Ever since I bought my Avanti Inc 3 all-weather commuting bike 1.5 years ago, I have felt liberated at not having to let the weather dictate when I can cycle or not. Previously, when I only had my Dahon Boardwalk, I did not want to cycle when it was raining, or when it looked like there was a chance of rain, or even when the roads were wet. This was because of the tremendous amount of maintenance required to clean up the bike after a wet ride.
Now, with my ideal commuting bike, the Avanti Inc 3, I can cycle even when it is raining. This is important if I am commuting to work by bicycle, as I still need to turn up for work even when it is raining. Of course, if the rain is too heavy, I will not cycle as it is too dangerous due to poor visibility.
While the all-weather bike is not affected by the rain, I myself will still get wet. Therefore, I decided to get a rainproof jacket, so that I can use it to stay warm and dry when I ride in the rain. There are many different brands and types of rainproof jacket, but the most important thing is to be rainproof and also being breathable. High visibility is of course an added bonus.
After doing some research and comparing a few different brands of rainproof jackets, I settled on the Endura Xtract Rainproof Jacket. It is supposedly very breathable, so that you don't feel like you are steaming inside a plastic bag. The luminous yellow colour also helps greatly in making myself more visible on the bike. Lastly, it folds down into a really small package, so that I can store it in the pouch on my Avanti Inc 3.
Overall view of the Endura Xtract Rainproof Jacket
Front zipper goes all the way up to the collar for better rain-proofing around the neck.
The inside of the collar is lined with felt for better comfort and warmth, which I really like.
Large mesh inside the jacket, at the back area helps to ventilate hot air to the outside
The mesh from the inside leads to a covered flap on the outside of the jacket, to vent out hot air without letting rain seep in.
Small zippered pocket at the side allows small items to be kept safely and well protected from the rain.
Very thin but effective waterproof membrane on the outside of the jacket
Inside layer of the jacket allows hot air to move outwards, but prevents water from seeping in.
Reflective strips along the arms and back of the jacket help to enhance visibility
The little carrying pouch that is used to store the rainproof jacket after it is folded
The inside pocket of the jacket can be used to store small items too, such as the carrying pouch.
The size of the jacket after folding it tightly. It can still be compressed slightly to reduce the size further.
This jacket will be stored in the pouch on the Avanti Inc 3 bike. Since I will only use the rain jacket when I ride the all-weather Avanti Inc 3, this is a good place to store the jacket.
I have tested this rainproof jacket in the rain for a few rides, and I am amazed to say that it works really well. Even in relatively heavy rain, the water does not seep through the jacket. My body stays dry and my body core temperature is maintained. The jacket is also quite breathable, as I don't feel myself overheating inside the jacket.
After the ride, it just takes a quick rinse to wash the jacket. It also dries relatively quickly as the fabric does not really absorb any water. Overall, this is a good rainproof jacket for those who want to stay dry and warm while cycling in the rain.