- Waterproof and breathable whilst being robust
- Packs down nice and small
- Doesn't shout 'bike brand clothing'
- Main zip is very stiff
- Hood flaps about when riding
- Collar pulls backwards when jacket not fully fastened
If there is one piece of kit to get right in your mountain biking wardrobe, a waterproof jacket is it. The Cube AM Women’s Storm Jacket has a good stab at being a great waterproof jacket but there is some downfall in cut and zip issues.
The Cube AM Women’s Storm Jacket is a bright affair designed to have ‘all weather protection for adventurous women’. Adventurous activities in mind or not the 3-layer fabric will still keep the wind and rain out admirably. I found the ‘Primetronic’ technical fabric adept at keeping the water out and the wind off in some truly awful conditions. There's no breathability or waterproof ratings listed but I found it to perform well with both in mind. It’s pretty tough too, as you can see I’ve rolled about in the mud in this one too without causing any marks or tears.
The full coverage at the rear ensures the jacket did not ride up or let mud and grit work their way into my under layers. The material used is flexible and the jacket well cut, if a little on the roomy rather than fitted side. It’s easy to make shapes on the bike about without feeling encumbered by stiff or unwieldy material. The light nature of the fabric ensures the jacket folds up pretty small too, it’s not a packable but will stow away in a 10L pack with plenty of room to spare.
The sleeves are nice and long, they're well shaped to cover the top of the hand too. The cuff does, however, have a large rubber adjuster which, whilst it is very secure and easy to use, it will not conform to the shape of the wrist, lying annoyingly flat at all times.
The main zip is weatherproof and has a long easy to grab toggle, there is also a storm flap on the inside of the zip to further protect from the elements. The zip is pretty stuff and gets stuck on fastening, forcing me to continually pull the bottom of the jacket, flattening it as it is zipped up. Cube say the zip is intentionally stiff as it fully taped, that's ok but this one is uber stiff compared to others such as this.
The large pockets also sport weatherproof zips which can be accessed from both the top and the bottom. The pockets also double as well positioned air vents, directing air at the upper chest through the mesh lining. This does, however, mean that if you are using the pocket as ventilation it’s best not to store any valuables in them at the same time so as not to risk them bouncing out or becoming soggy.
The large hood accommodates my small helmet, although as you can see it pulls the collar very close to the face, I wouldn't want to zip it up fully. With just one winch at the rear of the hood to adjust, it can’t be fine-tuned that easily either. The hood also has a tendency to flap around whilst riding with no way to pull it close to the body, an additional winch around the front would help matter here. The jacket collar is nice and high without being suffocating when fully zipped up (and the hood down). When I left the zip at the neckline though, the jacket tends to travel rearwards leaving the zip pulling uncomfortably on the front of the neck and chest.
In short, the jacket material has great promise, proving to be light, breathable and waterproof. An improved main zip, hood winch, cuff details and collar design would help the features of this jacket match the superior fabric used, in turn making the £150 price point more reasonable.
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