If you see a Specialized Trail Series Wind jacket cheap, it’s worth snapping this one up because it’s a great emergency jacket, but too dear at full price.
When we contacted Specialized about our waterproof jacket test and it said it had a couple of things that would fit, we were expecting to receive one of the new three-layer Defect jackets, but the company sent this lightweight Specialized Trail Series Wind Jacket instead.
Obviously, the name gives it away – this is not waterproof and we were going to write it off, but then we tested it, and against the competition it was surprisingly water resistant. Specialized claims this jacket has ‘light water resistance’ but water pooled amazingly well on the surface of the jacket. By design it’s also incredibly breathable and, even during some pretty intense efforts, we never overheated in this one.
There’s nothing amazing about the construction, it’s built from a 100 per cent recycled polyester fabric, which is lightweight and breathable, but it doesn’t have taped seams or any inherent waterproofness. It is a simple smock, so only the upper half features a zip. There are no tags on the cuffs, cords on the neck and, while the over-the-helmet hood comes quite far down, there’s no way to get it tight, so it can blow off in the wind. The whole jacket does fold up into the front pocket, allowing it to be stored easily in a pack or a SWAT-equipped Specialized bike, but that’s true of any lightweight wind vest.
As we’ve already said, the Specialized Trail Series Wind Jacket’s wet weather performance is really surprising and normally this would garner a high rating, but this jacket is just too expensive for what it is. For £20 less you can buy a whole host of budget waterproofs, including the fully-sealed, two-layer Endura Humvee Lite.