The Purna ProteKt Windproof shell jacket is so thin you'd expect it to tear at the first brush with a prickly bush but it has proved me quite wrong. Weighing 99g including carry sack, it's designed to be donned in a flash, protecting against wind chill whether screaming along a mountain pass or dribbling through Drabsville.
Fabric wise, we'an ve a Pertex shell that blocks cold air, yet still allows rider generated stuff easy escape via a clever capillary action, having the added benefit of drying in a matter of minutes. Unlike classic 'condom' capes, because the pores allow efficient moisture management, it can also be worn between base and jersey.
I liked the fetching colour options but night owls may want to add some Scotchlite - I was a little bit disappointed at the lack of reflectives.
Sizing seems on par with everyone else's, taking the guesswork out of online purchases - our large was snug enough to prevent billowing without feeling remotely constricting over winter layers. When not required it packsinside its stuff sack, which is also made from Pertex and tethers pretty unobtrusively to top tubes or in pockets. The sack also doubles as a nifty stash for energy bars/patch kits/loose change when empty.
Decent zipper tags make it easy to get on and off on the fly. Cowering low, there's a curious sensation as winds ruffle the outer fabric, trying to tease a way inside but ultimately remaining cheated despite the unlined collar. Sustaining race pace for an hour or so hasn't left me remotely stinky, although when it comes to the damp stuff, persistent, light drizzle is pretty much the limit.
Surprisingly rugged windproof shell with great cut and good colourways. Light drizzle's the limit though
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Make and model: Purna ProteKt Windproof
Size tested: Medium
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 Shell is a versatile performance fit windproof shell. Made from Pertex a very light weight and foldable fabric.
It can be worn as an outer windproof shell or, due to its light weight, can be worn under other sporting garments, motorcycle jackets, fleeces, as an extra defence against the cold.
Note it is not waterproof, it will ward off a very light shower.
Its features include elasticated cuffs and hem, a full length zip and a longer back panel for when you are bent double, such as cycling.
When not in use it packs into its own pouch".
Does exactly what it says on the tin.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Full length Zip
Longer back Panel
99g by my scales
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Another pleasant surprise, this lightweight contingency shell does exactly what it says on the tin and is light years ahead of old fashioned race capes. Thin fibres offer decent levels of insulation, while managing wearer generated moisture pretty efficiently (depending on mid and base layer materials)although persistent drizzle is as water repelling as things get.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Lovely cut, sensible design, attractive colourways.
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? Yes.
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)