One of the most immediately interesting things about the Findra Stroma Technical Jacket is that the fabric uses repurposed coffee grounds alongside recycled plastic bottles in its creation. The clever eco-fabric has four-way stretch and a 10,000mm waterproof rating, and the resulting jacket is very light and stretchy. Just bear in mind that it's designed to be an all-round outdoor waterproof rather than cycling-specific.
- Pros: Versatile, waterproof, great breathability, low weight, packable, environmentally conscious, independent British manufacturer
- Cons: Lacks a few cycling-specific features such as a dropped tail and reflectivity; hood can get in the way
Because of the level of stretch, the fit of the jacket is reasonably forgiving – worth bearing in mind when selecting your size. If you're likely to want to wear it with multiple layers underneath then I'd say go for your usual size, but for a sleek fit maybe consider going down a size. (Tass is modelling a 12, her usual size, but reckons a 10 would probably be a better fit.) It's available in sizes 8-16, and in 'Nine Iron' grey as well as this lovely teal.
Features are pretty pared down but well-implemented. There's an adjustable hood with softly stiffened peak…
waterproof YKK zips and two side zipped pockets…
slightly toughened shoulder patches…
a drawstring at the hem and soft double cuffs at the wrists.
The cuffs are an absolute delight, with the soft inner cuff easily reaching far enough to protect the wrists when stretched out on the bike, while the outer cuffs don't cut in or have any intrusive fastenings to get in the way. Personally, I'd be disinclined to use the thumb loop on the inner cuff, but there are plenty of folk who would.
I'd be unlikely to use the hood under or over a helmet, but it does fit if that's something you do. On its own it didn't flap about when pulled up, but felt slightly obvious when not in use; it didn't hamper peripheral vision too badly, but did catch the wind from time to time for some slightly hairy moments. I'd have liked some sort of simple button or something to secure it or roll it up when not in use. That said, when fully zipped up, the snug fit of the neck of the jacket not only meant for a weatherproof fit but also kept the hood largely in check.
The jacket packs down small, but not really small enough to pop into a jersey pocket. It's more in saddle bag or rucksack territory.
The fabric is soft and comfortable to wear, and brilliantly breathable along with its waterproofing. The yarn is made from repurposed coffee grounds and recycled plastic bottles, and is claimed to be odour resistant as well as offering UVA and UVB protection.
It's waterproof enough to keep out moderate wet stuff for a commute or mid-length ride, but it's not a jacket for all-day torrential conditions (for that, check out the Showers Pass Women's Elite 2.1 Waterproof Jacket or maybe Gore's R3 Women Gore-Tex Active Hooded Jacket). It is, however, extremely good at not making you overheat, which is a constant battle with waterproofs.
On all but those seriously unpleasant hot, persistently wet days, it offered rainproofing without any real sweat penalty, apart from on long climbs where I did need to unzip to allow extra venting. I can genuinely say it's one of the most comfortable waterproof jackets I've ever worn.
For a high quality, versatile, all-purpose waterproof jacket that's manufactured by an independent Scottish company and has good eco-credentials, I'd say this is well worth the £159 rrp. We haven't tested that many similar jackets aimed at a more generalist end-user, but the Gore R3 mentioned above is £20 more, and the Showers Pass £35. Arguably, those provide more durable protection in prolonged downpours, but then they don't have the Findra's more appealing elements such as the innovative stretch eco-fabric and the company's British pedigree.
Delivers in terms of design, performance, technology and eco-credentials – that it's from a UK company is the icing on the cake
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Findra Stroma Technical Jacket
Size tested: 12
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?
A lightweight technical waterproof jacket aimed at general outdoor use.
Findra says: "The FINDRA Stroma Technical Jacket combines FINDRA style and performance to an create and innovative functional outerwear piece that will perform whatever the weather. Made from an innovative, lightweight, soft to the touch, 4-way stretch P4Dry fabric. This eco-friendly fibre has been sourced to provide only the best in waterproof and breathability ratings the Stroma jacket will perform again and again. Increased waterproofing is delivered by fully taped seams throughout, waterproof YKK zips, dropped back hem and generous hood with drawstring adjuster and structured peak. Internal cuffs with thumbholes allow you to keep your sleeves in place and further protect you from the elements.
"You’ll find plenty of room for your valuables with 2 concealed front pockets and a further pocket on the back, allowing you to keep items in a comfortable and easy to reach place while you’re on the move. The Stroma jacket packs down taking only a tiny space in your bag, ready to pull out at a moments notice and, with quick drying technology and de-odorizing properties, it’ll be ready to pack away dry in no time at all when the sun comes out.
"The tonal zip, chest logo, rear circle pattern and protective shoulder print all contribute to the unique FINDRA styling and mean you’ll always look fantastic in this highly technical jacket."
It looks good and performs well.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
10,000 Waterproof rating
Ultra lightweight with 4-way stretch. This fabric adds an outer layer of protection from the elements. The 4-way stretch allows the garment to stretch with you, yet return to its original shape.
Temperature regulating- the fabrics inherent properties help you to stay warm in cold weather whilst the yarns technology cools down your skin temperature, making exercise comfortable in warm and cool conditions.
Fast drying, the fabric technology accelerates the drying process of the fabric surface.
Odour Resistant – the innovation of the S.Café coffee grounds within the yarn absorbs odours your body produces throughout the day. This feature lasts much longer than you would expect so the need for frequent washing is greatly reduced.
UVA and UVB protection- the coffee grounds within the yarn fill in microscopic holes creating a long-lasting, natural shield preventing UV rays from contacting the skin.
Machine washable at 30°C and fast drying
Really excellent attention to detail and obviously high quality construction and materials.
Kept me dry both inside and outside the jacket. Very effective.
Early days, but so far so very good: it's well made from high quality fabrics and components.
Really good performance. Kept me dry inside and out.
One of the most breathable waterproof jackets I've ever tried.
Shape, cut and fit are excellent and the stretch fabric makes for good levels of comfort.
Worth deciding whether the jacket will be worn with warmer layers underneath before choosing size, as it is a touch on the generous side and the jacket has good stretch. Size down from your normal size if you want a less roomy fit.
Very light and easily packed away in a saddle bag or rucksack. Not a jersey pocket, though.
Superbly comfortable throughout. Snug at throat to keep out weather and the sleeve length and cuffs are excellent.
For a high quality, versatile all-purpose waterproof jacket that's manufactured by a British company and has good eco-credentials, I'd say this is well worth the money. It's £20 cheaper than the Gore R3 Women Gore-Tex Active Hooded Jacket and £35 cheaper than the Showers Pass Women's Elite 2.1 waterproof jacket, though both of those are possibly more durably waterproof.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, machine washable at 30 degrees.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The jacket performed exceptionally well as an all-purpose outdoor waterproof.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Stretch fabric, eco-credentials, soft double cuffs, breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Not much. Would have liked to have some way of securing hood when not in use.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Compares well to other similar products tested, particularly bearing in mind that it's a small independent UK brand and that the jacket uses environmentally conscious fabrics and techniques.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Very much.
Would you consider buying the jacket? Definitely
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is an exceptionally well-designed and high-quality jacket that delivers excellent performance and comfort, as well as looking good. It's even better that it's a UK-based company and the fabric uses recycled plastics and coffee grounds so there's an environmental element too.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
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, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
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.