Patagonia’s Stretch Ascent is one of the best waterproof jackets we’ve tested. It’s aimed at climbers and serious mountain types, but its cut is ideal for the bike. It’s slim enough to prevent dragging in headwinds while still allowing generous movement.
This is helped by its 2.5-layer, 100 percent recycled, slightly stretchy fabric. We donned this jacket for a four-day trans-UK epic, during which the skies threw everything they could at us, and the Stretch Ascent came out smiling. So did we.
The breathable H2No membrane kept us dry and avoided that clammy sweat build-up that can make all-day sporting endeavours a drag. A slight drop tail and long arms meant no gaps in the protection, while gaping pit zips and front pocket venting helped heat escape.
There’s a roll-down hood with a neat semi-rigid visor for rain and wind protection too. Our only grumble is that the waterproof zippers on the pit zips are tricky to pull open one-handed. There’s also a women’s version available.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.