Not specifically a riding jacket, On’s delightfully and simply named Waterproof Anorak was originally designed for running, but in keeping with more and more hybrid jackets, an attention to spec detail means that it can just as easily be worn for riding.
A long dropped back hem and shaped sleeve cuffs, which sit just over the back of the hands and well when riding, make this feel like a jacket that was designed for the bike.
The over-the-head styling is less common for bike use, and I usually prefer a full-zip front because it’s more versatile when you get warm, but the reduction in bulk that is the result of not having a full-length zip and the slimline cut mean that this feels more like wearing your favourite hoody than a waterproof jacket.
One effect was that I felt just more, well, athletic… as well as remaining dry. It was a relentlessly wet autumn and this jacket remained fully waterproof even on extended rides.
The material is very light and that’s complemented by bonded hems, which give a low profile feel. It’s a more expensive construction that we’re commonly seeing on high-end kit now and does give a cleaner finish.
The three-layer fabric has an inner surface made up of hydrophilic elements that expand as they work. That’s the science that means it not only wicks perspiration away but the hotter you get, the harder they are claimed to work to keep you dry – and there’s no question that even despite the lack of front zip to let some air in, this has been a remarkably unsweaty jacket, even on milder wet days when transitioning between seasons.
There are hidden vents beneath the front and back yoke that have worked so well that I haven’t felt the lack of a full length zip a problem – it’s been exceptionally comfortable.
The only downside to this not being a bike-specific jacket is that the hood doesn’t fit over a helmet. Instead, it sits underneath, and the drawcord that cinches it in will also fasten the hood down when not in use.
Not your average anorak that’s for sure, but if you run and ride you’ll want it for shared duties.