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Hooded Cycling-specific jacket/hoodie recommendations?

Old 02-03-11, 12:37 PM
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illdthedj
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Hooded Cycling-specific jacket/hoodie recommendations?

Hi!

Been looking around for a cycling jacket to fit my criteria....

1. HOODED. detachable, non detachable, whatever.
2. CYCLING SPECIFIC. or more so, cycling CUT. basically i want a jacket that covers the lower back well. either a cut longer in the back or has some sort of fold down flap.

its a plus if its water resistant, but full on rain jacket not exactly necessary (but like i said, a plus if it is). also good looks are nice obviously...

just thought i would see if anyone had suggestions for ones i havn't seen. so far ive found these:

chrome cobra, 150


swvre milwaukee 150


pearl izumi stockton 125


surface snugflex 81



so yah if you know of something else lemme know
and if you have or know someone who has the above small reviews would be cool.
thanks
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Old 02-03-11, 12:46 PM
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Don't forget Mission Workshop's option...

http://www.missionworkshop.com/orion...oof-jacket.php


Its only $395!
Its actually pretty bad ass but $400 is Arcteryx territory.
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Old 02-03-11, 12:48 PM
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i have the swrve and i wear it most days (unless is a total downpour, then i goto a showerspass)

fits me well (i wear a large, and im 6'3") (arms only a touch short, but i have a +3 ape index, so....)
does keep out the rain. starts to fail after about 7 or so miles of it
warm.
zippers under the arms help a bit to cool off, but probably a bit too warm for about 60F
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Old 02-03-11, 12:50 PM
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I have the cobra. It's boss. I love it so much. It's merino. I was wearing it this night/this morning, when the temps hit their lowest level in 60 years here in NM, bout -5 or so (plenty colder with windchill). I had on a merino baselayer and a light wool sweater under the hoodie and was perfectly comfortable. If I had been in some synthetic thing I would have been all clammy and unhappy.
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Old 02-03-11, 01:05 PM
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hmmm

i have a swrve windbreaker, and i really like it. a touch expensive for what it was but quality is good, i do like their stuff....
and having a merino cycling hoodie does sound nice. i have a chrome champ jacket and its good stuff as well. Now i know merino is not specifically rain resistant, but i was wondering how it does in say, light rain? perhaps compared to standard fare sweatshirt material?

and i have said before, the orion is quite nice it seems (well it should be lol)....looks nice and has what want, but i just feel weird buying a jacket half the price of my bike (roughly)...bought mainly for riding said bike. yes i know i can wear it while not riding...i just dont think you get what you are paying for (i could be wrong)

anywho any other suggestions/reviews are super appreciated.
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Old 02-03-11, 02:22 PM
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Pearl Izumi looks hot. So does the Orion, I feel like the Orion may fit my build very well.

There is a swrve hoodie, in black at orange 20 that I'll buy if I happen to get the money anytime soon :/
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Old 02-03-11, 05:18 PM
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I have a Cobra and an Orion. They are two entirely different pieces of clothing.


The Orion has been on 20% off pretty much since it was released, so it's not really $395... more like $320. Even if they're not running the promotion currently, I bet you could email them with a sob story about how you were on the fence and just couldn't pull the trigger during the 20% off sale, but now...

Anyway, it's good. I'll paste my full review at the bottom of this post.


Merino is not waterproof, or windproof, at all. Not even a little bit. I would say the Cobra hoodie is significantly less windproof than a cotton button-up from dickies. If it gets wet, you get wet. Like all wool it will still keep you fairly warm if it's wet, but you'll still be wet.

Wind also cuts through the Cobra like a knife. It works great as a mid-layer. I wear it in tandem with my Orion pretty often, which is good into the 30s. Replace the Cobra with a Mountain Hardware fleece for <30.

The Cobra is also not heavy weight. Again, it's a good mid-layer.


If you go with the Cobra, you should also plan on investing in a windbreaker / rainstopper shell to go with it.


Originally Posted by dsh View Post
Mission Workshop: Orion Softshell
Alright, I know if I were all of you guys I'd want a more detailed review from someone who owned the Orion before I took the plunge. There were absolutely no reviews from anyone who had really used it when I bought mine, so it was a bit of an unknown. I didn't even have a chance to try it on, but I knew Mission Workshop would work with me if I had problems with fit, and after how they handled my Rondel situation (no-questions-asked new pair, send back the old ones opon recept) it didn't seem like too much of a risk.


