Lofty goals and premium products from Brighton based start-up

Upper Downs Apparel has launched on Kickstarter with its first ever product, the Neo jacket.

Upper Downs says the Neo is a fully waterproof, wind resistant and lightweight jacket. It will retail at £289.99, putting it at the premium end of the market, above recent favourites of ours from Madison and Scott. However, early bird discounts of up to 40 per cent are available on the Kickstarter for those of you who like a deal.

Upper Downs MTB Neo Jacket phone pocket

The Brighton based start-up justify the price through the premium materials used to create the Neo. The primary aim was to create a jacket that would wick away sweat so Upper Downs used the Polartec Neo Shell fabric, which it believes is the most breathable fabric on the market.

As the South Downs is not quite rugged enough to test a jacket like this, Upper Downs took World Cup racer Harry Molloy to the Brecon Beacons for a full test. Parker said: “We wanted to test it with Harry somewhere horrible. He got absolutely soaked, the rain was torrential.”

Upper Downs claim their jacket is built for the trail but “styled for the city”. Matt Parker, director, said: “This is 100 per cent a cycling jacket but we also want it to bridge the gap between cycling and lifestyle. You can go down to the shops or on a road ride without looking ‘too cycley’.”

The jacket features a number of nifty features such as a detachable hood, articulated sleeves, and a phone chute. The phone chute is a channel that goes from an inside chest pocket down to one of the side pockets. You slide the phone in at the top and headphone wires go up the channel, hopefully keeping them protected within the jacket while your phone stays in a practical place.

Neo jacket phone chute

Not content with the usual Kickstarter rewards, Upper Downs has teamed up with World Cup downhill rider Harry Molly and IXS Cup rider Jack Chapman to offer coaching sessions on jumps and drops for £55 or trail flow for £80.

The Kickstarter campaign is hoping to raise £25,000 and will finish on 2 July 2015.