SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MAY 30th
FUNKIER PRO LIGHT DRYRIDE RAIN JACKET
119g L £49.99 Transparent (as tested)
The Funkier DryRide Pro Light Rain Jacket is designed to give protection from showers and wind, without adding much in the way of weight. With one or two minor gripes, it does both well, but with the pros and cons that are generic to jackets of this type.
Pros: light, packable.
Cons: showerproof, rather than waterproof.
A transparent jacket allows you to keep the club colours flying, but opaque versions are available, too, in a variety of colours.
It is important to put the garment in context; jackets like this are not designed for temperature controlled all-day use in remote areas. It is water-repellent, as opposed to waterproof, and windproof, within the context of its light-weight fabric. The aim is to keep the worst of the weather at bay, during spring and autumn showers.
Made form 100% polyester, it can pack into its own back pocket, which has a zip. The main zip seems robust and has a neat little garage to avoid chaffing of the throat. There is, of course, no baffle – that’s not the design brief. The collar, hem, and cuffs are elasticated, but not tightly grippy.. The fabric is not breathable, but elements of temperature control are provided by a mesh collar, vented mesh upper-back panel, and mesh underarm vents.
There are reflective features on the back.
Coming in sizes from small to XXXL, I opted for the large version. This was very much in line with the size guide. This has allowed me to wear a couple of thin layers comfortably – as is the way on some cooler spring days. This was snug – over a technical base-layer and The Light Blue Classic Road Jersey.
Body length was fine, but I had to tuck the cuffs of the long-sleeved jerseys under the cuffs of DryRide Jacket. OK, that is not a deal-breaker, but it is a minor inconvenience. In that sense, I might have gone a size larger, at the cost of a few grammes and the snug fit. Personally, I’d prefer a longer back, too, to offer a bit more coverage when riding sans mudguards.
Wash at 30C or cooler, and drip dry. On the line this has taken an hour or two after a spin and with a gentle breeze. Best to wash inside out with the zips secured. After a good soaking on the road, expect to hang it out for a couple of hours longer. On the bike, it can dry quickly (ten to fifteen minutes after a thirty-minute rain shower). Remember, do not leave it packed wet at the end your journey.
A few words about the tester
Garment wicking prowess is not simply a matter of the better the figures, the better the wicking. It also depends on the level of physical activity. Even then temperature control can be a personal thing. In that context, note that the tester’s resting body temperature is 1C lower than the average for humans.
The fundamental point is that, with jackets of this type, you sacrifice temperature control on the altar weight and packability.
It will keep light showers at bay, and even keep heavy bursts out for a while. Testing took place on showery days, and in prolonged rain.
With the temperature hovering around 10C, wearing a technical base-layer and the Light Blue Classic Long-Sleeve Jersey, I found some clamminess crept in whilst trying hard to cruise over 20mph. However, this did not get uncomfortable; and I remained comfortably free of windchill.
On a showery commute, at a steady 12mph, at 10C, it kept the office short dry and temperate. However, the downpour that set in shortly after setting off home in the evening, found a way in after some fifteen minutes. Ramping things up to 15-17mph, induced a good deal of sweat, but, at least, kept me warm as the mercury plummeted. Kidneys, were kept covered and the snug fit round my throat was maintained, with no riding up.
On the odd occasions when the temperature has topped 14C-17C so far in this English spring, I’ve popped the DryRide over a Funkier Short-Sleeve jersey, to ward of the cooling air of the evening, and the odd shower. I was pretty impressed by its effectiveness, although, by the time I got home, I was feeling the 8C things had dropped to. However, there was no clamminess than when layered-up.
Precipitation-wise it does very much what it claims. Thirty minutes of moderate rain and my jersey was dry as a bone. This was the sort of rain one could shelter from under a moderate-sized tree in spring foliage. Longer periods and torrential rain breached the defences – as predicted by the manufacturers.
The zipped pocket serves to carry light – and blunt – bits and bobs, when out and about: my wallet always seems to be light, and along with Covid face-covering, and small bag of sweeties, has left space for more. Having said that, I’ve generally kept it empty, on the basis that it is water resistant, rather than proof. Packed, it fits very easily into a traditional cycling jersey pocket, and even a larger saddle-pack.
By the way, if you take it off after a shower whilst it is still wet, be careful how you fold it, if you may need it again.
Gore’s Shake-dry Jacket comes in at £279. On the other hand, there are bargain basement models of this genre for less than £20. Funkier’s DryRide sits toward the lower end. Altura and Bontrager, for example, offer jackets with a similar design brief at between £70 and £100.
A close comparator is Provision's Aqua Repel Jacket and Piccolo Jacket. Both as winter garments, although, in my opinion, as with the Funkier Dryride, a lot depends on layering. I’ve found the Aqua Repel a very sound performer, and at £40 is very competitive. On that front, even some of the more expensive jackets will necessarily make compromises – that is the nature of light-weight jackets for faster riders.
I like the DryRide, and will use it for short blasts – when I care less for comfort than for what passes for me for speed - or day rides when there’s there are light showers in the forecast. In short, it is a compromise, but can be a happy one, between
comfort, protection, weight, and packability. Make your judgement in that paradigm. I have found it at its best with the temperature in the low to mid-teens centigrade, when there are showers about, but heavy rain is not forecast.
Verdict 3.5/5 A good value, light-weight jacket, for faster blasts with showers about.
PUBLISHED MAY 2021
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH