Specialized's Trail Rain jacket is packable but let down by poor fit and a basic fabric.
Specialized’s Trail Rain jacket is a 2.5-layer option with a polyester face fabric bonded to a waterproof and breathable membrane. This is less breathable than the three-layer Rapha Trail Gore-Tex Infinium, and there’s also a lack of venting under the arms or shoulders, but it’s lighter weight and still gets fully taped seams and a waterproof zip to limit water ingress. On the inside of the zip is a storm flap, but annoyingly this one kept getting caught in the zip.
The hood is edged with elastic to stop flapping but there are no toggles to get it tight. More importantly it’s not one thing or another – it’s too loose to fit under a helmet, too tight to fit over the top. The sleeves are a good length and feature adjustable Velcro tags but unfortunately the cuffs are too tight, so you have to take your gloves off when removing this jacket. Storage is limited, but the Napoleon/breast pocket will take a phone and you can also fold the whole jacket into that if you decide to pack and go.
Due to the spandex content, the Specialized Trail Rain has a nice loose fit, and it works with thick layers and elbow pads, but getting it off is a mission. We’d only rate the waterproofness of the membrane as average, but the DWR is one of the best here, during our simple spray test water literally flew off the surface. Unfortunately, this didn’t last and, like several of the jackets, degraded pretty quickly once we washed it.
- Best winter jackets for mountain biking; keep the wind and rain at bay
- Best mountain bike mud tyres
- How to ride faster without taking more risks
The design of the hood, cuffs and storm flap all need work, but this is an unfussy jacket that you can ride from the door or save for a rainy day.