Thursday, November 17, 2011 11.00am
By Cycling Plus
The Sportful Survival winter jacket is made of Gore-Tex Active Shell – a new ultra lightweight three-layer fabric. The tough outer shell provides maximum rain protection while the soft inner lining is integrated with a breathable Gore-Tex membrane. With this jacket, long gone are the days when waterproof outside meant boil-in-the-bag inside.
The Survival jacket was developed with and for the Saxo Bank-Sungard pro cycling team. As you’d expect, it’s designed for race and hard training use. So if you're looking for a waterproof with plenty of places to stuff things, then you’ll need to look elsewhere. If, however, like us, you prefer a lightweight jacket that’ll give you total protection from the elements, this is exactly what you’ve been looking for.
That’s not to say the Survival jacket is without features that count. We like the lock-down zipped vents to let in a breeze, and the close fitting zip closures on the cuffs to prevent drafts (and make it easier to take the jacket off, even with winter weight gloves) are superb. The front zipper also locks down and has double protection, with a substantially sized flap that’s held shut with Velcro tabs. Out back is a buttoned down drop tail that offers ample protection from wet-road spray.
How we tested the latest jackets
As well as cycling for hours in the coldest, wettest conditions we could find (and sitting on a turbo under a hose), we took all the jackets to the waterproof clothing experts at Foxwear to test the seams and material – specifically the chest area and shoulder seams, which bear the brunt of downpours.
Foxwear’s testing machine isolates a 10cm section of the jacket and subjects it to increasing water pressure. We continued until either the jacket leaked or the pressure reached 0.6 bar which, according to Foxwear, is ‘not far short of a tropical storm’. Foxwear should know: they've been making hi-vis, high performance rain jackets for professionals such as the police for years, and will soon be bringing out a bike jacket.
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