Kit Review - Vamper.cc
Posted on 17 August 2017
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"Yes, it is August; yes; we should be basking in sunshine. And no, we should not be turning on the heating in the evening. But let’s get real: we live in the United Kingdom. And what would summer be without endless, torrential rain? The heatwave may have ended, but there’s no need to be glum because there’s no such thing as bad weather when one is dressed appropriately. Or something. And while we’d all rather ride in the sunshine with bare legs, sometimes it’s just not practical.
That’s where As Bold As comes in, with bright and cheerful waterproof cycling jackets to lift your spirits when it’s raining cats and dogs. You might remember As Bold As from our interview with the brand’s founder, Joyce Brereton. We’ve had a particularly miserable fortnight of weather in London and it’s been the perfect opportunity to put the Drench Coat, the Roadster Jacket and the Elemental Rain Trousers through their paces.
As Bold As Drench Coat
I adore this coat. It’s a lovely blueish shade of grey and it’s generously proportioned, with amply long sleeves to give you full coverage when you’re on the bike – even in the drops. It’s quite a long jacket which dips lower at the back to keep your bum dry, and it has a high funnel neck to keep draughts out. Best of all, the styling is chic enough that you won’t feel like you’re wearing a cycling jacket once your commute has ended; this coat looks great with jeans. The longer length makes it a generally useful rain jacket whether or not you’re cycling – I know that my friends with babies would be all over this for pushing prams in the rain, and it’s a great waterproof for weekend walks, too.
The Drench Coat has a soft, fleecy lining which, unusually for a waterproof jacket, feels really nice against the skin – distinctly snuggly. Although the sleeves are very long, they have Velcro wrist straps so you can cinch them above your hands to keep moisture out and offer plenty of movement in the shoulder and elbow.
It’s a coat designed for short to medium distances with waterproofness of 20,000mm H2O and breathability of 3,500 gm/㎡/24hrs making it an ideal commuter jacket. Its features include reflective detailing for visibility at night, a stow-away storm hood with adjustable toggles, and underarm vents for a more comfortable ride.
A note on sizing: I’m wearing the Drench Coat in size Large, which fits size 12-14. As Bold As recommend sizing up if you’re broad of shoulder or top heavy. I’m both of those things and the Large fits perfectly. It retails at €178.
As Bold As Elemental Rain Trousers
It’s safe to say the Elemental Rain Trousers will be coming on our upcoming camping trip unless the weather improves dramatically. I have not owned a pair of waterproof trousers since my miserable Duke of Edinburgh expedition in my teens, an experience so wretched and wet I feared I would develop trench foot… The thought of damp waterproof trousers with a whiff of campsite mud was not a fond recollection.
It’s safe to say the Elemental Rain Trousers from As Bold As are something of an upgrade on the pair I had as a teenager. They are super comfy, amazingly well tailored for overtrews, and really effective, too.
What is there to say, except that they are very comfortable, very waterproof, and really well fitting? They can be cinched around the ankle with Velcro straps so that nothing flaps about while you’re peddling, you can take them off without having to remove your shoes by unzipping the lower section of the legs, and they have reflective detailing for night time visibility. Eminently practical. If you commute in a rainy country, I highly recommend them.
Again, I’m wearing size large and they fit my 5’8″, size 12-14 frame perfectly. They retail at €88.
As Bold As Roadster Jacket
The Roadster jacket is designed for daily commutes and longer adventures. It’s a much more compact jacket than the Drench Coat but still includes a wealth of useful design features. It’s waterproof, breathable and windproof, with sealed seams to keep the rain out. Zippers are waterproof, and an inner pocket fits most smartphones for easy access. The rear of the jacket is dropped to give you extra coverage when you’re riding in the drops, there is a 360 reflective trim for night time visibility, and the neck is lined with a soft micro fleece for comfort.
It’s a comfortable and cheerful jacket which certainly keeps the rain out. It doesn’t have the off-bike versatility as the Drench Coat – it’s definitely a jacket designed for cycling – but it’s a well designed commuter jacket. For my body type, it’s a little on the boxy side – but with a 32G chest I’m not a very standard shape and it’s generally hard to find garments which are sufficiently fitted at the waist, so that isn’t really a criticism.
Again, I’m wearing the size Large which fits a 12-14. It’s roomy enough to allow plenty of movement in the arms. It retails at €138.