Monday, February 19, 2007

MEC Hydrocycle Jacket

My cycling shell is over 10 years old and has a serious lack of ventilation going on. I have been looking for a replacement. I wanted something lightweight with excellent ventilation that would work on my recumbent and on my DF bikes. Strolling through the Calgary MEC store I noticed they had a new cycling jacket in stock. After trying it on and looking it over I decided to take one home. The Hydrocycle features extra long sleeves (which I need for my ape like arms!), long pitzips and is very lightweight. Testing it out on my bent I can open the pitzips almost all the way without letting rain in. - important since most cycling jackets were not designed to work on a recumbent. It is lightweight and packs quite small so it will fit easily on my bent with my rando gear. The design is very fitted which I like so that there is no extra material flapping around and at $135 cdn it seems like a pretty good deal. The jacket uses Entrant DT fabric to make the waterproof/breathable thing happen. I have had good luck with Entrant in the past and I think pitzips are the most important aspect of keeping the jacket ventilated. I also have a new philosophy when it comes to shell jackets - buy light/inexpensive and replace more frequently. The DWR coating on any breathable shell has a limited lifespan. Once it is gone you can apply a spray on DWR treatment, but it is never as good. Without a functioning DWR coating the fabric won't breathe any longer and you'll sweat to death inside.

I'll be using it a lot for my spring commutes to work and then on my brevets - stay tuned for a review once I have some time in with this jacket.

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