Alpinestars' Descender waterproof fabric jacket is keenly priced but the trade-off is that the styling is pretty basic. The seams are not sealed and the cut not as refined as we’d have liked.
For example, although it feels roomy enough through the shoulders when standing up, it feels tighter on the bike when your arms are forward, and the sleeves ride up. The fabric has a high crackle factor and despite a floating back yoke that allows some cooling air in it does get sweaty as soon as you start to put some effort in.
The Descender does, however, have a back pocket, chest pocket and features a zip garage, reflective trim and longer-length zip pulls. But despite the decent amount of bike-friendly features we were always more comfortable using this during our pre-ride fettle and post-ride hanging around.
It’s effectively a bike-friendly anorak and we’d be happy throwing it on over jeans for a pub jaunt, where the reflective trim adds a degree of reassurance and the styling wouldn’t look out of place, but it’s not ideal for full days on the bike.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.