Alpinestars All Mountain Jacket
Retailing for $199.95 USD, and coming in bright blue, neon green, grey or black, the All Mountain Jacket is Alpinestars’ most waterproof outer layer available. It’s made out of a 2-layer breathable fabric, and sports coated external zips to help keep the water on the outside where it belongs. When the weather turns particularly nasty, both the storm hood and waistband feature elastic pull cords to really batten down the hatches. There are also a pair of pit zips to crack open when the going gets sweaty.
Horizontal pit zips are an odd choice, but more on that later.
I found the cut of the All Mountain Jacket to be a bit on the slim side compared to what I have worn in the past. It was a good change of pace, and the tighter fit kept it from billowing around on descents and getting caught up in my pack. The jacket is also low-key enough that if you feel like wearing it out for a night on the town, people aren’t going to point and say “look at the bike nerd!” particularly if you get it in a more subtle colour scheme. I even managed to sneak it in on a second date without the other person noticing. Other nice features include an interior pocket for your phone, and some soft fleece on the chin guard for comfort.
Black on black with reflective logos, for when you need to be a trail ninja.
So it looks good and sports a couple of nifty features, but how does it work as a trail jacket? Well, it does a decent job of allowing moisture to breathe through the fabric, which means I don’t get soaked from the inside while climbing. The fabric doesn’t breathe as well as something like Gore Tex Pro but at half the cost of a jacket made out of the stuff, I was still fairly impressed by the performance.
The other half of the “keeping one dry” equation is how well the jacket protects from the elements. I wore the All Mountain jacket during some fairly sopping wet rides, and the outer layer of the shell did an excellent job of beading and shedding the never-ending torrent of rain I found myself in. Eventually it got overwhelmed, but not before putting up a solid fight.
More reflective elements, and a hook and loop closure around the wrist to keep things in place.
Despite the breathability and good level of waterproofing, it’s not all sunshine and roses with the All Mountain Jacket. My two biggest gripes revolve around the hood and the pit zips. The hood gets a proverbial wag of the finger for a poor fit; it’s too small to go comfortably over a half-shell helmet, but too big to create a good fit around my bare head. I’d love to see Alpinestars either make the hood big enough for a helmet, or simply eliminate it entirely.
The hood just barely fits over my helmet, but good luck trying to turn my head.
The other finger wag goes to the cut of the pit zips. Rather than follow the contour of one’s body vertically, they are cut horizontally across the bottom of my sometimes sweaty pits. This means they aren’t as effective at shedding heat as their vertical brethren, which becomes a problem when really putting the hammer down on the climbs.
The AlpineStars All Mountain jacket works as both a casual rain jacket and a biking jacket.
These two wags aren’t enough to dissuade me from using the jacket as my go-to riding shell, but it could be elevated from a good outer layer to a great one with those two simple modifications.
Overall, I’ve been pleased with the way the All Mountain Jacket has held up. It does a good job of shedding moisture both inside and out, looks stylish enough to wear off the bike, and hasn’t lost any of its waterproof-ness thus far. Those who are looking for a solid winter layer for both on and off the bike should take a close look at the Alpinestars All Mountain Jacket.
A closer fitting jacket may mean the end of the baggy billowing top layer. Who else is feeling a bit like a trail ninja?