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Pactimo's Women's Storm+ Jacket is designed for volatile conditions associated with the shoulder seasons. It's got some nice features and works well in cool conditions, but the DWR really isn't up to much – you'll need to carry a rain jacket if you want to stay dry. It also struggles to compete with other jackets boasting similar properites and potentially better tailoring.
For more options, check out our guide to the best waterproof cycling jackets.
Pactimo claims the Storm+ can be paired with anything from a basic summer jersey to its Storm+ Thermal LS Jersey. It definitnely needs a baselayer as a minimum – it's not the kind of interior that feels cosy against bare skin.
I've been testing a medium, as suggested by Pactimo's size guide. It claims the jacket will 'fit seamlessly over your kit without the flap and excess material usually associated with protective outerwear'.
The fit around the midriff was generous enough to get a jersey and baselayer underneath without feeling constricted. This makes it great for when the temperatures really sink and you want to layer up. With just a baselayer, there was plenty of breathing room; not flapping around, but comfortably unrestrictive.
However, there was definitely a noticeable excess of fabric around the shoulders and upper arms, which doesn't fall into place when on the bike: it wrinkles and gathers.
Perhaps this is standard tailoring in Pactimo's outerwear; Rebecca had the same issue with the Alpine Jacket. I don't consider myself to have a slight upper body so it's likely to be generous on most, and excessively so if you have narrow shoulders and arms. I doubt the tailoring would suit those looking for a performance-fitting jacket.
Ordinarily, I would consider sizing down to address the upper-body fit. However, that would risk losing sleeve and body length and the jacket becoming tight around the midriff when teamed with more than just a baselayer.
Thanks to the sleeve length being spot on, I could easily pull the cuffs over gloves and not experience any riding up.
Collar height is well judged, too: not too high to irritate, but high enough to keep out cold air when fully zipped.
The lower hem is elasticated with a silicone strip to hold it in place. If I had unevenly loaded pockets, the jacket was prone to swinging round, particularly when combined with just a single baselayer.
My first outings with the jacket were in dry conditions, between about 5 and 9°C. Teamed with just a long sleeve baselayer, the jacket is ideal for steady riding, but if I lifted the tempo, I started to become uncomfortably warm. Using the lateral zips and two-way central zip really helped get some airflow to my torso and regulate the core. Thanks to a long toggle that doesn't escape gloved hands, the lateral zippers are easy to reach and use.
In temperatures under 5°C, I found the jacket needs more support than just a baselayer. This isn't surprising when you feel how thin the fabric is. Breathability is average, so choosing mid and baselayers that are very breathable was a priority. I still made use of the zips in cold conditions to prevent a build-up of moisture inside.
In short, the Storm+ performs well in dry conditions, provided you team it with the right layers, and make full use of the lateral vents and two-way zipper.
The jacket is treated with a non-PFC DWR which, in my experience, just doesn't seem to work. The softshell fended off water for about five minutes on its first rainy outing, and over the next four weeks its performance has rapidly gone downhill.
Sadly, the treatment isn't as durable as PFC DWR, and the jacket is pretty much useless in the face of a shower now that it has been washed a few times. It clings to whatever is under it and can feel pretty chilly if the rain has soaked right through.
Thankfully, a strong wind tends to dry out the thin fabric quite quickly.
Pactimo has at least nailed pocket positioning and capacity. I could load up the three rear pockets without issue: rain jacket, food and phone. There's also a spacious zipped valuables pocket, with an opening I can get my hand into (which isn't always a given).
The jacket comes in three different colours: black, grey and the fluoro yellow I've been testing. I love that this is an option and would have chosen it if investing; it's visible from a long way off on a dull day, forewarning other road users. There are token reflective strips at the rear, too, on all three colours.
That said, being visible doesn't eradicate careless drivers. Sadly, I got wiped out while wearing this jacket. On the plus side, I can testify that the softshell fabric is surprisingly robust – it survived a significant encounter with the asphalt better than my ribs did.
The Storm+ isn't overly heavy and I've enjoyed a few outings with it stowed in a rack bag or pannier as an extra layer for long rides. I'd say it's better suited to riders who aren't looking for performance gains, who prefer traditional layering over modern, do-it-all garments.
At £170, for what it offers, the Storm+ isn't outstanding value for money, especially since you'll need to invest in supporting layers.
Stolen Goat's Alpine Epic Jacket is more expensive at £190, but if the women's version lives up to the men's, it offers better protection in damp conditions and doesn't require as many layers in colder weather. John rated the men's version when he tested it a couple of months ago. Its Climb and Conquer Jacket is £20 less than the Pactimo.
Another more expensive option is Assos' Dyora RS Spring Fall Jacket, which again might be worth the extra (albeit another £95 in this case). Suvi found that it offered a snug, aero-orientated fit and similar performance to the Storm+.
If layering is your thing and you prefer a looser fit to a snug, performance-focused cut, the Storm+ is worth considering. It's not the best value, but with well-judged body and sleeve-length, roomy pockets and a high-vis option, it should suit those who like to grind out winter miles.
Fine if you like to layer, but the DWR isn't up to much and you'll want to check the fit before investing
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pactimo Women's Storm+ Jacket
Size tested: Medium
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?
Pactimo says, 'The Storm+ Jacket was created to be a versatile Jacket you can reach for in myriad conditions, especially those shoulder-season rides where adaptability and protection are paramount.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
*Storm+ Laminate: Lightweight (150gsm), waterproof, windproof, high-stretch softshell fabric.
*Recycled face/back with C0 (non-PFC) DWR
*15k WP/15k WB
*YKK Vislon Aquaguard (#3), two-way zipper with semi-auto lock glove-friendly pull.
*YKK Vislon Aquaguard (#3) vent-zippers (two on chest) for quick ventilation.
*Interior zipper draft-flap for comfort and snag-resistance.
*Mid-height collar helps cut wind and cold while allowing for better freedom of movement and ventilation.
*Three large, top-loading pockets with draining feature for storing bulky/quick access items.
*One zippered valuables pocket with glove-friendly cord pull.
*360 reflectivity including large reflective strips, reflective logos and reflective pills.
*Elastic hem with silicone print to keep vest in place.
*Elasticized, low-profile cuffs for over/under glove use.
Needs supporting layers to shine. Not one for the rain.
Marked down here for the DWR which is not durable; the itself fabric is pretty robust, though.
DWR simply doesn't work.
Using the vents is vital.
Good on length, poor around the shoulders and upper arms.
It's definitely a try-before-you-buy jacket. If you can't do that, and sit 'in between' sizes, I'd say size down.
Poor fit on the upper body doesn't equate to uncomfortable; I had no issues where comfort is concerned.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The jacket has come up bright after every wash; sadly, the DWR doesn't seem to cope with a washing cycle.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
'Storm, wet, cool'... I'd say it copes with the latter.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The well-judged body and sleeve length, and easy-to-use lateral vents.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Lack of water repellency... Believing that something will keep you dry when you head out for a rainy ride to learn that it won't is a let-down.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Assos' Dyora RS Spring Fall Jacket is much more expensive at £265. Stolen Goat offers the Alpine Epic for £20 more than the Pactimo, and its Conquer Jacket for £20 less.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes, primarily on dry days.
Would you consider buying the jacket? No
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your overall score
If I'm to judge the jacket based on Pactimo's description of it being a 'close-fitting yet highly protective barrier', I would say it's below average. If I rate it as a supporting outer layer that can accommodate base and mid-layers with ease, while offering storage space for a decent waterproof plus easy-to-use ventilation zippers, I'd say it's above average. Splitting the difference, it's a five.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…