Specialized Trail Wind Jacket

Specialized Trail Wind Jacket review

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The Specialized Trail Wind Jacket has become one of those cliché ‘goto’ garments. For what I appreciate in a 3-season jacket, this ticks all the boxes brilliantly.

  • Price: £100.00
  • From: Specialized
  • Weight: 125g (Medium)
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL (ditto in Women’s)
Specialized Trail Wind Jacket
Yep, full-face and gloveless #sorrynotsorry

Pros

  • Keeps wind chill at bay, dries super fast, packs down small enough 
  • Impressively durable
  • Hooded smock

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Boring black (in the UK at least)
  • Hooded smock

Not-waterproof jackets (aka wind shells) are a total essential for mountain biking in the UK. If you can afford it, you should really try one. Stop dragging out that same bulky, sweaty, generally ‘orrible winter waterproof jacket and using as your just-in-case bad weather 3-season outer layer.

For something so ostensibly basic, a wind shell is hard to get right. And different riders have different needs and preferences when it comes to wind shells. The frequent issues I end up having with wind shells is that they’re flappy and fragile. Most wind shells I try end up being ‘repaired’ by Gorilla tape. Thin wind shells get ripped by bushes and trees and by bicycles themselves (flat pedal pin rippages when lifting your bike over things, for example).

I am also a bit odd in that I like minimalist wind shells but I also definitely absolutely want a hood. I don’t want cuff adjusters. Nor hood adjusters. Or hood detachment. Not hood stowage. I also want half-zip smock design. And a little pocket is always useful thanks.

And lo and behold! That’s what this jacket has.

It’s not flappy. It breathes the best of any outer layer I’ve ever tried. It has remained un-Gorilla taped after nine months semi permanent usage (touch wood). It has the hood/smock/cuff/pocket formula totally dialled.

It does stuff into its own zip pocket for stowage but I must confess to never having actually done that (apart from when writing this review, just to see if it did). I just scrunch it up and stuff in a rear jersey pocket or hip-pack.

In terms of wet conditions performance, it’s as good as wind shells get. It’s certainly better than most super-lightweight Rizla-thin shells. It’s totally fine for brief intermittent showers and copes alright in a bit of heavier stuff too. It dries perfectly swiftly, which is important. The other key thing is to pair it with a decent layer underneath to deal with temperature change.

What else? It’s made from 100% recycled polyester. Which is a good enough argument for its relative high price tag in itself for a lot of folk. The cut is cycling-specific enough to work on a bike but doesn’t restrict it to pure bike usage. I wear it all the time when off-the-bike too. It weighs not-a-lot. 125g for my Medium Men’s version.

Overall

Minimalist+ perfection. The Specialized Trail Wind Jacket does everything I’ve been looking for in a mountain biking wind shell. Yep, it’s on the pricey side (wait for the frequent sales!) and there are lighter shells out there but in terms of actual real-world usage, durability and performance, this is the best 3-season jacket I’ve ever used. Can I have one in a less boring colour please?

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Review Info

Brand: Specialized
Product: Trail Wind Jacket
From: specialized.com
Price: £100.00
Tested: by Benji for 9 months

Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Specialized Trail Wind Jacket review
  • nickc
    Full Member

     I also want half-zip smock design

    No, I don’t want anything that I have to take off by pulling it up and over my head.

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    So many tradeoffs for a marginal weight and packability benefit of having half less zip than a jacket.

    Although the half zip rather than quarter might mean it can be pulled over a helmet.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I still cannot understand why so many cycling jacket hoods don’t have a ‘tie down’ of some kind for when not in use. I do use my hood on accasion on a cold day – my Scott one fits neatly under a helmet (is a strong look), but it flaps like crazy when not in use…

    chakaping
    Free Member

    my Scott one fits neatly under a helmet (is a strong look)

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

    😀

    footflaps
    Full Member

    In the past I’ve either cut off or stitched down the hood on Pertex wind shells as I have no need for them and they just flap in the wind.

    jsync
    Full Member

    I’m a big fan of 1/2 zip outers but not ones with hoods, so it’s a shame that’s not an option.  I mainly bike in an Alpkit Morphosis 1/2 zip which seems comparable, although  heavier.

    sargey2003
    Full Member

    another similar option is the RAB Borealis – I’ve used one for years, great bit of kit for everything other than heavy rain

    LAT
    Full Member

    Pics or it didn’t happen

    this has me thinking about the world record for number of pennies under a foreskin.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

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