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The Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm MTB jacket is made from Patagonia’s H2NO fabric, a 3-layer waterproof fabric constructed with recycled nylon.
- Brand: Patagonia
- Product: Dirt Roamer Storm MTB Jacket
- From: patagonia.com
- Price: £300.00
- Tested by: Hannah for 6 weeks
- If you want a waterproof half zip, this does the job
- Nice feeling fabric, outside and in
- Quality construction with environmental credentials and repair service
- Not that easy to put on
- Quite warm
- Difficult to take off when you’re wet and muddy
I have tried many waterproof jackets but this was my first waterproof half-zip – or smock, as the bit of me that is old wants to call it.
The Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm MTB Jacket has a slight stretch to the material, and two zips with mesh inserts down the sides make getting it on and off a little easier. Once on, it’s a nice form fitting shape – quite snug and not at all flappy. I wore the women’s Medium – I’m usually a 12/14 in women’s tops, so this sizing seems about right to me.
The fabric is quite breathable, but those side zips provide a little extra venting opportunity – although the mesh prevents it opening right up in the style of a Buffalo smock, for example. The half zip at the front is a two-way zip, meaning you can unzip it for ventilation while still leaving the top of the zip connected – so your hood will stay up. Despite these venting options, if you run warm, I think you’ll find this jacket too hot.
The hood is an over the helmet number with an elastic loop to keep it from flapping when not in use. You’ll probably want to get a friend to stow or release it for you – or take the jacket off – as it’s quite fiddly to do and certainly out of reach once on your body. The whole jacket can be packed away inside the rear pocket – which also acts as a rear, zipped, pocket while you’re riding.
The jacket sits somewhere between a heavy weight hardshell and a splash proof soft-shell. It’s no floaty light ‘just in case’ jacket, and the waterproof zips are quite stiff and heavy, but it packs down impressively neatly. It’s fairly breathable and comfortable to wear, and decently waterproof. In fact, the over-the-head and fitted nature of it means that it’s really the sort of jacket you don’t want to take off until the end of the ride.
Taking it off is a bit of an exercise in wrestling, and inevitably lands you with a face full of wet waterproof. Technically you can get it off over a helmet, but it’s not exactly easy to do and if your jacket is very wet you might find yourself funnelling all that wet onto your dry insides. Make sure you’ve loosened the Velcro straps on the cuffs before you commence this manoeuvre or you’ll have to beat a retreat and try again.
Why would you want a half zip jacket, I’ve been wondering? If you have a rotator cuff injury in your shoulder, you probably don’t. There’s an unavoidable amount of arms up wriggling involved in getting into the jacket. However, in the event the zip failed, you’re not left with a useless, flapping, cape. Which might be quite a life saving thing if you’re a very long way from replacement zips or purveyors of safety pins. But that’s a bit of a niche case.
It makes you look a bit like you’re on an expedition to somewhere adventurous, or a retro snowboarder in the 90s. It does actually make you look quite good – the fitted form is flattering.
But… I don’t choose my gear on form as much as I do function… and I’m really struggling to find a good answer to ‘why a half zip’. Benji is a fan: he finds the bulky sensation of a zip on your front annoying – but I have no such sensory difficulties (and my belly is definitely more bulky than any zip). However, Benji won’t be the only one and maybe you’re with him in wanting a pullover style half zip jacket.
[ It’s not just the zip bunching, I think smocks kind of only make sense as minimalist, fast ‘n’ light jobbers, arguably in just windproof rather than waterproof materials – Benji ]
Being a Patagonia product, it is of course about as environmentally friendly as these things can be, so as well as the recycled nylon it’s got a PFC-free DWR finish. This means it needs more frequent care and washing than one with PFCs in, as the non-PFC finishes aren’t as good at repelling dirt and oils. Once the fibres of your jacket start clogging up with dirt, they start holding water and your jacket wets out. So, while it’s the sort of jacket you want to wear on the sort of rides that are filthy enough that you don’t want to take it off, you should allow some time in your schedule to care for it.
I’m not 100% convinced I want an over the head waterproof. But if you do, then the Patagonia Dirt Roamer Storm MTB Jacket is a good option. Look after it to protect your investment.
|Product:||Dirt Roamer Storm MTB Jacket|
|Tested:||by Hannah for 6 weeks|