Sizes: S-2XL (men’s); XS-2XL (women’s)
Colors: Black (both); Dark Royal Blue (men’s only); Blue Hawa (women’s only)
Fabric: Metal Heat and 220 softshell
Availability: Online or Retail
How obtained: Company sample
RBR advertiser: No
Versatile Multisport Winter Jacket
When spending a lot of money on a quality winter jacket, it’s essential to be able to use it for various activities. For example, the new Garneau Orak jacket can take you from a Nordic CX skiing adventure to a snowy fat bike ride or run. This jacket has a warm, breathable outer layer with thoughtful design features.
Both the men’s and women’s Orak jacket comes in black with a variation of blue with black accents available for each version. The jacket is a standard fit and in extended sizes allowing for layering. Note that only the women’s version is available in XS (men’s only S). Color and sizing is the only difference between the two versions, with all other features identical.
The combination of a windstopper, water repellant softshell, and Metal Heat inner lining at the chest, this jacket protects from the elements. Use the adjustable elastic hem drawstring for further protection from harsh winds.
Metal Heat—Warmth and Breathability
Garneau uses their new Metal Heat layer in the upper front chest panels to prevent cold air from penetrating the fabric while regulating body temperature. According to the company, the material uses state-of-the-art micro-perforations that extract moisture while providing breathability and comfort.
For breathability, the stretch side panels, combined with front and back shoulder inserts to aid in evacuating heat and eliminate restricted movement. The zipper side pockets have a mesh lining that also provides an easy way to reduce heat buildup. The correctly positioned pockets do not interfere with backpack or hydration pack straps.
The three deep rear pockets also are mesh-lined, allowing heat to escape. I found the jacket kept me warm on cold rides and hikes, but I did perspire, causing items in the rear pockets to get wet. I put things like my cell phone in a plastic baggie to prevent that from happening on subsequent rides.
Garneau’s new Orak jacket is pricey, but it’s feature-packed and designed for various outdoor winter sports. If you are into snowshoeing, cx skiing, and winter cycling, you’ll get plenty of wear and your money’s worth from this piece of gear.
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.