If you have checked out our bike commuting series, then you would have seen Rob mention various pieces of equipment for making sure you are dressed appropriately for your ride to work, grocery store run or maybe a weekly group ride with friends.
Biking in cold weather can be a miserable experience if you are not properly prepared for the wind, rain, and cold. Below we are going to highlight one of our favorite jackets and also show a few others that may also be worth your consideration.
Our Pick: Sugoi Zap Jacket
Sugoi are a company that’s well known in the cycling and Triathlon world and have been around since 1987. They are a Canadian based company operating out of Vancouver and the diverse weather conditions in the region have always been the driving force behind their designs and technology.
If you are new to biking or just making an assumption on what you think you need to keep you warm on your ride, you may initially think that this jacket does not look like it is that warm. However, the secret with biking or any type of physical exertion is that you need to use layers so that the body can breathe and so that you take off a layer off at a time if/when necessary. (You ideally want a base, middle and outer layer) Each layer will trap air in between the other and act as in insulator. Whenever you start overheating, you can just remove a layer to reduce heat which should, in turn, cool you down.
Pixel Technology for Maximum Visibilty
If you are intending to do any type of night time riding (we have an article here), then you want to be seen! A nice function of this jacket is the built-in ‘Pixel’ technology that uses micro-glass beads and makes the whole jacket fully reflective and visible in low light conditions. However, when you see this jacket during the day, you would not be aware that it has any kind of reflective material and would just assume it’s your average, stylish cycling jacket. (One reviewer over at Amazon said he even uses his jacket for walking his dog a night due to how reflective and visible it is)
Check out this picture of Rob wearing his Zap jacket at night.
In terms of protecting you from the rain, then this jacket is considered ‘water resistant’ as opposed to being ‘waterproof’. Of course, you could look for something completely waterproof like ‘Gore-Tex Pac-Lite’, but then, of course, you are going to have to pay a lot more money. It’s also worth bearing in mind that a Gore-tex jacket like the Marmot Minimalist shown here on Amazon, for example, will need DWR treatment to be applied on a regular basis to retain the waterproof properties.
Some nice features worth mentioning on the Zap jacket are the fully taped seams, waterproof front zip, rear zippered pocket and the ‘drop tail’ for extra material around the rear/saddle area. One thing of note that’s mentioned in the reviews is that if you are not sure of your correct size or think you are maybe in-between sizes, then you may want to consider sizing up.
Looking over at Amazon, it seems to have great reviews from other people that have also purchased it. People seem to love the reflective/visibility and there are a few mentions of the jacket being warm and great at keeping the rain off. Some reviewers love the fact that it packs small and can be easily stored.
Here are the official Technical Specs:
-Body : 60% Polyester, 25% Glass Beads, 15% Polyurethane passes AATCC TM 35-2000 Water Resistance test / LINING : 100% Polyester / POCKET MESH : 100% Polyester
-Made in the USA or Imported
-Rear zippered pocket for stowing ride essentials
-Introducing Pixel, a fully reflective waterproof fabric designed for high visibility in low light conditions
-Drop tail for lower back and seat coverage from tire spray
-Waterproof front zip and waterproof taped seams for additional protection from the element
This is a jacket that Rob has used for years and gets a 4.5-star rating from us. It’s stylish, reflective, warm and virtually waterproof. If you are looking for a good all-around jacket that’s not going to break the bank, then the Sugoi Zap Jacket is worth serious consideration.
Amazon has it and is often on sale. Check here for the latest price.