folk are well aware of. A Wales based brand, it has been designing and offering products for cycling, running and the outdoors since 1995. With its selling point of using ethically sourced, sustainable, organic, recycled or natural materials where possible, Howies has a very clear message it’s sending through its products: avoid landfill where possible, and make products that last longer.
With the Doyle, Howies offer a hoodless, superlight jacket that packs down to practically nothing. As a cycling commuter, I wanted to put the Doyle to work primarily on the daily work commute, as well as weekend adventures, to see how it got on.
- Greg Minnaar off Santa Cruz Syndicate? Team Rumours in MUTN Podcast with Andreas Kolb
- Fresh Goods Friday 681 – The Megasacking Edition
- Megasack Giveaway Day 1: Unior Pro Tool Kit
- The Megasack Is Coming! Get Ready!
- Cyclorise Ceases Trading, and other industry news
At 6ft 1, and with a 40” chest measurement, I went for a Large Doyle to test. The jacket comes in at a very respectable 168g, with two colours to choose from. We, of course, elected for the Gold variant, as opposed to the Black/Blue option. The overall fit of the jacket is comfortable, the use of a soft fabric inner around the neck provides a secondary dose of reassuring comfort. Arms are a fraction longer than ‘perfect’ which I like and cuffed sleeves mean there are no flapping issues. Neat reflective strips above each cuff and at the bottom of the rear, offer a sprinkling (but not much) of reflectivity. The body fits very nicely, especially with a slightly dropped rear to help protect from splashes. Pull cords around the bottom of the jacket, help to cinch that bottom edge nice and tight. Another, typically Howies, satisfying feature, is the main zip pull. Ergonomic, comfortable and easy-to-find when riding with gloves on, it’s a feature that is used every time a jacket is put on but often overlooked.
The Howies Doyle sports a single zipped-pocket, located on the chest. Big enough to stuff itself into, it also has a secondary compartment, to house a mobile phone or Kendal Mint cake. Once stuffed, a neat piece of reflective branding and a clip (to attach to your dog?) is revealed and the whole package comes in at 150mm X 125mm X 75mm – more than easy to lob into the bottom of your riding bag.
On The Trail
First impressions of the Doyle were collected on a frosty morning-commute into Leeds. With two layers underneath, the Doyle provided very effective wind proofing but was a bit cooler than more winter-focused riding jackets (which is to be expected). That said, what I was most impressed with was the lack of condensation build up on the interior of the jacket on arrival at the office. The spandex membrane of the Doyle is made using 100% recycled polyester material, and features fully taped-seams. Millions of pores across the membrane allow perspiration vapour to escape, from the inside, without letting rain droplets penetrate from the outside.
On the sunnier, warmer rides, and with just a single layer underneath, the Doyle is an incredibly comfortable jacket, and the breathable aspect is very noticeable. Even on more sweaty rides, when condensation had built up on the inside, it was minimal, and with the jacket being so thin, it dries super-fast.
On a durability note, the Howies Doyle is fully machine washable, so maintaining that glowing gold colour should be nice and easy. The simplicity of the Doyle means there is very little to go wrong. The thin nature of the Doyle does mean that I’ve been slightly more careful when putting it on, taking it off and stuffing it into its pouch, but I’ve had no issues with rips, tears, or stretching. Alongside riding, the Doyle has served me for well running, walking and dossing about in the garden.
For a simple jacket, the Howies Doyle very much does its job, being comfortable, breathable and waterproof. A neat package that is small and light enough to earn it’s place in any riding kit bag. If you’re a fair weather commuter or a summer-evening rider, then it will be a perfect addition to your wardrobe. If you ride in colder climates, for the majority of your hours in the saddle, then a more cold-weather focused jacket would be advised. But for everything else, and for a jacket to just ‘throw on’ for a quick blast – it’s great.
|Product:||Doyle Waterproof Jacket|
|Tested:||by Rob Mitchell for 2 Months|