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Chrome Storm Signal Jacket



Smart commuting jacket that has strange wet weather performance – you won't get wet, but you'll feel like you have
Looks smart
Nice big pockets
Clever details such as hood and reflective wrist straps
Unusual outer-gets-wet-inner-stays-dry performance
Rubber inner not conducive to breathability

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Chrome Industries Storm Signal jacket is a wet-weather outer designed to keep you dry and stylish. However, its slightly unusual approach to waterproofing might not suit everyone.

How difficult is it to test a waterproof jacket? On the face of it, not that tricky. Normally, or course, waterproof jackets follow a pretty standard formula: waterproof outer with – if you're lucky – a mesh liner or soft inner surface for comfort. But the Chrome Storm Signal turns that traditional rain jacket construction on its head.

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At best, the Signal's outer layer seems only water resistant, with quick doses of light drizzle beading on the surface. However, expose it to more significant precipitation and water soon soaks into the outer material. What stops this reaching the rider is a rubbery-feeling, fully taped waterproof inner surface.

Chrome Storm Signal waterproof inner.jpg

The problem I have with this setup is, thanks to its rubbery texture and relative lack of breathability – just a few laser-cut holes in the armpits account for perspiration egress – if you've been riding hard, the inside of the Signal gets clammy. Add in a wet and heavy outer and its appeal diminishes further. In fact, it took me some time experimenting with the Signal jacket and the bathroom shower to prove to myself the dampness I experienced inside the jacket on my first ride in wet weather was self-produced and hadn't seeped through from outside.

Chrome Storm Signal arm wet.jpg

That slightly bizarre sensation in the rain is a disappointment because, in many other respects, the Signal is well constructed. For example, in the case of pockets, there's a usefully large zipped chest pocket for mobile phones or keys, and two very decent hip pockets. Then there's a very effective hood that sits nicely over a helmet, but droops down a little too far if you're bare-headed (you can't have it all!).

Chrome Storm Signal pocket

The overall cut of the Signal is good, too. A drawcord at the hem brings the jacket in should you desire it, while a hint of a dropped tail helps keep the saddle area covered – although the jacket is long enough anyway to amply protect your lower back and bottom even without this.

Chrome Storm Signal back.jpg

The arm length is more than adequate, too, with slightly extended outer sections to protect the back of your hands and some funky reversible wrist straps – one side reflective, one side not – to effect a tighter seal.

Chrome Storm Signal on bike.jpg

There are also some small reflective highlights on the rear shoulders. And I have to say the choice of two non-black colours is rather nice for a commuting jacket. Indeed, the overall look of the jacket is very smart.

Chrome Storm Signal shoulder reflective highlights.jpg

My one area of concern is sizing. The XXL version tested here is supposedly for chests measuring 44-46in. I'm every bit of a 48in chest, yet I definitely wouldn't want to go any bigger. It doesn't quite drown me, but it's plenty big enough.

Chrome Storm Signal side.jpg

Value and conclusion

When it comes to other similar jackets, the Howies Herald also costs £139 and features a host of fine qualities, not least a more typical waterproof jacket construction and – in my opinion – a more pleasant wearing experience in wet weather. Meanwhile, the Endura Hummvee Shacket officially boasts no weather resistance but actually puts up a good fight against light drizzle and costs £89.99.

> Buyer’s Guide: 20 of the best pieces of waterproof cycling clothing

I must confess, I was a little disappointed with the Chrome Storm Signal jacket, just because that sensation of wet exterior and rubbery interior is so atypical of normal rain jackets. Normally, I'm all for breaking the mould and trying something new. But, in this case, having a soft, water-vulnerable outer surface with rubbery, waterproof inner goes beyond being just 'different' and heads rather close to feeling plain 'wrong'.

Of course, you get used to the vagaries of this setup, and if you want a smart commuting jacket with decent storage and good cut, by all means consider it. Personally, specifically for rainy weather, I'll stick with something that's waterproof on the outside and soft on the inside.


