Water off a Duck's Back Kezzia  £155.00

7/10

Great looking and well made, with some nice features, but a few niggles as well

Weight 630g   Contact  www.wateroffaducksback.co.uk

by Leonie Jennings   January 5, 2013  

The Kezzia is the new coat from Water off a Duck's Back, an independent company who specialize in designing cycle specific women's outerwear that doesn't scream out TECH!

Their garments are intended to be high performance and well featured, but still look like the sort of coat you'd grab if you were off out to the shops, rather than a club ride.

Rather than the longer coats Water Off a Duck's Back have produced up until now, the Kezzia is a short length jacket, with detachable zip-in warm fleece liner, and is intended to be a versatile smart casual riding jacket.

It's a very good looking coat, with a nice peachskin-esque fabric that doesn't crinkle in a waterproof fabric sort of way, and hangs well. There are a number of neat little features, such as optional button out reflective cuffs, reflective panels on the underside of the collar that can be shown, it's a double breasted design, with a zip fastening and the fabric is fully waterproof. The fleece liner (with sleeves) zips out when not required.

There's a lot to like about this jacket. Looks aside, it was comfortable on the bike, with the breathable waterproof outer/fleece inner jacket making a surprisingly effective commuting combo on cold unpleasant mornings. Even when tackling some hills, I didn't overheat or get sweaty, so it did the job well. The neck fastened well and the jacket was very comfortable to wear. The zipped side pockets were fine for stashing keys and a wallet, but you'd not want to overburden them with anything else.

The website claims that the sleeves and shoulders are tailored for cyclists to be able to ride even a road bike if they choose, but I found the sleeves to be just a touch short in the arm, even on a slightly more upright touring bike, let alone a dropped bar machine.

Wrists were left a little on the drafty side when riding. A similar problem occurred with the length of the body of the jacket. Off the bike, it was a flattering and stylish short jacket, suitable for wear with most outfits, but on the bike, the cut was just a touch on the short side. Not by much, but just enough to allow for some lower back chilling, even on the non-dropped bar tourer.

Once zipped out, sadly the fleece liner couldn't be worn on its own, unfinished inside as it was. Many outdoor coats have similar removable fleece liners, which can be worn as jackets in their own right. It's a shame this one can't, especially at this price. It's something small, but it would also have been nice to have had a hanging loop for the coat. There wasn't one.

The Kezzia is a well-made and great looking jacket from a small independent designer, with plenty of genuinely useful cycle specific features, but it needs a few tweaks here and there to really be real value for money at this price.

Verdict

Great looking and well made, with some nice features, but a few niggles as well.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Water off a Ducks Back Kezzia

Size tested: Medium, Black

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?

Aimed at cyclists who want a performance jacket that looks more like a "normal" jacket.

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

Waterproof breathable fabric

Zip-out detachable fleece liner

Optional reflective tabs on cuffs and turn-up collar

Two zipped side pockets

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Lovely fabrics and well made but would have been nice if fleece liner had been wearable as a stand alone garment as well.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Performed very well but a shade too short in the arm and in the body to be really cosy on the bike.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Should last for years.

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

Very comfortable, apart from the odd draft.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Would have been better value if the fleece had been wearable on its own too.

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

Performed very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Style, detachable fleece lining, fabrics, reflective accents.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Length of sleeves and body, unfinished reverse side of fleece liner which meant it couldn't be worn on its own.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, very much.

Would you consider buying the product? Not in its current form. Almost.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Very well thought through and showing real attention to detail, but not quite the perfect winter city riding jacket.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,

 

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