Statement Waterproof Jackets - Dirt

Mountain Biking Magazine



Statement Waterproof Jackets


At Dirt we have used and abused a whole pile of riding gear over the years. We soon learn what works well here in the UK with poorly designed, ill fitting clothing soon being left in the bottom of the kitbag with those ‘go to’ favourites being worn on a regular basis. You know the score…

In parallel with frame design; great attention to detail, sizing, materials and suitability for purpose are what we are looking for in both cases. Here we take a look at two premium ‘hard shell’ jackets from brands who design and produce without compromise. Unlike most, these are jackets that you’ll look forward to wearing time and time again.


Upper Downs waterproof jacket a
mountainbiking video by jonesdirt

Being based in and around the South Downs National park here in the UK, this new brand has its roots deep in mountainbiking with an aim to design and produce the best biking outerwear on the market. Their small team of development riders work along with Elite DH rider Harry Malloy, testing prototypes in the mountains of Wales as well as the milder south-east of England. They ride what we ride…

Polartec Neoshell 3-ply waterproof, windproof fabric has been chosen; (currently the most breathable, lightest watertight fabric on the market) with fully taped seams and quality zips used for total reliability. Working with a cutting edge factory in Portugal allows for smaller production runs while visits to the factory from Upper Downs means quality is checked and assured on a regular basis.

Upper Downs have placed a strong emphasis on making this jacket versatile and stylish giving you more pay-back from your investment. With in-depth testing of multiple prototypes, they have produced a clean design which suits not only the ‘biking fit’ but is more than acceptable for the post-ride beer or a road trip.A very well finished jacket with thoughtful features and an excellent cut.

This jacket is launched with a Kickstarter campaign on June 8th. Check it out.

Tech Specs:

Fabric: Polartec Neoshell 3-ply, fully taped seams.

Pockets: 2 front pockets, 1 rear pocket, 1 internal glasses pocket with lens wipe.

Features: Removable hood (using zip), internal phone/media storage chute, underarm venting (back-pack compatible).

Produced: Portugal

Weight: 330g

Sizes: S,M,L,XL

Colours: Charcoal

Price: £289.99 (Purchase now on Kickstarter at a heavily reduced price)


Acre started in 2013 as the mountainbike division of Mission Workshop, an American brand of premium urban cycle wear and bags; styled and designed for use in daily life whether on or off the bike. With Acre, again they have employed a low key subtle style along with a tailored fit and a minimalist look; a nod to versatility, this time for the off-road rider.

As with the Upper Downs jacket, we see again the use of Polartec’s Neoshell fabric; an alternative to Gore-tex and Event for this type of garment. With a small amount of fabric stretch the Meridian jacket has been cut closely but with plenty of length in the sleeve. There is no surplus material flapping around annoyingly.

Features are well designed and only there if necessary: A helmet compatible hood is removable and useful for any high mountain use. Two small zipped pockets sit to each side of your ribs and are easily accessed; pretty unique. Two chest pockets, one inside and one outside the jacket store your phone/keys/cash. Venting is controlled via sleeve zips below the upper arm.

As mentioned, the cut of the jacket is ‘close’ and both the hem and the cuff are cut according to the jacket’s size with no adjustment, keeping pack-size and weight to minimum.

Tech specs:

Fabric: Polartec Neoshell 3-ply, fully taped seams.

Pockets: 2 side, 1 internal chest, 1 external chest

Features: Removable helmet compatible hood (using press studs) with peak. Microfibre lined collar, elastic thumb loops on cuff, underarm vents.

Produced: Vancouver, Canada.

Weight: 320g

Sizes: S,M,L,XL

Colours: Black, Charcoal.

Price: £375 (UK stockist) $455 (US website direct)



Sean “Chalky” White has worked in the cycle industry for over twenty years specializing in apparel. Now a regular contributor to Dirt he’s the man we can rely on for blends, be it coffee, cottons or wool.


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