Sub Zero Thermal Windproof softshell£99.99

Excellent fabric and feel

BikeRadar score3.5/5

This softshell jacket marks Sub Zero’s first attempt at getting noticed in the mountain bike world. The idea of a softshell is to combine the best aspects of traditional warm fleeces and non-insulating but waterproof, hardshell jackets. It’s more about being breathable and keeping you warm and mostly dry than all-out extreme waterproofing.

The fabric is actually two-and-a-bit fabrics in one. The inner is 100 percent polyester. The outer is a mix of 97 percent polyester and 3 percent elastane, and it’s bound together by a breathable windproof laminate. It’s high-tech fabric and no mistake.

The elastane gives the Sub Zero a degree of four-way stretchiness, while the smooth outer surface beads and sheds rain (and puddle) water very well. As a bonus, it also stops the jacket from snagging on bushes and branches when things get a bit wild on spring trails. The extremely soft inner material is cosy and comfortable against bare skin, so it’s versatile with short-sleeve base layers on muggy days.

The performance of the fabric of this jacket is brilliant; in fact, we’ll go as far as saying it’s one of the best softshell fabrics we’ve encountered so far.

Feature-wise, you get two useful, zip-secured hand pockets and a seldom-used zipped arm pocket. The full-length zip has an effective wind baffle behind it and a nice garage at the top.

The tailoring of the body is good; nicely fitted and with a well-dropped tail. The arms, on the other hand, are something of a niggle. Although nicely articulated they’re just a bit too short on the bike. The rubbery vlcro cuff adjuster tabs are also a bit bulky and bunchy, but with slightly longer arms and slimmed cuffs this jacket would be perfect.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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