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Assos milleJacket_evo7 review

25 Jan 2018
Verdict:

Crazy name; eminently sensible jacket

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£200
For 
Very warm, almost very waterproof
Against 
Flappy sleeves, divisive styling

I have a vision of the Assos factory. At one end are the stern-faced scientists and designers who create and test the garments. In the middle is the team of skilled workers who measure, cut and stitch the garments. And at the other end of the factory is a bunch of half-drunk students who come up with the names for the garments.

This latest winter jacket from the Swiss brand is no exception. Once you’ve got past the milleJacket_evo7 name, which looks like a particularly tough-to-crack computer password, you then get to the names of the materials used in the jacket.

Take a look at the writing down the left sleeve (one of several blocks of superfluous text) and you’ll see the legend: ‘Assos Custom Made Airblock Mod Tripledeck Plutocrat’.

Buy the Assos milleJacket_evo7 from Chain Reaction Cycles now

Tripledeck Plutocrat may sound like a New Romantics band from the ’80s, but it is in fact a softshell-like fabric that is stretchy but also remarkably resistant to wind and water, which has been married to a fuzzy felt liner for extra warmth.

This material makes up the front of the jacket and the pocket area at the rear, while the back of the jacket and the sleeves have the felt lining on the inside and a shiny, rain-resistant material on the outside.

Even a glance at the jacket suggests that it will be very cosy, fairly weather resistant and extremely stylish, as most Assos kit tends to be. The brand has a reputation for high quality, which is why it can get away with giving all its garments such ridiculous names (even the white sleeve isn’t called white in the company blurb – it’s ‘Holy White’).

On its first outing on a bike in a British winter, the milleJacket_etc was quick to impress. Most noticeable was its warmth. Even on a freezing morning where I was wary of skidding on frost-covered tarmac, it felt like being swaddled in a duvet.

The multi-layering of materials means the jacket feels reasonably bulky, but not in a way that is restrictive or cumbersome.

The fit is close without being skintight, while a well finished collar, cuffs and waistband ensures that no chilling breezes find their way inside.

It proved to be pretty much impermeable to wind, and even rain was no problem. The sleeves, which are perhaps the area most exposed to the elements, staved off even heavy downpours, and even the stretchy chest material proved to be a decent enough barrier to the rain.

After a couple of damp rides, I peeled off the jacket to reveal a perfectly dry base layer beneath. I suspect it might succumb to a prolonged period of heavy rain, but then in those circumstances you may have to ask yourself why you are still riding and haven’t taken the sensible option of ducking into the nearest teashop.

As always, the detail on this Assos jacket is top notch. The pockets are made from a robust, stretchy material that allows them to keep their shape while still being easy to access. An extra zip pocket keeps small items such as keys safe. Silicone strips on the waistband prevent it from rising up. Neat flaps on the main zip stop it from snagging or chafing on your chin.

Buy the Assos milleJacket_evo7 from Chain Reaction Cycles now

Finding something to criticise is particularly tricky. The non-stretch material on the sleeve means that it flaps a bit in the wind, but this will only be an issue for riders who would rather freeze to death than see a single watt of energy go to waste.

The styling, with its block graphic monosleeve and gobbledegook text, will not be to everyone’s taste, but I find it rather classy in a bold, Eurotastic sort-of way. Other colour options include all black, or yellow or red instead of white on the sleeve.

A retail price of £200 isn’t cheap, but for Assos, which sells summer jerseys for up to £170, it actually represents decent value. And on cold morning rides, with the threat of rain in the air, it will feel like it is worth every penny.

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