If you think keeping dry on the bike demands no price limit, then Q36.5’s R.Shell is a no expense spared, high-end offering to pique your interest – it’s lightweight, breathable, waterproof and packs small when not in use
Started by former Assos designer Luigi Bergamo, Q36.5 brings a wealth of good ideas to the performance waterproof-jacket table. Like many Italian brands it has a racer’s cut, so most will probably need to size up.
Constructed from a three-layer fabric with a highly porous hydrophobic membrane sandwiched in the middle, the outer layer employs a high-density woven polyamide, while the inner uses a softer fabric that feels good, even against bare skin.
Q36.5 has built the R.Shell with the least amount of exposed seams, which are sealed on the inside, too.
The arms have ample length and are neatly configured with waterproof elasticated cuff inserts. These seal well and the V-shaped wrists provide maximum coverage. The sleeves are also articulated for a good fit.
The tall collar features a soft fabric inner section that Q36.5 calls the Barber’s Collar, which stops any drips. This extra piece of material not only adds to ride comfort but also stops any drips that might find their way inside
The drop tail offers plenty of coverage, and sits perfectly in place, sealing well thanks to a silicone-lined hem. Two contrasting waterproof, stretchy side panels also help with fit.
Rather than add pockets, Q36.5 uses two flaps for jersey access. It looks a little crude but works well, without any water penetration, and also helps to keep weight down and make the R.Shell more packable.
Up front the R.Shell has a 3mm waterproof Camlock reflective zip combined with an inner draft flap.
Out on the bike, the performance is right up there, even in the worst conditions, keeping you dry inside and out. The contrasting colours and subtle reflective detailing help to keep you visible without looking like a beacon, too.
The R.Shell fabric and all-round sealing do a top job of keeping the wet stuff out, plus it works well at keeping you dry inside, even when working hard. It’s difficult not to like the R.Shell from the moment you put it on with its great fit and soft feel, and it’s obvious it’s been designed and tested by cyclists who ride in the rain.
All the details have been covered but at this high price you would expect the best quality.