Fox has a number of different jackets in its outerwear line-up, with the cornerstones being the Ranger 3L Water and this, the Fox Ranger 2.5L Water.
As the name suggests, the difference between the Fox Ranger 2.5L Water and the 3L is in the fabric construction. This jacket gets a cheaper bonded half layer to protect the membrane, but it’s £100 less than the 3L option, which seems like a pretty good compromise. Mid-weight at 361g in size medium, it’s not really designed to be packed down – this is a jacket you would wear from the get-go rather than take with you for an emergency.
Fox doesn’t give the ripstop polyester fabric used for the Ranger 2.5 a name, but it does reveal the specs – 10,000mm for waterproofing and 3,000g for moisture transmission. For reference, the more expensive 3L jacket shares the same waterproof rating, but beats the MVTR figure by 7,000g. Those figures are among the lower end of the jackets tested in our best mountain bike jackets group test, and while the waterproofing was unphased by our testing, the Ranger 2.5L clammed up quickly on the climbs. In fact the lining was dripping with moisture. And while the fabric itself is mostly to blame here, Fox has done itself no favours by printing a massive logo across the back that won’t help breathability one bit.
Our medium sample had a roomy cut and is relatively long in the torso with a droptail hem for extra back protection. There is a drawcord at the hem, but the cuffs and hood are simple elasticated openings. The latter easily pulls over a helmet, but with no adjustability, it feels too big and loose if you’re not wearing a lid.
Although not as bad as the Altura Esker, the liner of the Fox Ranger 2.5 felt rubbery to the touch, so wasn’t the nicest jacket to wear with short sleeves. There’s a belt-and-braces double storm flap for the zip, but this just tended to get caught regularly when we were doing it up. In terms of storage, Fox has added two zipped hip pockets, which we applaud, but for some reason they extend almost all the way up to the neck, which means wasted space and more material for moisture to transfer through.
While the Fox Ranger 2.5L Water is a good price for a desirable brand name like Fox, this jacket is let down by its breathability and a series of basic flaws. As an e-bike jacket, where moisture transmission is less important, it does the job, but analogue riders would be better off saving £20 and buying the Madison Roam, or investing an extra £60 in the Endura GV500.