Aesthetics
I'm about a month into ownership, and to my recollection I have worn it every day. The most pleasant surprise was how great it looks off the bike. For the nine to five I tend to overdress by just a touch compared to the other Engineers, and the people I work with are not surprised to see my wearing nice things. Still, the first day I showed up wearing the Orion I got many more unsoclicited compliments than I was expecting, and more than a few questions about "Where did you get that jacket?" This isn't me saying
"check out my sweet new jacket!" and them patronizing me... it was
"Hi Judy, how was your weekend?"
"Oh good, I love that jacket!"
The Olive color is awesome in person, and goes great with all the browns and grays and blacks I tend to wear when I care whether I match.

Fit is obviously a big question since very few of us are going to be able to try these on in person. It was a little more tough for me, but it always is. I'm 6'1 175 and when it comes to cycling specific clothing I always have a tough decision to make between Medium and Large. If I get a large in Sugoi or Pearl Izumi it will be a bag; for those brands, medium fits like a glove. If I get a medium in Castelli it will fit like a two-sizes-too-small latex glove; large is much better for that brand. I would say in the "Euro" vs "American" fit, the Orion is a slim American. After talking with Evan at MW for a little bit about what I normally wear and how I intend to use it (winter with a decent amount of layering), he suggested the large, and I went with that.

My conclusions about fit: If you're buying this as your go-to cold weather piece, and you know you're *actually* going to use it in cold weather, and not always on the bike so you're *actually* going to need to layer, then I'd err to the bigger side. Obviously if you're always a medium and you've never bought anything but a medium, just get a medium. But if you're between sizes like I am, the extra room for layering helps.
On the other hand, if I was living somewhere like Seattle where this was more of a rain/wet piece and wouldn't require so much layering, I would have probably tried the medium. Wearing my large Orion over just a tshirt there is definitely some extra room in the torso area that I don't normally like. The jacket is not magic - it will not fit the same with two sweaters as it does with a compression shirt - so you've gotta pick based on your application.

If I was going to gripe about any aspect of the aesthetics, it would be the hood. It doesn't look great when it's up. The head seems a little deep, and so it kinda slides forward over my forehead. Functionally it works pretty well if I flip the bill up, but I still look like a tool. This is kinda the sad reality of hoods, though. That said, the look is much improved if worn with a cycling cap or beanie to take up that extra headroom... maybe this is what they had in mind.
And of course the hood is button-removeable, and completely optional. I have only broken it out a couple times for riding in the rain, and otherwise leave it at home. I just think the jacket looks better without it.

Cold
This is a softshell, so it isn't meant to let you summit Everest wearing nothing but a tshirt. What it DOES do is keep out the wind and rain without turning your torso into a sauna, and it does that really well. The first few times out I did overheat a little bit just because I didn't know what to expect... poly baselayer, long sleeve merino jersey, merino hoodie, orion. That is too much unless you're riding in -20. The good news? Pit zips cure all. Even way, way overdressed, I just opened the pit zips and was riding in supreme comofrt for the rest of the way.

Once I figured out the layering, I realized that a thin poly base layer plus my Cobra hoodie was enough for anything DC had to offer (low 20's to high teens with plenty of wind) as long as I was moving, and maybe replace the poly base layer with a waffle thermal long sleeve or a fleece shirt if I'm going to be off the bike and standing around (in the cold) for long. Again, the jacket doesn't offer more for warmth than maybe a lightweight cotton hoodie, but what it does allow is for your under layers to do their job without being torn to shreds by wind or rain.

I have never once felt the barest breath of draft through any of the seams or zippers, and the cuffs seem to lock like magic onto the wrists of my gloves; there is just enough stretch in the fabric, and they obviously put a lot of thought into the cuff design. My only warmth-related gripe is that the fleece-lined collar lacks any kind of cinch or drawstring, so if you're not wearing anything to occupy the space between the collar and your neck there is some space for wind to sneak in. I'm usually wearing my Cobra with the hood up, which serves to fill the gap around the collar, but it is something you have to consciously solve. Another option would be a gator or really thin scarf to wrap up with before putting on the jacket. The problem also mostly goes away when the buttoned-on hood is attached, but again... I don't normally use that hood.

Wet
Eye of newt. Toe of frog. Wool of bat. These are surely delivered by the truckload to that old Arc'Teryx factory to fuel whatever black magic goes into this fabric. I just performed a test:
- One piece bath tissue, stuffed into the sleeve by my elbow.
- One large bucket, filled with water
- Bend albow at acute angle, inser into bucket submerging arm/sleeve from arm pit to about an inch short of wrist cuff. This includes entirely submering the pit zip and numerous seams.
- Leave in bucket for one minute, swirl it around a bit.
- Remove arm, retrieve bath tissue. It is entirely dry. Magnets, how do they work?

