Like numerous others, the POC Fondo Splash jacket promises to keep you dry when the weather turns yet also allow you to stay cool thanks to good breathability. It's fair to say some do it far better than others – and thankfully POC has done a very good job here.
Breathability is excellent, thanks to a four-way stretch fabric that does a top job of keeping air circulating. This is enhanced by laser-cut holes under the arms, which expel excess heat superbly. It's not perfect – I found my arms got sweaty after a while of tempo work – but you can certainly feel the fabric doing its best to get rid of a lot of the excess moisture.
I'm also pleased to report that the slim cut of the jacket is well proportioned too. In order for best wicking performance, it's usually best for garments to be relatively close to the skin. This also improves aero profiling, especially in windier conditions, a benefit I was very grateful for.
I tested a size large, and didn't notice any flapping of excess material even though I made use of the cinch at the hem to tighten it in a touch. Follow the chest sizing on the POC website, and you'll be fine.
As this is a 'Splash' jacket, it also needs to be able to deal with light rain showers – and does so without difficulty. Combined with a breeze, this can often be the downfall of a jacket that claims to be water resistant, but the Splash had no issues at all. POC doesn't say it's fully waterproof, but with a treatment of my Nikwax waterproofing wash, resistance levels were excellent. Should you be caught in a heavy shower, things won't get quite as soggy at you might expect.
I wouldn't describe the Splash as 'packable' in the same way a cape is (it weighs 224g), but it will just about fold away into a pocket if you find the sun does poke its head out. If your jerseys have small pockets, you'll struggle to fit it in.
The jacket also appears sturdy in the wash too. Sizing is maintained, as is the softness of the fabric. In the navy blue, I've noticed with some other garments you can get a spot of fading from time to time, but here there's no sign of that.
This is good news, because the Splash is a great looking jacket. The navy blue goes really well with lots of other branded kit, so no need to feel obliged to buy matching bibs or accessories, and the stylishly understated POC branding on the drop tail and arms is a nice touch. I was worried that mud flicked onto the rear of the jacket might ruin the aesthetic, but it washes out cleanly.
That branding is also reflective for added safety in low light, and on the sleeves is particularly useful because of the positioning on the rear. This means when you indicate for a turning, your arm is illuminated in car headlights, which shows good attention to detail by the guys at POC.
Other added details include semi-elasticated cuffs, which help to keep draughts at bay, flat taped seams for sleek looks and better water resistance, and a zip pocket at the back. The pocket, unfortunately, is a touch small – so if you keep your phone in a plastic case, it's unlikely to fit. I have an iPhone 5, which just fitted on its own, but if you have a phone with a larger screen, you're going to have to use your jersey pocket underneath. I used the pocket to hold a gel and set of keys instead, which it did with ease.
Overall, I'm impressed with this offering from POC. Although £135 is a lot for a jacket, you do get a lot of performance and functionality for your money. I'm disappointed that you only get the one slightly small pocket, but this is a small complaint.
Excellent build quality, construction, style and functionality feature here, which for me justifies the price tag
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road.cc test report
Make and model: POC Fondo Splash Jacket
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the jacket 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?
Poc says: "The Fondo Splash jacket is designed for use in light rain showers, so you can keep going on your tempo rides."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
- Compact enough to stuff in your jersey pocket
- Back zip pocket.
- Hang loop at back with reflective Fondo logo.
- 4-way stretch fabric
- Laser-cut ventilation holes under the arms for extra breathability
- Close fitting sleeves
- XYY full-length zipper
- Taped seams
When really pushed, sweat can collect, but it works well at a reasonable tempo.
Look after it well, and it should look after you in return.
Again, if you treat the jacket from time to time, it performs incredibly well.
Decent breathability throughout, up until you put the hammer down for extended periods.
It's a slim cut, shy of racy, which offers the option to layer up if you wish.
224g isn't heavy by any stretch, and when folded away in a back pocket it doesn't weigh you down.
£135 is a lot, but still less than some and it's a jacket you'll want to wear again and again.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very well – no complaints. Consider treating with Nikwax technical wash for best performace.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well indeed. It's up there with some of the best.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Slim cut, great looks and very good performance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The pocket (only one of them!) was too small in my view.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
An excellent jacket, for protection and performance. It's expensive, but it's a pleasure to ride in which goes a long way towards justifying shelling out.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding