Pactimo are best known for making custom kit for cycling clubs but they also sell a range of standard cycling gear from their website. You probably won't find it in the shops, but there are some interesting items such as this Breckenridge jacket, which offers water and wind resistance in a streamlined and lightweight outer layer. It's a decent jacket in itself, and when you factor in that it can be fully custom printed, it could be a good choice for spring club kit orders.
We have the standard item, which has a smart own-brand design and is available from Pactimo online for £85. Visually, it is plain black on the front with a striking design adding grey, white and red elements on the back. The sleeves are also black, and there is a smattering of reflective detailing: a sliver on the front of the right shoulder, and strips at the top and bottom of the back. Now we're nearing summer, I've not had much cause to use it in the dark, but for all year use I'd definitely prefer something with better front visibility, as well as more eye-catching sleeves to make sure drivers see your turn signals. If you wanted to bulk order custom kit, you could obviously go for something brighter. Pactimo offer the Breckenridge in male- and female-specific cuts.
The Breckenridge uses two very different fabrics to provide wind and water resistance where you need them (across the front, shoulders and most of the sleeves) while keeping you cool with a lighter mesh fabric on the back, sides and down the back of the sleeves. The lighter fabric is akin to what you'd get on a summer jersey, so you cool quickly when you're stopped, especially if its windy. The fabrics used are Defense , described as "a three-layer laminate fabric that gives exceptional stretch and unparalleled wind and water resistance", and BreatheLITE for breathability on the back and sides.
My experience was that the wind and water resistance of the Defense fabric was indeed excellent - I stayed warm and dry after an hour or more riding in the rain - but "exceptional stretch" is pure marketing. There's very little stretch in evidence here, certainly not when compared to something like the rather wonderful Windstopper X-Lite Plus used in Castelli's (admittedly rather more pricey) Gabba jersey which I'm also testing at the moment. Fit is slim but certainly not skin-tight, and the sizing is such that the supplied medium fits me well, with amply long sleeves, so my wrists stay covered even when on the drops. I'm normally a Large, so you might need to size down.
On the subject of sleeves, a couple of points of note. They are a bit tight around the wrists - it is difficult to take them off without turning them inside out, and particularly difficult to take off over gloves. You won't be whipping this jacket off in the peloton, that's for sure. As with most water-resistant jackets, I found it necessary to have a full length sleeve underneath the Breckenridge (either a jersey or a base-layer) to avoid getting clammy arms. There is a stripe of BreathLITE down the back of the sleeves which does help venting moisture, but with only a short-sleeve jersey underneath I found things getting a bit humid.
I was impressed with the Defense material that makes up most of the jacket; it is quiet and notably lightweight considering the wind and water resistance. If it doesn't have quite the luxurious feel of high-end Italian kit then neither is it priced the same, but in functional terms it works very well. The Breckenridge folds down nice and small; it was no trouble to fit it in most jersey pockets. This gives you a similar flexibility as with a good gilet; wear it for the early start and then pack it away once things warm up. You could do similarly with a lightweight race-cape but for my money this is a much more breathable and robust alternative.
In terms of detailing, the Breckenridge has a good quality YKK zip with nice chunky grab-able Pactimo pulls. For some reason they've fitted a double zip, allowing you to open it from the bottom as well as the top. I've literally never wanted to do this while cycling and cannot really see the point, but I suppose some people might like this. Here I just found that it made it fiddly to start the zip off when putting the jacket on. I would have much preferred a single pull. There's a zip garage at the top to prevent it rubbing on your throat, and a silicone gripper strip around the bottom of the jacket to keep it in place. At the rear are the customary three pockets, of a decent size and which can hold the usual essentials quite comfortably.
In short, then, I used this jacket perhaps more like a long-sleeve gilet than anything else and it's been ideal for the recent temperatures of 7-14°C. When you're making rapid enough progress to keep the rain off your back, it does a great job of keeping you dry, and you can easily stash it if you get too warm. You would want something warmer for the winter, although it's not so tight that you couldn't fit a warm jersey underneath. If I was setting out on a ride and the rain was already lashing down I'd probably opt for a full waterproof (or, let's be honest, the car) but for the other 90% of days, I found it offered a really useful level of defence against wind and rain.
Like a long-sleeve gilet; a good combination of wind and rain resistance with stashability
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pactimo Breckenridge WX-D Jacket
Size tested: Medium
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?
Finally a men's and women's specific custom printable cycling jacket!
Our Breckenridge has been completely redesigned as the superior Weather Defense (WX-D) cycling jacket for 2014.
Featuring Defense , a 3 layer laminate fabric that gives exceptional stretch and unparalleled wind and water resistance, and BreatheLITE, a fine mesh fabric is used in the back, side and sleeve inset panels for increased breathability.
We've streamlined the shape to reduce wind flapping meaning this jacket gives what we like to call a 'contoured, quiet fit.'
Silicone bottom grippers keep the jacket in place and 1/4'� elastic sleeve cuffs allow for easy on/off.
Another cool feature on this jacket is the addition of 3 traditional pockets in back. Pocket enclosures are durable elastic just like you come to expect on your favorite jersey. Plus, we've added reflective piping for increased safety.
And, now there's a women's specific design! That means female riders no longer have to wear a 'unisex,' boxy jacket if they want something in their team colors.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- TotalFit design with Defense and BreatheLITE fabrics
- Mid–weight four season garment
- Wind/water resistant
- Two–way zipper
- 3 back pockets
- Silicone gripper
- Rear reflective piping
- Good for weather 40° – 70°
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Did an excellent job of keeping the wind and rain off. More breathable than a race cape but stashable like a gilet.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Combination of different materials to give a particularly good combination of weather defence and breathability. Fully printable too, so would be a nice choice for club kit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Cuffs were too tight - hard to get off. The double zip was reliably fiddly to start off. Would prefer some white on the front and sleeves for improved visibility.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 190cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Boardman CX team for the daily commute My best bike is: Rose Xeon CRS
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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.