Sure, a rubber suit would do the same thing. But if someone tried to suffocate me with a rubber suit, I'd be done. If someone tried to suffocate me with an Orion, I'd be able to breathe through the fabric for long enough to fight them off. And yet, the bath tissue came out completely dry.

I've only had a few occasions to ride with the jacket in the wet, and in all situations every other aspect of my clothing failed loooong before the Orion. It's kinda a funny feeling to be riding home and have your feet, legs, and hands all numb from 34 degree driving rain... and have your torso and arms cozy and warm and dry. All I need now are some pants, gloves, and shoe covered made from the same fabric. Also, probably a fat New Year's bonus check from work.

Construction and Details
I have alluded to a couple of the really impressive, attentive little construction details that have caught my eye so far. Like the way the cuffs fall so naturally over my full-finger gloves, and have just the right amount of stretch to form a windproof seal that doesn't move around or bunch up while I'm riding.



The outside "cell phone pocket" is the perfect size for a Mead spiral memo book and a pen, and the perfect location for making quick grocery list addendums or writing down addresses. You could also put a cell phone in there, but that has lived in my right pants pocket for a decade and isn't likely to move.

The rear jersey pocket is well situated and surprisingly well hidden. I can put a patch kit, multitool, micro pump, and clif bar back there with it being barely noticeable from the outside. Obviously it can carry more, and you'll just deal with the normal jersey-pocket hump back.

The zippers all go the right way; the pit zips open from pit-to-elbow, and all the jersey/chest/hand pockets open top-down. The zippers are deliberate and firm and precise and waterproof. I haven't found a flawed stitch yet, and I've looked. There was obviously a lot of thought put into the order of operations when they were constructing the jacket, and you could tell they went through all the prototype iterations necessary to get a finished product worthy of the price tag.

One detail I think MW missed the mark on a little bit is the mp3-player pocket, which is on the inside on the right hand breast. The pocket itself is fine; same high quality of construction as the rest of the jacket, and pretty standard neoprene-with-an-earphone-port fare we're all coming to expect in these kinds of jackets. The problem, however, is the location: it is dead in the center of where a left-shouldered messenger bag strap will go. Which means a lot of pressure being places on the mp3 player pocket, where presumably you have your fairly delicate mp3 player (which might have cost as much as this jacket). A few inches higher or lower on the right side, or even on the left side "below" the cell phone pocket, and this could have been avoided.
I don't listen to my mp3 player when I'm riding anyway, so it's in the bag, but this would be a problem some people have to solve.

Another minus would be the potential air-gap at the collar that I mentioned earlier, but this is less of an issue and pretty easily solved by your other layers. It is only going to be an issue if it is really *bitterly* cold, in which case you're going to want to be wearing a gator/scarf/balaclava anyway.


Summary
The Orion is an expensive jacket, but there are reasons for that. It is waterproof and windproof, but you could not be suffocated by it. It is so comfortable it's easy to forget you're wearing it, on or off the bike (I've been sitting here wearing the entire time I've been composing this review), without compromising at all on its attractive aesthetics. The attention to detail in things like the cuff and pocket design is impressive, and the construction quality has revealed no flaws whatsoever in my month of daily use.

I was going to make a pros and cons list, but you all should hopefully know now what the pros are.
So I'll just reiterate the cons, the ones I could come up with.

Cons:
- The hood looks dorky, and there's too much head room to wear it without a beanie or hat underneath.
- The collar can let a little air in if you don't have something to stop it, and there's no integreated cinch.
- The "mp3 player" pocket sits right under a messenger back shoulder strap.
- It doesn't automagically resize itself to fit the same with 10 layers or a t-shirt like in Back to the Future.

That's it.
That's all.

If you don't buy this jacket it is because you are an impoverished homeless person with bad taste.

If anyone has any other specific questions or wants to see detail pictures of anything, just let me know.
NOTE TO THE ABOVE REVIEW:
The hood actually does have a depth-cinch. I didn't notice it when I wrote the review. The hood on the Orion is actually pretty awesome.
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Old 02-03-11, 06:04 PM
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thanx for the review/advice...

part of me leans towards the chrome cobra.
i dont own merino anything, and think this could be a good first step.

i guess that is what i was expecting in terms of wind/rain deterrence in terms of the cobra. was sort of hoping it was at least a little protective from elements...but on second thought i do already own two rain resistant windbreaker types (chrome champ jacket and swrve windbreaker) so getting the cobra as a mid layer or not so cold outer layer seems like a good idea....

not sure if i want a good mid-layer inside my more rain resistant stuff or just getting a cycling cut hoodie that is a good outer layer piece. like the swrve milwaukee....hmmmm
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Old 02-03-11, 07:05 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by illdthedj View Post
so getting the cobra as a mid layer or not so cold outer layer seems like a good idea....
Yes that is what the Cobra is good for.

