Freestyle Flare review£38.00

UK company Freestyle know a lot about horribly wet weather and this simple shell jacket is top value. The fit relies on elasticated edges but nothing is too breezy, baggy or tight

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UK company Freestyle know a lot about horribly wet weather and this simple shell jacket is top value. The fit relies on elasticated edges but nothing is too breezy, baggy or tight and there's enough slack in the sleeves to pull them up for cooling.

The waterproof fabric is fully seam taped and showed no signs of buckling under heavy rain, although the clammy interior doesn't add much warmth when it's windy. It also spreads the inevitable sweat build-up reasonably wide so that it steams off faster than you'd expect for a waterproof jacket of this price. You'll still need to keep it calm on the climbs not to get sodden though.

There are no pockets besides an internal key stash and the zip could do with a puller, but if you're on a £40 budget then the 'can of beans' pack size, weight and performance are all good. The jacket comes in blue too for people who don't like the luminous commuter hue.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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