If you’re looking for a beautifully fitted winter jacket, the Pactimo Women’s Cascade jacket could be the one for you. Designed in Colorado, US, these guys should know a thing or two about keeping warm whilst on the bike. Pactimo ‘guarantee a good fit’, and I’m 100% sold on that.
The Cascade jacket is very structured, which in real terms means that there is not much wriggle room- I would advise careful choice of size. I’m a size 8-10 in a t-shirt (and of the Keira Knightly school of busts), so the size small jacket is spot on for me, even with one or two thin layers underneath. It has the right amount of stretch for comfortable positioning on the bars, and the very fancy sounding ‘aerodynamic ergo’ cuffs (stretchy bits) come down nice and long. There are no opportunities for the dreaded gap to appear- not even for riders like me who are related to Mr Tickle.
Available in two colours, Pactimo have produced a limited choice, but this is not unusual with technical kit. The Climabloc fabric has a decent amount of stretch for being on all bar positions, and copes well when I’m waving my arms around like a maniac trying to defrost my fingers… and so far after nearly two months of wearing, it has not lost its shape.
But how did the jacket cope with the cold, damp British weather? I’ve worn the Pactimo Cascade jacket on some of the coldest days we’ve had (around 1-5 degrees), and on one occasion I think I asked too much of it, opting for only a merino vest and the jacket whilst on a hard training ride. Fine whilst moving, but the shivers soon set in on stopping.
The lining of the jacket does nothing to wick away sweat even though it is marketed to do so, so unless you have a proper layering system to deal with this issue, the Cascade jacket will not keep you warm as the sweat turns cold and sticks. I wore the jacket on a few shorter rides in November, when we still had quite mild weather (around 8-10 degrees) and it was far too warm. Polar bear in a fur coat sprung to mind on one occasion. It’s also the type of jacket that once it’s on, it’s on. It’s too bulky to carry in a jersey back pocket.
Where the jacket falls down the most is by not cutting out wind chill. I felt happier with a thin gillet on top. It also worked well in drizzle, but this is not an out and out waterproof jacket due to the mixed use of fabrics on the panels, and I wouldn’t like to wear it out in the heaviest of rain because of the thick material used on the back panel. It would soak up the rain like a sponge. It has lots of reflective details which I like to see, along with very good gripper tape around the bottom of the jacket to prevent rising.
The Cascade jacket has one pocket on the back, which is 100% waterproof. I would have liked to have seen a smaller zip pocket on the front or back, rather than having to put everything in the one pocket which makes things difficult when trying to get to get your bar out on the move amongst the other stuff I carry on rides- a minor detail but I’m all about ease on the move, especially during a hard training session where multiple stops are best avoided.
My main gripe with the jacket is the overuse of the Pactimo logo. It’s just too fussy and it doesn’t match the classy styling of other winter jackets in this price range. The word Pactimo appears close to 40 times on the Cascade jacket…on the reflective strips, the entire zip panel, on the back pocket and on the side along with the logo on the arm. It’s too much for me but I do prefer garments to be a little more understated.
The Cascade jacket is a strong contender for a deep winter jacket but it’s not completely spot on for me.
– Snug high neck and lining.
– Long cuffs- no gaps.
– Easily accessible pocket.
– Too many logos- too fussy.
– Only one pocket.
– Questionable quality of material for price point.
Price: £110.00, available from Pactimo.