We've been lucky enough to catch a glimpse into Canadian brand Sombrio's new range of high performance MTB kit for women.
Sombrio was founded in 1998 by Dave Watson, an early pioneer of Vancouver’s North Shore gravity-fueled Freeride movement. His aim was to develop kit and clothing to fill a functional and aesthetic void within this emerging market.
With Freeride at its core, it's evident that Sombrio take pride in their design, but not at the cost of functionality. The gear we've been sent exudes quality, with thoughtful and useful touches throughout.
Although Sombrio currently uses Hotlines (one of the big bike-industry distributors) to get its clothing into UK retailers, the kit we're featuring isn't available to buy here - yet! After speaking with Sombrio, this will all change come August.
In the mean time, hop on over to Sombrio's website to buy. It's roughly 1.6 Canadian Dollars to the pound, so you're in for a treat! There's also a 3 day flat shipping rate, so no matter how much you cram into your shopping basket, you won't be charged through the nose for postage!
Here's an overview of one set of female specific mountain bike clothing from Sombrio's range that we'll be testing in the weeks ahead.
Sombrio Burst womens long sleeve jersey (Canadian $75)
Burst is a lightweight, generously cut, long sleeved jersey that Sombrio class as being in their 'FRD Fit' range. To aid ventilation the jersey is constructed from polyester performance mesh - sublimated graphics are also incorporated into the material so there should be no worry of them peeling off.
Both the collar and cuffs have a ribbed elasticated finish, in contrast to the jersey's body material. On first inspection the cuffs seem a little loose, combined with longer than average sleeves. We'll wait to see whether this is an issue when we review.
Sombrio's Burst jersey is available in two colours: black with grey details and blue as featured, with red trimming.
Sombrio Drift womens shorts (Canadian $135)
The Drift shorts feel incredibly durable, made from Sombrio's 'Quattro Flex Dura' fabric that looks to be comfortable and hardworking. They also use this material in another pair of their high-end shorts, Zinnia. A DWR (durable water repellant) coating helps protect you from the worst of the weather, while the supple 4-Way stretch material allows for unrestricted movement.
Also featured in the FRD Fit range, the shorts are roomy enough to fit knee pads underneath without any issues. Overall cut is pleasing, high enough to sit comfortably on the waist, with the opportunity to adjust the band if necessary via unobtrusive, low-profile velcro pull tabs.
Attention has been paid to the mesh lining, with a seam free crotch design. We'll see how this feels after a few hours in the saddle.
Other thoughtful features include a lift-pass (or key chain) retention system found inside the front zipped pocket situated midway down the left thigh. A second pocket on the rear waistband is deep enough to fit a couple of gels or mobile phone in. Two mesh lined vents, situated on either leg towards the inner thigh can be zipped open to help keep cool.
Sombrio Origami womens jersey (Canadian $75)
The only base layer in Sombrio's range, the Origami is a short sleeve, figure hugging, stretchy top. Featured in their 'Next to Skin' fit, the size small sent through to test was suitable for my curvy size 10 frame. Sombrio have even ensured the top is long enough in the torso, so it doesn't ride up the back, aided further by strategically placed silicone grippers at the hem.
Once again, functionality has been thought through. Noticeably missing are those often irritating side-seams, and the fabric at the arm pits and back has a mesh finish to help improve breathability.
Sombrio haven't used the classic base layer material of Merino wool, opting instead for a synthetic mix - a great choice for a summer rides. The fabric also includes X-STATIC which claims to eliminate odours, help wick sweat, and as the name suggests eliminates static.
Sombrio Marimba womens jacket (Canadian $95)
The Marimba jacket sample is noticeably lightweight. Made from windproof polyester fabric and treated with the same DWR finish as the Drift shorts, it should keep the gusts out and the odd shower at bay.
Sombrio put the Marimba in their EPIK Fit category, a slim cut. Even for our curvy size 10 ‘model’ the small was rather generous. We’d suggest you opt for a size below what you usually buy. Elasticated cuffs keep the sleeves in place, and draw cords with anchored toggles at both the hem and hood help keep the wind out.
The full-length zip is sandwiched between an internal storm flap and external cover, which also acts as a chin guard. At the top of the external flap closure, a strong magnet replaces Velcro, a thoughtful touch to avoid any chafing.
Otherwise the jacket features underarm air vents – it will be interesting to see how well these cope, expelling the build up of moisture. Another useful feature, on the back of the peaked hood is a stow-away pocket. We stuffed the Marimba back in itself and managed to get it down to water bottle size.
Sombrio Lily womens gloves (Canadian $29)
Lily are a light, well ventilated pair of gloves, crammed full of little extras that make us wonder how Sombrio can make them so affordable.
The back of the glove is made from lightweight, stretchy, abrasion resistant fabric, with added breathability from mesh Lycra vents included between each finger. The palm is made from one piece of suede, with no panels, and although not padded is incredibly tactile. Silicon grips are featured on the index and fore finger to help ensure precise handling of brake and shift levers.
With an adjustable Velcro wrist tab the gloves are easy to pull on and fit any size of wrist and an Terry Moss thumb panel is included for wiping your brow on hot days.
Sombrio Alps womens socks (Canadian $15)
Great to see Sombrio offer socks to match, a thoughtful finishing touch to the range. These socks sit high on the leg, coming a good 5" up the calf - perfect for keeping shins protected. The small-medium fitted my Size 5 feet comfortably.
Made from the wonder material - Merino Wool - we'll see if they can help wick moisture from those hot tootsies out on the trails!