Ample back zippered pocket that doubles as stow and storage;
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Nailing all of the features on a cycling rain jacket — not a wind layer or lightweight barrier shell — has to be a difficult task for manufacturers. A true rain jacket has to have some heft if it’s made of materials that are actually waterproof, and in my opinion, a true rain jacket has to have a hood, again increasing its bulk. Ideally, this jacket should fit inside a jersey pocket, or at least a frame bag.
And, personal request for all layers — it needs to have at least one pocket.
In the POC Women’s Signal All Weather Jacket I believe I have found an excellent riding rain jacket. I recently put it to the test in the wild weather of the Big Island of Hawaii, where rain can come anytime, and mornings in the island’s vertiginous areas dawn crisp and chilly.
On a recent trip to Hawaii, I spent three days riding around the perimeter of the Big Island, from the famous asphalt of the Ironman world championship course to the windswept far reaches of the island’s north and southern tips, and the lush east coast in between. Inevitably there was rain — from the cow town of Waimea all the way to the east coast on the Old Mamalahoa Highway, to be exact — and there was also a chilly, damp morning near Volcano National Park. I didn’t bring much of anything with me on my Circle Island tour because I stayed in Airbnbs along the way and, well, the Hawaiian climate definitely suits a minimal amount of clothing.
But, I did bring the POC Women’s Signal All Weather Jacket, and it was the perfect addition for rainy riding and chilly mornings. I also took the jacket to Kauai, where I was not riding bikes, and it was a perfect layer to throw on for rainy walks to get coffee or explore Waimea Canyon in its eternally drizzly weather.
POC Women’s Signal All Weather Jacket tech
The tough part about rain jackets is that they often don’t breathe well, and that’s ok. The point is to be waterproof. The Signal All Weather Jacket, however, does both. It has open ventilation zones under the arms and on the back that let air, but not water, in. Furthermore, the jacket has a moisture vapor permeability of 20,000 gsm/24 hours, which in layman’s terms means that when sweat condenses on the inside of the fabric, the lamination will actively pull the water through, reducing condensation. High tech!
When I got soaked in Waimea, I didn’t need the jacket for warmth, just weatherproofing, so the breathability was much appreciated. In terms of waterproofness, the Signal All Weather Jacket is pretty darn good. It’s a three-layer construction, which is considered top-of-the-line tech in rain jackets. While the jacket got soaked through during my two hours in the rain, I didn’t get wet or clammy on the inside.
POC Women’s Signal All Weather Jacket fit
The Signal All Weather Jacket fits like a cycling jacket, ie. it has a narrow fit and longer back. While I’ve found that some form-fitting rain jackets are suffocating and simply too tight to feel like a rain jacket, the Signal All Weather Jacket still feels like more than a wind layer or barrier shell.
I wore a women’s small, which is my normal size. I have slightly wider shoulders and a small chest and waist, and in Hawaii I was riding in a tank top. A jersey would have been fine as well under the jacket, but I think anything bulkier would have been uncomfortable.
In summary, the jacket fits true to size without much room to spare. This was fine because I also love the fact that it packs down into a small bundle.
The Signal All Weather Jacket also has a yoke piece across shoulders that’s cut on the bias for extra stretch. The sleeve openings and hem are elasticized to ensure a secure fit — in addition to keeping the jacket in place, this feature also makes it really easy to take on and off quickly.
POC Women’s Signal All Weather Jacket features
The Signal All Weather Jacket has three of my must-have features: two-way YKK zippers, a roomy rear pocket (zippered), and an adjustable hood.
The two YKK zips move freely over pretty big teeth, which makes it very easy to adjust airflow and take the jacket on and off. When wearing a jersey, it’s essential to have two-way zippers on a jacket to easily access pockets. The bottom zip on this jacket takes it to the next level with a tiny cord pulley.
Another integral feature is that the Signal All Weather Jacket can be packed into its own pocket. That pocket zips up snugly. Although the entire bundle is just a bit too big to fit into a jersey pocket (at least a women’s size small jersey), I bet I could squeeze it in in a pinch. In Hawaii, this wasn’t an issue, as I stored the jacket in my Ortleib front handlebar bag. One feature I didn’t test was securing the packed jacket to the handlebars, but this is an available feature.
Finally, the jacket has nice hood that can be adjusted using a drawcord. Although it fits better under a helmet, I prefer the over-the-helmet look. This was only moderately helpful, as I had to unzip the jacket to my upper chest to make it work and the hood usually flew off. When no head protection is needed, the hood can be rolled up and secured in place while not in use.
Other features that one may appreciate that I did not utilize (phew!): a RECCO reflector and the twICEme NFC medical ID.
While it may be easier to wax poetic about a cycling rain jacket when said jacket is also associated with a dreamy bike tour through Hawaii, I guarantee that the POC Signal All Weather Jacket will be a worthy companion on any rainy adventure.