Smart commuting jacket that has strange wet weather performance – you won't get wet, but you'll feel like you have test report

Make and model: Chrome Storm Signal Jacket

Size tested: XXL

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?

The Signal is a smart rain jacket, designed for cycle commuters.

Chrome says: "Coming in loud and clear. The Storm Signal is our most straightforward rain jacket that doesn't skimp on features. Fully seam-taped and waterproof, the Storm Signal is lightweight but tough enough to keep you dry and rolling when you find yourself in ugly weather. Zip chest pockets give you extra storage, laser cut armpit vents regulate temperature and reflective accents keep you visible when you're out nightriding. The Storm Signal Jacket does it all, naturally."

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

Chrome lists:

Fully seam taped and waterproof

Zipped chest pocket

Laser cut underarm vents for temperature regulation

Extra length in the tail and the arms for coverage on the drops

New engineered 6-panel hood adjustable at 3 points

Adjustable bottom hem

Reversible reflective sleeve cuffs

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:

Despite my misgivings with its design, there's no faulting its actual manufacturing.

Rate the jacket for performance:

It is waterproof, but it goes about it a very strange way.

Rate the jacket for durability:

Well made, should last.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:

Erm, well, the outside isn't as waterproof as Chrome says, but the inner surface is.

Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:

Not very breathable at all.

Rate the jacket for fit:

Nice length to arms and back. General fit was superb.

Rate the jacket for sizing:

Comes up a fair bit larger than expected.

Rate the jacket for weight:


Rate the jacket for comfort:

Very comfortable and good movement in the arms.

Rate the jacket for value:

It does look like a premium bit of kit, so the £140 price tag seems about right, but it's not as impressive as the Howies at the same price.

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Fairly easy to wash – bung it in the washing machine at 30 degrees then drip dry. Be aware, though, that the inner retains water exceptionally well, so it's worth spinning twice before hanging to dry.

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

Well, I'm rather torn by this, because it does stop the rain getting through. But it looks like it has soaked in water and – because breathability isn't great – you do get damp inside, albeit not from the rain.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Quite a flattering cut and good pockets.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

The whole softshell, waterproof inner design. It's the wrong way round, Gromit.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on

When it comes to other similar jackets, the Howies Herald also costs £139 and features a host of fine qualities, not least a more typical waterproof jacket construction and – in my opinion – a more pleasant wearing experience in wet weather. Meanwhile, the Endura Hummvee Shacket officially boasts no weather resistance but actually puts up a good fight against light drizzle and costs £89.99.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Nope

Would you consider buying the jacket? No

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

Chrome's Storm Signal jacket is a very handsome bit of kit with some definite positive traits. However, the bizarre wet weather performance – where the outside gets soggy while the waterproof inner surface doesn't – left me feeling irritated.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 6'0  Weight: 16 stone

I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29  My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy

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

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

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zero_trooper | 4 years ago

The photo of the collar area when (almost) fully zipped up looks terrible. Like way too much material. Where does it all go?

Regarding the hood. I've a few jackets with hoods, tho' non cycling specific*. Each one has a different way to adjust fit and it's a real pain to remember which is which. Once you are dialled in they're fine. Could be the same with this jacket/hood.


*never realised this before, but non  of my cycling specific jackets have hoods. Does that make me a roadie?  1

dmn65 | 4 years ago

I bought one of these last autumn. I wanted a waterproof jacket for my 13/14 mile commute that I could also wear as casual jacket if I’m out and about. I also wanted a robust jacket as I carry a backpack on my commute. It has done everything I wanted. It has kept me dry whilst riding through the various storms and Yorkshire winter weather - it has been a bit wild at times! It is thoughtfully designed with the high neck, hood, the protected zipped pockets and elasticated cuffs. I reckon it looks pretty ok too. It is my go to jacket for foul weather whether I commuting or dog walking. I also feel pretty good about it as I bought mine in the sale. 

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