My favorite rain jackets are ones that can do double duty on and off the bike, something the Shimano Storm jacket does very well. Despite what the hang tag may say, no jacket is entirely waterproof and super breathable, and usually falls somewhere in between. The Storm jacket sits at the dry end of the spectrum, with great protection and coverage, but it’s too thick and warm for summer use.
The engineering in the $120 Storm jacket is impeccable. The hood is generous, but not actually large enough to cover a helmet—which is a bonus in my book, since I’m far more likely to use it when I’m not riding my bike than when I am. It’s also removable via a few Velcro tabs for quick stow-and-go.The extended back flap is also optional, as it can be folded up and secured when you don’t need the extra coverage on your booty. It has a built-in elastic hem too, to hug your curves.
The finishing touches include a simple vent in the upper back, two zippered handwarmer side pockets, an extended inner cuff and an inner mesh zipper pocket for easy access to small items.
Available in sizes XS – XXL and in three colors (electric lime, electric blue, and black), the Storm jacket is a great all-purpose piece that can do double duty in your closet. At $120 I think it’s also a great value compared to some rain shells that can easily run $200 or more.
Explorer Jersey ($75) and Shorts ($80)
The Explorer jersey and shorts offer a fit and features for cyclists who fall somewhere in the middle between full mountain biking or road racing. The cut of both is form fitting but not snug, and the shorts hit above the knee—a bit higher than most modern mountain bike shorts.
The jersey includes a small loop to hang your eyewear from and an absorbent wipe pad on the hem to wipe them clean if they get smudged or fogged. The full-length zipper is easy to use, and the three rear pockets are augmented by a small zippered pocket for keys or other valuables.
The shorts have limited visual detailing except for the colored zippers and reflective hits. A pair of slash pockets in the front add versatility when you’re off the bike, the large cargo pocket keeps bigger items handy, and the zippered rear pocket gives you peace of mind if you carry your wallet there. The waist is adjustable with simple Velcro straps and the four-way stretch fabric is soft and comfortable. The included chamois liner is nice too, with a large pad that’s perfect for casual to spirited riding.
Both items are available in sizes XS to XXL, and the jersey is available in black, electric blue or amber orange.
All of these items fall into Shimano’s Lifestyle Gear collection of apparel and accessories.
Editor’s note: This review originally appeared in Issue #32 of Bicycle Times. To make sure you never miss a product review, order a subscription and you’ll be ready for the everyday cycling adventure.