IXS make a lot of excellent kit, and if you’re looking for one of the best mountain bike jackets in term of value and features there are plenty on offer here, though there are unfortunately some important performance compromises.
The IXS Carve is made from X-Stretch, which, as the name suggests, has a four-way stretch. It doesn’t restrict movement or pull up at the hem when you’re moving around on the bike.
On paper the IXS Carve has really good waterproof and breathability figures, but these are compromised somewhat by the DWR coating. It just wasn’t that effective at pooling water, and after one ride and a single wash, the performance really fell away, causing water to wet out the surface.
Once it’s sodden, a jacket can’t breathe properly and it’s also not nice to wear. You could re-treat the IXS Carve with a wash-in or spray-on proofer, but we don’t think you should have to do that after one ride.
Like the Endura MT500, the IXS Carve is crammed with features. To keep out spray, all seams are fully laminated, and it has a waterproof main zip with an internal storm flap.
There’s an over-helmet hood with three-point adjustment, full length pit-zips and matching exhaust vents at the shoulder. The Velcro tags on the cuffs have the biggest range of any jacket here, and there are some reinforcement patches on the elbows.
Two deep side pockets, with matching internal sleeves, provide plenty of carrying capacity, but that does mean there are four layers of material on the front of the jacket, which doesn’t help breathability.
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At 422g, the IXS Carve is also heavy and bulky, so it’s not a packable option that you can carry with you and whip out when the rain comes. This is a jacket you really wear from the onset, but to stop overheating you really need to layer carefully. It’s good value, but let down by poor DWR performance and short sleeves.