- Packable and waterproof, easily fits in jersey pocket
- Lightweight and breathable perfect for warmer days
- Great for winter outer layer to stop cold winds and wet conditions
- Reflective magnetic droptail for added visibility and protection from road spray
- Fitted cut keeps jacket from flapping in the wind
- Only available in one color for women– not very visible especially in rainy conditions
- No pockets
Colors: Battleship Blue (men’s and women’s); Azure (men’s only)
Sizes: XS-2XL (men’s to 3XL)
How Obtained: Company sample
RBR Advertiser: No
Lightweight, Breathable and Packable
This past fall, the number one question people asked me was, “Which packable rain jacket do you recommend?” I had yet to find a packable rain jacket that was also breathable, until I tested Bontrager’s Velocis Stormshell Jacket.
Rated for 50-70 degrees F, this jacket can take you from spring through summer and into fall. It can also be used in the winter as an outer wind barrier layer, which I tested on cold winter night trail rides. The fitted design prevents fabric from flapping in the wind, but you may find it necessary to size up if you plan to layer underneath.
The Stormshell waterproof fabric uses 37.5™ active-particle technology which, according to Bontrager, speeds up moisture evaporation to keep you dry and maintain an optimal body temperature. Staying drier and not overheating is key. Too many packable rain jackets are like plastic bags, locking in moisture and perspiration. The breathability of the Stormshell fabric and a dual zipper are key to keeping you comfortable on and off the bike.
To help protect you from road spray, the Velocis Stormshell has a droptail flap that is quickly lowered with a tug. It is held up with two intergraded magnets making it easy to deploy while riding and retract when no longer needed. The fabric of the droptail is reflective which helps to provide added visibility in low light conditions. Unfortunately, this is the only reflective element on the jacket.
The jacket also has inner wrist cuffs constructed from soft, stretchy elastane, which can easily layer with gloves and also protects you from the cold. There are two cordlock adjustment bands that cinch up the bottom of the jacket and help keep moisture and cold winds out.
A Couple of Misses
With a price tag of almost $200, I’d like to see at least one waterproof jacket pocket. The Velocis Stormshell has none. The video below touts a two-way zipper that lets you unzip from the bottom to access your jersey pockets. Personally for me personally that isn’t an ideal scenario.
I’d also prefer brighter color options and more reflective detailing. If you are riding in the rain, the likelihood it is overcast with low light. The battleship grey is a poor color choice for visibility and I wouldn’t want to rely solely on my front/rear lights to be seen. A neon yellow or bright color option as well as front, rear and side reflective elements would make this jacket a definite 5 star. For commuter riders, I’d suggest using a reflective or lighted vest in conjunction with this jacket. For MTBers who aren’t too worried about being seen on the trail, this jacket is a great choice.
Finding a light weight packable rain jacket that also breathes is not an easy task. The new Bontrager Velocis Stormshell Jacket checks the boxes. Rated 50-70 degrees F, this jacket can take you through most of your riding season. For colder winter riding use it as a windbreaker. The only major drawback is visibility since the reflective elements are minimal and the battleship grey is too dark.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.