Commuting - Would appreciate feedback on which shell jacket to buy
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12-10-07, 08:16 AM
I am looking for a shell jacket for winter commuting (30-50 degrees) that I will layer as necessary. I would also like to use the jacket for MTB on weekends. I like the removable sleeve option. I realize that the bright yellow/lime are likely the best commuter colors for visibility, but I likely will get another color (I dig the Invertor in mango) and will ride at night with a mesh safety vest on top of the jacket. I'd appreciate any pros/cons you have experienced with these. THANKS!
Biking jacket - $99 - Pearl Izumi Vagabond II
Biking jacket - $74 - Cannondale Morphis
Biking jacket - $70 - IllumiNITE Invertor
12-10-07, 08:46 AM
I've got a PI Vagabond, although it's an older model. Mine isn't very breathable and it makes me sweat a lot unless it's really cold out. However, they may have improved its breathability because they've made a lot of changes to it since I got mine. I really like the removable sleeves. I understand your feelings about neon yellow, but it really stands out. For commuting, that would be my choice. My Vagabond is an orange/yellow color, so it's pretty visible, but nothing stands out like neon yellow.
12-10-07, 09:30 AM
thanks tarwheel. I've read that the Vagabond II are not very breathable, as well, so that's really the thing holding me back on that jacket. Your note about color is well-taken! I may end up with yellow, yet.
12-10-07, 09:30 AM
Canari Eclipse in don't-kill-me-yellow (http://www.redfroggear.com/Canari_Eclipse_Jacket_p/ca-1790.htm). 3 pockets, removable sleeves, and fleece-lined collar.
12-10-07, 08:03 PM
I think I'm going with the Morphis, unless someone talks me out of it....
I just got a Louis Garneau Stratos from Nashbar for a ridiculous $19.99. It's only a shell, and the sleeves do not remove, but there is a fleece-lined collar...
12-10-07, 09:09 PM
Man, too many great choices!
I have the morphis. It does very well at keeping the rain out, but doesn't have a great breathability. I only wear it when its in the 30's, or in the 40's and raining. The remivable sleeves are key.
12-11-07, 07:29 AM
Wait! There is an excellent jacket from a company called Showers Pass. I have the Touring Jacket and for commuting it is probably the best jacket on the market. It copies a discontinued design from the Burley Rock Point, which was regarded as a classic.
Burley no longer makes clothing and the Rock Point is hard to find.
Here is a link:
12-11-07, 10:10 AM
thanks for the review, gman!
thanks diesel - that does look good - very thoughtful construction. found it for $135 at several sites - a bit out of my price range, unfortunately.
03-06-10, 03:53 PM
So here's a late review... I ended up buying BOTH the Pearl Izumi Vagabond II (2002 model I think) and the Cannondale Morphis.
The Vagabond has been great. Likely not the most breathable on the market, but comfortable and cuts the wind and looks good. I wear it for MTB and occasionally around town.
The Cannondale Morphis (2007) was a disappointment. The jacket is very breezy around the armpits and back but the arms themselves hold the sweat (like gman noted). It's nice that the sleeves (one piece which includes the upper back) can be easily removed while riding. However, most of the reflectivity is on the removed back panel and beneath that is just mesh. I found that if the temperature outside demanded a vest, having such a big mesh area defeated the purpose. I bought it for bike commuting and jogging, and pretty much only use it as a vest to improve my visibility a bit. Maybe it's more useful to serious road riders who position themselves differently?
That's all I got!
03-06-10, 07:43 PM
I use and like my J&G breathable rain jacket.
03-06-10, 08:09 PM
The newest Showers Pass Jackets don't seem to last as long as the originals. If you wear a rucksack, the inner coating seems to wear off right where the backpack sits across your back.
I like the Endura (US) and Altura Jackets (UK version)
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