What is wrong with the outerwear pieces you have? The champ seems nice, and paired with the Cobra it would probably do anything the Milwaukee could do.
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Old 02-04-11, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dsh View Post
Yes that is what the Cobra is good for.

What is wrong with the outerwear pieces you have? The champ seems nice, and paired with the Cobra it would probably do anything the Milwaukee could do.
well, nothing other than wanting a hood on them....
and its just that ive been reading reviews on the cobra, and its obviously slim fit but some guys my size were saying even the XL was too small for them. a little worried about that. buuuut i might be going into SF this weekend so if i can drag the GF into the chrome store at some point maybe ill get to try one on.
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Old 02-04-11, 02:09 PM
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Yeah the review saying the XL was too small for a 150 lbs guy was full of ****. He got the wrong size, or they sent him the wrong size, or he threw it in the dryer and it shrank, or something. Don't worry about the sizing.

I'm 6'1 175, 33" waist 40" chest...

I initially ordered a medium and it was perfectly wearable, but a little too tight for any kind of layering.

I traded it back in for a Large and, if anything, it is a bit looser than I like.
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Old 02-04-11, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by illdthedj View Post
...but on second thought i do already own two rain resistant windbreaker types (chrome champ jacket and swrve windbreaker)....
Originally Posted by dsh View Post
What is wrong with the outerwear pieces you have?
Originally Posted by illdthedj View Post
well, nothing other than wanting a hood on them....
So you already have two great cycling specific jackets that cost $250 combine, and just because they don't have a hood you need to spend another $150 on a new one? Never heard of a beanie? You can get any number of great ones for under $10

Maybe I don't understand your needs, but seems like throwing money away. It's yours to do with as you'd like though.
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Old 02-04-11, 06:49 PM
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These jackets all look dope, but I've never been able to ride with a hoodie on. I feel like it screws with my peripheral vision.
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Old 02-04-11, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by monsterkidz View Post
I feel like it screws with my peripheral vision.
It does mine too. Not bad with a ball cap on, though. It helps keep the hood out of your face.
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Old 02-06-11, 02:23 AM
  #15  
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I'd like to repeat, for the record, that I was wearing my Chrome Cobra, as an outer layer, in temps below -5, with windchills below -25 just the other night. With a merino baselayer and a sweater as a midlayer I was toasty. Like, very comfortable. Not just OK, toasty. But, hey, if you like sweating and getting cold/clammy in synthetics with no breathability, go for it.
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Old 02-06-11, 04:03 AM
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i want the black one and i'm going to wait till september to get it. that will give me time to save up for it.

and of course it's arcteryx territory, it's made where arcteryx used to make their stuff before they got cheap.
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Old 02-06-11, 05:11 AM
  #17  
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I love the Cobra. I doubt I'd pay the price for it, but it was gifted to me.

I agree, it doesn't do anything against moisture. As for wind, it's not the most ineffective layer. It's been frigid in Columbia lately. Therefore, I've worn poly base-Cobra-Adidas ClimaWare.

It's worth mentioning that I lost my last black hoody -- which was my favorite -- in a romantic failure. She took my hoody and never responded for my pleas for it back ... pretty sure I said this somewhere else on the forums. So now, the Chrome is my go to hoody out of the saddle, too. And yes, they run small. I don't remember my chest size, but my measured and I matched the size chart for a medium. I disregarded it and went for the large. I'm 6', 175 lbs. The large is a perfect fit for me. Snug, but with room and length to use the thumb holes.
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Old 09-05-12, 10:43 PM
  #18  
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This thread is ancient, but it seems like it might be a good place to ask this. First off, thanks dsh for the great review of the Orion. Looks great and it should serve my winter cycling needs well enough for me to want to order one when they become available again. My question is this: how does the fit of the Orion compare to the Cobra? I own a Cobra in medium, and it fits, albeit a bit snugly. If the Orion is even a bit bigger around the waist I'd probably err on the side of medium, though if it's as slim as the Cobra I definitely want to go up a size.

Any insight/comparison is greatly appreciated!
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