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Performance outerwear has long been losing its nerdy neon persona in favour of something much sleeker. Purna Mens ProteKt Windproof Technical Jacket has a timeless appeal.
Regal shades of blue or green are the alternatives should the satin black prove too staid, but be aware of the lack of reflectives.
It's a hard-shell design with a surprisingly tactile texture more commonly associated with gloves and overshoes.
Losing the obligatory poacher's pocket isn't a deal breaker since those at the hip provide nifty parking space for hands when mooching around town. There's plenty of room there for dumping keys, energy bars and other bits. There's an iPod breast pocket too.
On the other breast sits a nifty key carrier mounted high enough to avoid scratching top tubes or stems when hunkered low, but for me it jangled too much and became a light mount. That's pretty much it storage wise - so let's talk technical.
The polyester outer resists moderate to heavy rain for forty odd minutes and is flanked by a windproof membrane and cosy fleece lining for warmth. Roomy enough for base and winter weight jerseys, man made fabrics of this ilk don't wick seamlessly, only starting once the inner climate reaches a certain temperature, hence the importance of longish armpit and main zips to avoid boiled in the bag sensations on milder outings.
Early spring at club/tour paces shouldn't present any problems with decent quality layers and a long neck has certainly aided my recovery from a particularly debilitating cold.
Cut shorter than some around the base, there's ample protection for the lower back while those Velcro cuffs provide seamless interface with gloves so rain and cold aren't funnelled inside either. I've really welcomed the material's wind-stopping prowess while performing roadside tube surgery in early January.
Well-performing windproof jacket with slightly unusual looks.
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Make and model: Purna Mens ProteKt Windproof Technical Jacket
Size tested: Large
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?
"The Purna ProteKt Windproof Jacket is a versatile performance fit jacket featuring a polyester outer shell against a windproof membrane and a fleece inner. It delivers the comfort and protection you need to provide the first line of defence against low temperatures and biting wind-chill as you walk, run or ride. It is also highly water resistant.
Use as stand alone outer protection or part of a layering system in the cold. Its features include velcro cuffs with an elasticated gusset, a sinchcord hem and a high collar, all for a secure fit. There is a chest pocket with inner earphone hole and two hand pockets, all protected by water sealed YKK zips. The main zip is also YKK".
Nice as a winter jacket but too warm as a mid layer unless riding in extremely cold, wet conditions.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Polyester outer shell against a windproof membrane and a fleece inner.
Velcro adjustable cuffs
Water seal YKK pocket zips
Two hand pockets
Performs very well given the limitations of man made fibres.
Hard shell design appears very rugged and not overly susceptible to accumilated grime. However, it's easily machine washed as and when required.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Purna protekt windproof jacket has been a very pleasant surprise. Ideally suited to winter/early seasons riding, it blocks chill from all quarters and has resisted moderate to heavy rainfall for around forty-five minutes. Management of rider-generated stuff is reasonably efficient too, although will seem pedestrian compared with sophisticated eVent and Gore Tex fibres.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Lovely cut, styling and sensible layout.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the design brief and pricepoint.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, for winter and early seasons' riding.
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)