I don't know about you but it seems there has been quite the shift in women's mountain bike apparel...
It was only a few years ago that we were crying out for kit of our own, rather than having to put up with ill-fitting menswear or even childrenswear, for that matter.
"Has the element of fashion trumped function in women's mountain biking?"
Fortunately, brands have responded with rails of women's specific garments, protection and even bikes which is not only greatly appreciated, but hugely beneficial to the equality of mountain biking.
However, with mountain bike kit being expensive enough and with choice becoming abundant, has the element of fashion trumped function?
Fox Women's Attack Fire softshell jacket
Fox has been a repeat offender for making some of the nicest women's mountain bike kit. Not only does it adhere to the basic needs you'd expect from riding apparel, but it looks so striking in colour and design that it's impossible to miss on the trail.
It isn't just the design that makes Fox stand out either, but they operate on a 'limited line - limited time' basis with their kit changing drastically in design with each rotation.
True to the Fox way, the Fox Women's Attack Fire mountain bike jacket is simply stunning. Available in two flat colours; navy or plum, this jacket is elegant and stylish, and yet, almost too nice to wear on the bike!
The Attack Fire construction of the jacket is a newly engineered 3 layer technology. The inner layer is a polyester fleece which is super soft and warming, then we have the mid-layer which is a waterproof and windproof membrane with the top-layer being a 4-way stretch fabric with Ripstop polyester fabric.
And if all that tech isn't enough, there's more...
The outer layer is coated with C6 DWR which helps prevent water from saturating the fabric. Elbow panels are made from Cordura to reduce abrasive wear and reflective detailing helps keep you visible in the low-level light.
The feminine cut of the jacket has a lovely taper at the waist with a dropped hem to provide ample coverage when riding. Quick access zipped pockets at the side are fleece lined and ideal for stashing essentials whilst you ride.
Fox Women's Attack Fire softshell jacket: Verdict
So this jacket has been my firm favourite over winter. It looks awesome, feels awesome and it definitely keeps you feeling warm and protected from the harsh cold season chill.
The high collar keeps the draught from whistling down your front and the fleece lined pockets are a dream for warming up your chilled fingers.
"My only issue with the Fox Women's Attack Fire softshell jacket is that it's too nice to wear on the bike"
My only issue with the Fox Women's Attack Fire softshell jacket is that it's almost too nice to wear on the bike and, admittedly, it took me a while to overcome this because I just didn't want to get it filthy or ruined.
I have worn this jacket on the trails and equally, I've worn it out casually which just serves as a testament to its versatility.
In this case, Fox has successfully married fashion and function with the women's Attack Fire jacket... if you can get over how nice it is to ride in!
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