For better or worse, I’m not one of those guys who has a jacket for every event. Sometimes I wish it were different, but this was the hand I was dealt… My clothing needs to multitask, and yes, that includes some of my cycling gear as well. Now, this isn’t to say that I’m going to rock my bib shorts to the next company picnic, but for something like a jacket, it needs to exist beyond the bike.
Style vs. Utility. Form vs. Function. Call it what you will, it’s oftentimes a rare and wonderful occurrence when the two carefully meet and we’re able to reap the rewards of their lovechild.
Luckily, one of my favourite cycling garments seems to straddles this delicate balance perfectly.
The cycling jacket is perhaps one of the few almost perfectly designed articles of clothing. As evidence of my claim I call to bear the following five points:
- Handy, out of the way pockets
- Handles weather well
- Complimentary fit
- Perfect for new dads (you can fit an almost unlimited amount of bottles, binkies, and bobbins in those pockets ;-)
Truly the cycling jacket nears perfection, but it does however suffer from one fatal flaw which I think prevents it from being adopted as a mainstream article of clothing:
- No front pockets
There’s simply no where to put your hands should they get a little nippy. On the bike this obviously poses no concern, since having your hands in pockets poses an arsenal of risks, but out and about town, it’s an entirely different matter. I’ve taken to simply carrying a light pair of gloves with me, which I store in my middle rear pocket but this may not be adequate for all users.
When I first headed down this path my main concern was fitting my Costanza wallet comfortably and still being able to drive with it. Thankfully, something in which you can easily cram a banana, power bar, cell phone and a handful of gels has more than enough room – And because I place it in the rear-side pocket, it swivels around comfortably when I drive ;-)
Out and about I’ve gotten numerous compliments both on the style and fit of my jacket as well as the practicality and uniqueness of the rear pockets.
Now, this type of gear multitasking may not be for everybody – especially the purists out there. But most people have a favourite piece of gear… What’s yours?