You've Questions, I've an Asymm Anorak
By jodasanath1398801 April 24, 2011
Had this anorak for a few months now, from snow (negatives) to spring (80s) for 2-10mi city commuting. Here are answers to some questions people have had about it:
The thumb-holed wrist-gaiters are meant to be worn when riding. They keep the sleeve oriented so that the cut of the cuff (VERY riding specific in that they're meant to fit best when your hands are vertical and angled downwards; like when you're holding the handlebars) stays where it's supposed to. This cut isn't shown at all in the pics available.
Though not waterproof, it is extremely water-resistant. Heavy snow or rain is no problem, water beads up and rolls off or evaporates, I've never gotten wet under it from outside moisture (but if you're moving fast and can't really open the vent since it's pouring you'll probably start sweating). I haven't washed it yet but when I do I plan on following the instructions on the inner tag; they recommend using Nikwax.
It's not actually black, closer to a dark gray.
There are no hand pockets, only a chest pocket (rain does get in through the chest pocket zipper, but not the collar or body zipper).
The hood is pretty roomy, without a helmet you'd have to cinch it down since there seems to be something in it to create a brim at the top, front edge. The hood does cover your ears and chin, and definitely warm enough to be worn w/o a hat.
For a softshell it's thick, w/o insulation but a sort of fleece-y feeling lining.
Wind-proof but breathable is accurate. You'll feel the wind pushing you (if it's strong enough) but won't feel it robbing you of any body heat.
I'm 6'1", 160lbs, I followed their sizing chart and got a medium (for a 37" chest), but it was too tight in the shoulders and there was absolutely no room for layering. Returned for a large and am quite content with the space and the sleeve length was perfect for my monkey arms (40L).
The forearms are tight and if you have substantial forearm muscle the sleeve zips will feel tight. They're very sturdy in their construction though, so I'm not worried about breaking them.
The body zip (longest one) has two sliders. The bottom one is meant to close the jacket and the top one is meant for opening it, and surprisingly useful as a vent. By putting a hole over your right pec it greatly increases airflow inside the jacket.
The forearm zips do absolutely nothing for venting. They extend maybe 4 inches from the base of your wrist and even when open don't expose any of your arm because of the wrist-gaiter.
Drop in the back is the perfect length. I can bend all the way over and not worry about exposure. Plus it has some stiffness, so when you're riding it works great at keeping your butt dry.
Overall, an awesome, unconventional piece of gear. Yes, side pockets or pit zips would be nice, but this thing was made for biking. You'll be amazed how natural it feels when actually riding. I would say look out for it on sacalerts and try it out. And if you don't like it BC's return policy can't be beat.
Plus it's got a lifetime warranty from Cutter and it looks freaking awesome.
Nailed It? 0 Yes