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Jan. 12, 2021, 7:25 a.m. -  Pete Roggeman

There are a lot of things that go into a good jacket - a really good one in this case. Cut and design, manufacturing quality, and materials. There's no real way to cut corners on the last two of those things (cut and design can be ripped off).  You can get a jacket that costs less that breathes well OR is waterproof, but not that one does both that is also well-made (and low cost). Other options in the market always - always - bear this out. There are plenty of $100-200 riding jackets, but I can point out the reason(s) why they won't perform as well as this one with a quick glance at a spec sheet and a product photo or two. Does that mean they're useless? Hell no. For many people, a $115 Patagonia Houdini or any other thin shell will work for a lot (maybe most) of the time they'll need it. Even here - IF you're content with not riding when the weather is really bad. But if you live in a place like the North Shore or the Fraser Valley where it rains hard AND can be cool/cold - in other words, the most challenging layering situation to dress for - you're not going to get good protection from the elements AND good breathability. You're going home sweaty because it's easy to make a jacket waterproof but not easy (or at least cheap) to also make it breathable. Mud is no big deal, really. In a pinch, you can wash your outerwear with no detergent, or really mild detergent - but the best is to use the right stuff, which is a dedicated cleaner (Nikwax or Granger's) - or at least to use it sometimes. As for tears and abrasion - well, that's always a risk, but it's not hard to sew up a jacket or use a product like Tenacious Tape which does a fine job on small and medium tears. Large or complicated repairs will be harder to do yourself but all the brands selling pricey jackets will take care of it for you or help faciliate a repair. I hear a lot of comments from people concerned about tearing their expensive jackets, but I've yet to hear about a jacket being ruined in a crash.

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