Having a lightweight packable windproof jacket makes an enormous difference to comfort levels on a ride in changeable conditions or at the turn of the seasons, Dare 2b's Swept Away Windshell is designed to offer all those benefits to women riders and it's keenly priced too.
Made from 100% super lightweight Polyamide, the Swept Away is designed to keep wind chill at bay and has a water repellent treatment to keep off the worst of any rainy spell. It'll not see off prolonged and determined precipitation, but will certainly provide enough protection to get you to the end of your ride. The jacket is well featured, with a shaped tail, gently elasticated hemline, mesh panels for ventilation where you need them, lots of reflectivity and softly elastcated wrist cuffs with integral thumb loops. The whole jacket packs into its own mesh bag which has a Velcro loop to fasten it to the back of your saddle, around your wrist or it'll pop into a jersey pocket, given it's only about the size of an orange.
In use, it's a perfectly adequate windshell, offering good levels of protection and with very little weight penalty. It's not the most breathable fabric if you're pedaling hard at times, but it's far from being the worst either and with the effective mesh ventilation panels, it doesn't leave you unduly sweaty. The cut and fit are good, with sizing being very slightly on the generous size, and good length in torso and sleeves. The sleeves are fine for all handlebar positions, including stretched forward on the drops, and the thumb loops are actually usably comfortable if further wrist protection is required- a nice touch for colder weather use.
This is a jacket that will get year round use, given that it's easy to layer and light and compact to carry along on any ride. The only problem I had with the Swept Away was the quality of the zip, which didn't move as freely as you'd like and was a little plasticky and insubstantial feeling. Given that it's handy to be able to zip up a windshell single handed, it would have been nice to have had a more plush feeling zip.
£45 is a very good price for such a light and compact wind shell, especially given the number of features and attention to detail. It'll give year round service too, and is available in either black (I'd have preferred something less ninja-like) and 'Extreme Pink' which is just that, and definitely more visible than the black, even with all the reflectivity.
Fantastic value for money for such a lightweight, well featured shell. Shame about the flimsy zip though.
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Make and model: Dare 2b Women's Swept Away Windshell
Size tested: Black, size 12
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 primarily at mountain bikers, but more of a general riding jacket.
Designed to offer super lightweight protection against wind chill and light rain.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Water repellent treatment
Scooped elasticated hem.
Mesh ventilation panels
Lightly elasticated cuffs with integral thumb loops
Packs into its own mesh drawstring bag with velcro attachment loop/wrist loop.
Fabric quality is fine, but some straggly stitching.
Zip quality is poor.
Performed very well- kept wind chill at bay, kept body dry underneath and is very light and packable.
Everything but the zip should last just fine.
Excellent weight and packsize.
Very comfortable. Fabric is pleasant next to skin and jacket keeps the body temperature stable.
Great value for such a light and compact jacket.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed really well overall.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cut, style, price
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely, especially one on a budget.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Excellent value for money and a well designed jacket, apart from the zip.
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,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.