- Tough and hardwearing
- Light and packs down into small pouch
- Keeps the chill out
- Not great breathability
- Quite pricey
- Front pouch is only good for light flexible items
The Dakine Reserve Windbreaker is a windproof women's pullover coat for chilly day emergencies. It washes well, the DWR shower-proofing is effective and it seals out cold winds whether you're running hood up or down. It's not especially breathable, however, so it's a little warm and sweaty when you really start to pedal hard.
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Once again, Dakine gets the styling spot on if you like a loose fit and understated, functional gear that's still on trend. The women's Reserve jacket is a light, one-layer half-zip hoodie that's both windproof and shower proof (DWR coating). It packs down small into its own stuff sack which doubles as the chest pocket, making it a useful layer to chuck in your riding pack.
It's made of a stretchy ripstop material which is both comfy and tough. Whilst it feels slightly flimsy, I've hit the ground a couple of times when wearing this jacket and it's shrugged it off without a scratch.
The material does look rather scrunched up when you first unfold it (as you can see here), but it soon shakes loose.
The fabric is also 'Bluesign' approved, which as I've learnt reviewing gear from Troy Lee Designs and Giro, means the entire supply chain has a reduced impact on people and the environment: the fabric doesn’t include any harmful substances, and all manufacturers stick to using safe processes for its workers.
The hood's big enough to go over smaller lids, and sits well underneath if you prefer thanks to being so thin. The half-length zip gives plenty of room to get whole thing on over a helmet, too, which is useful, while the hem is adjustable and the cuffs and secured with elastic.
The front pocket is a pouch, with a zip either side, but the light fabric and the large size of the pouch make it useless – heavy items slide about inside, and drag the front of the jacket down. It's useful to stuff a glasses cleaner or a neckwarmer in, but that's about it.
The jacket is a loose fit. I'm a size 8 (160cm tall) and wore a size small, but I reckon I could have opted for an XS if I wanted something more fitted.
The Reserve does its windproof chores very well indeed, keeping the chill at bay, with the collar effectively stopping drafts too. It's not that breathable though, and gets a little warm if you're pedalling hard.
I've used this as my 'go-to' e-bike jacket when it's not pouring from the off, and on my 'acoustic' bike if I know the pace is slow or it's properly frosty and icy. It's not great with a pack, however. The vents run horizontally halfway down your back, and what little effect they have disappears completely when covered with a bag.
At £84 the Dakine Reserve isn't cheap, and it's not the most breathable windproof ever. It packs down small and is useful on very cold days or easier-pedalling/e-bike rides, however, and it looks good, is tough and washes up well. If you want a jacket for off-bike duties as well as on, the Reserve is worth a look.