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The Packaway Jacket from Zoca is testament to just how compact and light it's possible to make a pakcable windproof now, whilst still retaining genuine usefulness. A super light windproof shell jacket is a godsend for the inconstant British weather. It's easy to pop into the back pocket of a jersey or into a bar bag and makes a hell of a difference to core warmth when required.
Weighing just 128g for a size medium, the Zocais up there with the lightest of the very light windshells available, and at a similar price to most. It's a windproof jacket aimed at all types of sports, not just cycling, but with an abundance of reflectivity it's quite happy in the saddle. Made from super silky polyamide fabric, the effect is rather like a jacket made from parachute silk- soft to the touch and pleasant next to skin. In addition to being windproof, the fabric is treated with a water repellent finish, which, while it won't protect you forever in a full downpour, will at least keep the worst off you until you can get home. There's a lightweight elasticated hood that neatly tucks into the collar of the jacket, a full front zip, hem drawcord, simple elasticated cuffs and the whole thing comes with its own little drawstring bag for packing it away into.
The cut of this jacket is simple but with a nicely feminine twist at the shoulder and chest area. A very subtly gathered yoke makes all the difference to the look of the garment, whilst making no difference at all to its performance as a windshell. It's also contoured to fit the female shape. Sizing is fairly true, with a size medium equivalent to a UK12.
In use, the jacket is sufficiently light that there's no reason to not take it with you whenever you ride. It pops easily into a rear jersey pocket and transforms a chilly hill descent into a comfortable cruise, or a drafty caf stop suddenly becomes much more pleasant. The elasticated cuffs are accommodating enough to allow sleeves to be pushed up if needed, and the torso length is decent and provides good coverage for an average height woman. There was no problem with the fabric, it kept moisture moving away from the skin while preventing wind chill, and was comfortable next to skin. The only things I'd change about the jacket would be the colour (it's too close to being road coloured for my liking) and the length of the sleeves could be increased very slightly to allow for stretching forward without bearing the wrists.
An effective lightweight windproof with a nice feminine twist, but could do with the sleeves being slightly longer
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Make and model: Zoca Active Women's Pack Away jacket
Size tested: Steel, 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?
Aimed at all sorts of female outdoor sports users.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Small drawstring stuff sack
Machine washable at 30
Available in sizes XS-XL
Well made and good quality fabric and components.
Performed really well apart from the slightly short sleeves (very minor problem)
This should last indefinitely. Occasional washing with a technical wash liquid will keep it fresh smelling and renew the water resistance.
Pleasant to wear and no problems.
Not cheap but on a par with similarly light jackets.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well indeed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Subtle feminine styling, weight, packsize, fabric, reflectivity, stuff sack
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sleeves very slightly too short for reaching forward on bars, colour a little too road-like
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Good value for money for a super light, well styled essential piece of kit.
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.