Craft EB Weather Jersey  £120.00

7/10

Lightweight protection from wind and rain on summer rides without the need to reach for a jacket

Weight 165g   Contact  www.craft.se

by Mat Brett   June 29, 2014  

Craft's Elite Weather Jersey offers lightweight protection from wind and rain on summer rides without the need to reach for a jacket.

We were never going to get far into a review of this jersey without mentioning Castelli's Gabba (£150), the benchmark short-sleeve, water-repellent jersey (it's available in a long sleeve version too for £185), so we won't even bother trying: this is essentially Craft's answer to the Gabba.

Whereas the Gabba is made from Gore Windstopper X-Light Plus fabric, Craft's Elite Weather Jersey is made from Ventair Wind softshell fabric which is stretchy, waterproof and windproof. While water doesn't get through the fabric itself, none of the seams are taped so the jersey as a whole isn't waterproof. You don't get anything like the level of waterproofing that you get with a waterproof jacket but the Elite Weather Jersey will keep you dry in showers, or at least much drier than you would be in a normal jersey. Get caught out in a storm and water will get in sooner or later.

The jersey offers a good level of breathability both through that Ventair Wind fabric (8000g/m2/day, if you want to put a figure on it) and via mesh panels in the armpits. That mesh is made up of 'technical hexichannel fibres' that shift moisture well. Plus, you get a full-length front zip for more ventilation. You'd struggle to stay anything but sweaty in the Elite Weather Jersey on a hot summer's day, but those aren't the conditions for which this jersey is designed. It's intended for cooler and showery days. I'm just back from a hilly ride in 17°C, for example, and I was perfectly comfortable in this jersey with the zip done up throughout, just adjusting my arm warmers up or down according to the terrain and speed.

The fit is pretty slim although not, I thought, ultra slim. If you're a heavier build and you do find the cut very close, there's enough stretch in the fabric that it should be comfortable.

As short sleeves go, these short sleeves are long. They reach right down to the crook of my elbow, and an elasticated band at the end makes for a snug, draught-free fit there. I found the fleece-lined collar a close fit too, although not at all restrictive, and it's tall enough to keep cold air out when you have the zip done up fully.

The back panel, on the other hand, isn't especially long. It extends a little lower than the front, but not much. I think that's a mistake. Good butt coverage would be a welcome feature on a jersey designed to keep the rain out. The elasticated hem with silicone print inside helps keep the hem in place – I just wish that place was a little lower down.

The full-length front zipper I mentioned is a decent YKK one from with a chunky puller that's easy to grab with gloved, damp or cold fingers. The zip isn't water resistant so Craft have put a storm flap over the top, held in place by Velcro. Apart from the fact that Velcro is the work of the Devil, put on the earth to mess up your nice clothes by catching threads when you least expect it, this works well enough without much in the way of flapping.

You get three pockets at the rear along with a fourth zipped pocket back there for your valuables. One of the dividers between the pockets of our review jersey pulled at the back of the jersey and made a very small hole in the fabric. It's not serious and it'll be repaired easily but reinforcement in that area would have avoided it, I reckon.

Although the Elite Weather Jersey is only available in black, there's reflective print front and rear to help you get seen.

So, why would you go for the Elite Weather Jersey rather than just a normal jersey and a jacket in your rear pocket? Well, if it's going to lash down for hours, you'll certainly be better off with a jacket. But if you just have to cope with short showers and you don't want the hassle of carrying a jacket, putting it on and taking it off, this jersey is a good option. In short, if it's going to rain a lot, take a jacket. If it's fairly warm and it's likely to rain intermittently, consider this.

That goes double if you're racing. You don't want to mess about with a jacket if you can help it when time is at stake. Plus, the Elite Weather Jersey sits closer than most jackets so it doesn't catch the wind and wreck your aerodynamics.

