We’ve just had one of the new Upper Downs Neo waterproof jackets through the door here at Dirt. We looked at a pre-production sample last summer and gave Matt from Upper downs plenty of feedback and comments on their design.
Fast forward six months and here we are with a jacket from the first production run. With yet another storm brewing outside, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to give it a proper test. Before we get it filthy, here’s a look at the details.
Upper Downs is a new brand from the UK (based in the South Downs) who focus solely on mountainbike clothing. This isn’t a company trying to cover all bases, they ride the same bikes, tracks and bike parks as us and know what is needed from your kit. They’ve been through plenty of clothing too, finding loads of compromises in many designs on the market and this led them to the start of the brand and the Neo Jacket.
There is a deliberately clean, stylish look to the Neo. A ‘less is more’ approach that kicks out the the clutter, reduces weight and ultimately improves the performance.
Upper Downs started with a clean sheet, addressing all the issues they had with jackets they had been using. The fit is close, allowing good freedom of movement with long articulated arms and a great cut around the shoulders. If you’re between sizes you may want to go up a size, especially if you want to add bulky layers below whether on or off the bike. A removable hood (with hidden zip) sits under a helmet and doesn’t mess with sideways visibility. The Neo has no lower adjustable draw cord at the hem. Why? The jacket sits well and Upper Downs feel that it’s not required, having one often leads to a jacket riding up your waist when it’s snugged in around the waist.