At this time of year a jacket you can rely on to keep the rain out is essential, and Cube's AM WLS Storm Jacket is well up to the task. Not only that, but its very good breathability means you don't steam up on the inside. It's not cheap, but it's in the same price ballpark as comparable jackets such as Gore's Element Lady Active, does the job well and the inclusion of a storm hood makes it more versatile.
- Pros: Breathable, waterproof, taped seams, hood, versatile
- Cons: Stiff zips (but waterproof), pockets/vents combo
Although it's designed more for off-road use, I've been commuting in the Storm and find the hood very handy both when riding and walking the last part of my journey. It wouldn't look too out of place as a hiking jacket either.
The AM WLS Storm is made from Cube's proprietary multi-layer Primetronic fabric, which it claims is waterproof, windproof and quick drying. The material is also lightweight yet durable, meaning you hardly notice the weight when wearing it. The fabric performed very well – in light rain the water beaded up and rolled off, while in prolonged showers the material did get wet on the outside but then dried out very quickly.
The jacket is well constructed and very neatly finished, made from multiple panels with taped seams throughout. The body is adequately long, with a slightly dropped rear hem that you can tighten with a drawcord. The sleeves have an articulated cut for a better fit on the bike, and they are nice and long too, with a shaped cuff that extends over the back of the hand. Being picky, the rubber tabs for the Velcro adjusters are unnecessarily chunky, and the cuffs could do with being a bit wider to make it easier to pull them down over thick winter gloves.
As with all clothing, the devil's in the detail. I like the integrated hood and find it fits well under my helmet without impeding my side vision at all. (It will just stretch over my helmet but then the zip won't do all the way up.) The tall collar and narrow hood opening are great when the weather is really nasty, although the neck zips up so high it comes over your chin, but there is a chin guard. There's no tab to fold the hood away when not in use, so it can flap about.
The zips were a bit of a bugbear – because they're weatherproof they are quite stiff so need two hands to operate – not great if you like to unzip as you're riding along. Annoyingly, the main zip tended to snag on the storm flap behind, plus it feels a little delicate (I'd prefer a chunkier one, not that this one has failed). The zips have nice long tags to grab, but I found them too slim to feel through thick gloves.
The two front pockets double as air vents, with long two-way zips. The ventilation works well, but means you can't really use the pockets at the same time because the contents might get wet, or could fall out.
Its light weight makes this jacket suitable for year-round use; just adjust the number of layers you wear underneath. It packs up small enough to keep in a pack or pannier, just in case.
The bright orange colour makes you visible in the daytime, but it's not so good in the dark as there's only one little bit of reflective on the left sleeve (belying its European provenance). The jacket also comes in blue.
Sizing is fairly generous and roomy (I sized down), but with seven sizes to choose from you should get a decent fit. That said, if you're broad-hipped you might find the hem a little on the tight side.
A casual-looking but high-performance waterproof jacket that will keep you dry both on and off the bike
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Cube AM WLS Storm Jacket
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the jacket is for
Cube says: "All Mountain, all weather protection for adventurous women riders. Waterproof, wind-resistant 3-layer fabric keeps the elements out, while a ventilation zip and adjustable storm hood keep you comfortable in all conditions. Light, compact and easy to carry - no excuse to leave it behind."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
100% polyamide Primetronic – Cube's premium technical fabric
Waterproof and wind-resistant
Taped seams and zippers
Storm flap with chin guard
Ventilation zips at front
Adjustable storm hood
Adjustable hem and cuffs
Reflective print on left sleeve
Small pack size
10,000 mm waterproof rating
Sizing is generous.
Price is in the same ballpark as similar jackets but its good performance makes it better value.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Machine washes well.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It did very well, keeping me dry and being breathable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Its very good breathability and snug fit around collar/hood.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The stiff zips.
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 overall score
It's a very good jacket in terms of weatherproofing, but there are a few niggles in the details.
About the tester
I usually ride: Marin Point Reyes 29er My best bike is: Whyte T-130 RS
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, club rides, mountain biking, audax