The other advantage of this jacket is its windproofing. As you know, that can make a big difference to your comfort, especially on a long descent. Of course, the Elite Weather Jersey leaves your forearms exposed but Craft offer Weather Arm Warmers, made from the same Ventair Wind softshell fabric, for £35.

On the whole, I must say that I prefer the cut of the Gabba and the fact that it comes with a flap that you can pull down to cover your bum when it rains, but this is still a good option that does its job well. Plus, priced at £120 the Elite Weather Jersey is 20% cheaper than a Gabba (assuming RRPs for both) and that might be enough to tip the balance in its favour for you.

Verdict

Lightweight protection from wind and rain on summer rides without the need to reach for a jacket

road.cc test report

Make and model: Craft EB Weather Jersey

Size tested: Medium, Black/Red

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Craft say, "It is the one that has it all: CRAFT's Elite Weather Jersey features a highly breathable, yet wind- and waterproof membrane for those days when the weather can't make up its mind. Designed on request and with the input of pro riders, CRAFT presents an outstanding piece of ambitious bikewear.

It is a truly thought-through, technical cycling jersey that beats bad weather and makes an extra shell superfluous: The Elite Weather Jersey is CRAFT's new clever solution for rides in rainy and/or windy conditions. The lightweight soft shell material features a highly breathable, wind-

and waterproof membrane. For added ventilation, Craft integrates bodymapped mesh panels made of technical hexachannel fibres in the armpits.

 

MAXIMUM PROTECTION, MAXIMUM FREEDOM

 

On colder days, the jersey with � length arms can be combined with the matching Weather Arm Warmers made out of the same lightweight, yet protective material. Maximum freedom of movement is guaranteed by the jersey's 3D construction with elasticated, pre-shaped armholes and an ergonomic, fleece lined collar that keep drafts out. Further, 360° reflective prints guarantee more visibility in low-light conditions and the jersey features four back pockets (one zippered).

- Lightweight, elastic, wind

- and waterproof fabric with excellent ventilation

- Ergonomic design for a perfect riding-position fit

- � sleeves

- Silicone print at back bottom hem keeps the jersey in place

- Easily stowable in jersey pocket

- Mesh inserts in armpits for extra ventilation and brushed fleece at inner collar

- Hole in back pocket for MP3/headset wire

- Four back pockets (one zippered)

- Reversed full front zipper

- 360 degrees visibility"

I'm not sure why they're described at 3/4 sleeves; they come down to your elbow. That's halfway, innit?

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Ventair Wind fabric has 8000g/m2/day breathability, which is pretty good.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

I got a little hole in the back at the top of a pocket divider, which is a bit annoying. Reinforcement there would have avoided it. Apart from that, all good.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Good weather protection and surprisingly breathable. I'd definitely prefer a cut with more butt coverage.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

I got a little hole in the back at the top of a pocket divider, which is a bit annoying. Reinforcement there would have avoided it. Apart from that, all good.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
7/10

It's not the softest of fabrics but it feels okay and the fleece lined collar adds to the comfort.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It works as promised, but I think the back should be extended much lower for more coverage.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fabric does its job well.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The cut at the rear. I think it should be considerably longer.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Personally, I'd shell out the extra for a Gabba.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? I'd advise them as above.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Craft and anyone else can disagree, but I just think this jersey has to be cut longer at the back for more coverage from rain and road spray in wet weather. It's a good jersey, but I feel that one tweak would make it a lot better.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,

 

1 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I wore mine at the Bike Bath sportive on Saturday, and it got tested with the biblical storms that accompanied the last part of the ride. Although paired with No Rain arm warmers, it was eventually overwhelmed but this was really HEAVY rain (roads like rivers and blown manhole and drain covers, etc). It dried quickly though and kept me comfortable during the drier, warmer bit including some decent climbs. Got mine for £50 in a sale last year though, so a brilliant performer at that price.

posted by Luv2ride [3 posts]
30th June 2014 - 20:53

like this
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