The ION women’s Scrub Amp jacket is a waterproof coat built to protect the rider from the worst element. It’s got a ‘softshell’ look but the three layer waterproof fabric is anything but, keeping out the very worst of the elements. It is a bit pricey though bearing mind there are no hand pockets and there is no way to stow to tuck away the hood.
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From the top, the jacket uses a three layer, stretch fabric which although feels a little stiff at first is actually quite comfortable to wear. It has a rugged feel, I’ve put it through its paces, crashing in it, getting it filthy and then hosing it down and it’s taken all the poor treatment in its stride. The ‘softshell’ appearance looks great too, it’s quiet to wear (no loud rustling) and its easy to clean at the end of a ride.
The material offers a waterproof rating of 20,000mm and has a breathability rating of 20,000g/m2/24hrs which is pretty high, not as high as the Endura MT500 at 60,000g/m2/24hrs but it still performs well and is no sweatier than the Showers Pass IMBA jacket I tested recently and performed better in this area than the Scott Trail MTN Dryro 20 I tested last year. Water beads nicely over the fabric and there’s been no water ingress either through the material or through the zip with its large storm flap or taped seams and I’ve worn this jacket in some miserable conditions.
To aid breathability there are two under arm vents which are placed horizontally about 4 inches below the armpit. They are in a very odd position, secured closed with a popper, I really couldn’t feel any difference with this popper fastened or not. The material of the vent overlaps by about an inch and whilst this will stop the rain getting in, it also prevents any kind of air flow even when in a riding position. Some form of underarm zipped vent as is seen on most other jackets would be better here to allow fresh air to reach the upper body.
Elsewhere there is a large hood which fitted well over my helmet. The hood is elasticated and this does a fantastic job of keeping the hood in place when riding, it didn’t slip down even when descending quickly. There are no extra adjusters to winch the helmet in though or fasten it down when not using it and I did find it flapped around a little in this circumstance. It is, however, faff free and a good concept, ION say that they have removed any dangly cord style adjusters to stop them flapping about, hitting you in the face or getting snagged and caught on trees.
The collar sits high when zipped up fully and there is enough room for movement of the chin when the hood is up and down. The collar does flap a little when unzipped but this is mainly due to the hood moving around when riding and it is not in use.
There is one chest pocket on offer which is plenty big enough for a large phone and also holds a very handy glasses wipe. The zipper of this pocket is tiny though and you might want to think about attaching a toggle to make it easier to locate. The flap covering the pocket is rather large and when looking down on it from above it appears to stick out somewhat, it’s not noticeable to others or when riding though. ION say they chose not to add hand pockets so your backpack or bumbag is unhampered by extra material or zips, making for a better fit if you are using some sort of carrying system. This does make sense but pockets would make thte jacket more pre and post ride friendly when you want to stuff a car key or cold hand in there!
The fit of the jacket is slim and flattering with plenty of room still for extra layers, I’m a dress size 8/10 and wore the size Small(36). The arms are a good length, they are articulated and taper down to an elasticated cuff which stays in place over the top of gloves well. There is a reflective strip on the inside front of the left arm, I presume for use when turning left on the road, not so useful here in the UK where we turn across the traffic to the right!
At £210 the ION 3 Layer Scrub Amp jacket is a little spendy, for this price I’d like to see hand pockets, more hood adjustment to secure it when not in use and a re-design of the underarm vents. If you are looking for a stylish jacket that is rugged and hardwearing, ready to face all the elements of a UK winter and aren’t that bothered about the above the Scrub Amp jacket is a good buy and one that won’t disappoint in terms of fit, build quality and waterproofness.
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