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Calhoun Rain Jacket

Review: Calhoun Rain Jacket

scottmares's picture

We Liked

We met up with the owner of O2 Rain wear at Interbike and had a good talk with him about the Calhoun jacket. We were impressed with the features and wanted to give it a go. After all we are in the pacific NW and it rains here a lot and a rain jacket is an essential piece of gear for the cyclocross racer. The Calhoun rain jacket is pretty light weight for the performance. Its made out of 2 and half layers of rip-Stop Nylon that is coated that gives it high performance in the wet. A decent jacket performance is measured in breathability and waterproofness. This bench mark or performance starts at 5,000g/m2/D for Breathability and 5,000 mmH2O for water proofness and goes up from there. The Calhoun performance is at 10,000 in both of these categories. The fabric seams are fully taped and sealed. All of the zippers are waterproof so nothing is going to get into your pocket or through the vents as long as they are zipped up. The jacket has a generous Napoleon pocket that is also welded and and water proof for those little things that you might need to get to right away. The Calhoun jacket does come with pit zip ventilation if you happen to be working extra hard on the trail or road you can open them up to prevent over heating. Out in the rain you don't want to be invisible to traffic and the Calhoun jacket comes in two very bright colors of Yellow and Blue. I have noticed that O2 is one of just a couple of companies that makes a rain jacket in Blue. Everyone else seems to make rain jackets in Yellow and Black. One last thing that makes this jacket a winner are the sleeves! The sleeves are longer than what most companies put into their own rain jackets. Now this is actually a big deal for me because I hate not having enough coverage between your sleeve cuff and gloves. You normally don't get wet from the fabric but where different garments meet. So, its the junction of the jacket and your glove. The Calhoun jacket's sleeves are long enough that they will give you really good coverage so you will not feel any thing cold and wet during your training ride or commute. The Cuffs are also slightly larger so they will cover just about anything. I'm over 6' tall and to me this is pretty darn important.

We Didn't Like

This is a great jacket. However it does not come with pull tabs on the vent zippers. So we ended up adding our own. This would be the only thing that we would ask that O2 change on it. And when you do add them please make them with the idea that people will more than likely be wearing gloves. So they need to be slightly longer, and grippy.

The Final Say

The Calhoun jacket is a great jacket to have in your bag. It will serve not just as a rain jacket but as a shell for when its cold outside as well. So If you need to layer up and you need a wind or water proof shell the Calhoun would be one to reach for. Some of the companies are making rain jackets that are so tight and form fitting that you can't wear them when the temp takes a dive as you need to wear more clothing to stay warm all the while moisture coming down in one form or another (rain, sleet or snow). This is exactly where the Calhoun jacket shines. Don't get me wrong this jacket is fitted but not a super tight race fit like some we have tested in the past. The sleeves are long enough that we could seal out the elements in the vital area where gloves transition to the jacket, so there is good overlap with the Calhoun sleeves. There is also plenty of reflective material on the jacket to give you protection when the light gets low. Plus, the jacket comes in a nice bright blue or Yellow color. I don't know why companies are making rain jackets in black. Sure they are cool looking and look great off the bike. But when its pouring rain and the visibility is low I think its just stupid to be on your bike with a black rain jacket. Does any remember Saturday night live "Consumer Probe" Irwin Mainway with "Bag O Glass"? Well, he also had some costumes for halloween and one of them was called "Invisible Pedestrian". This was essentially a black plastic bag that you wore at night. To me a black rain jacket is like wearing asphalt camo and personally that does not make me feel very safe at all. We have been sent black rain jackets in the past and we ended up requesting another color for review.

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