Colors: Radioactive yellow, Black
Temperature Range: 35-60 degrees
Availability: Online or select retail stores
How obtained: Company sample
RBR advertiser: No
One Jacket – Wide Temperature Range
Recently, Trek released several new jackets to their Circuit line. I’ll eventually review all three, but I have only had a chance to test the Softshell version. What I liked best about this jacket is its versatility over a wide range of temperatures. The Trek website puts the range from 35-60 degrees F. I was warm at the top end of the temperature rating, but I felt fine down to 25 degrees with the proper baselayer. And with some stretch to the fabric, mobility isn’t an issue, even with an extra layer.
My testing was primarily on frigid 5:30 a.m. pre-sunrise rides, with a couple of rides in full sun and temps in the 40s. I was comfortable on all my rides by changing my baselayer or jersey. One ride, in particular, was a cold, damp, foggy morning. The 3-layer softshell’s wind-resistant and waterproof fabric kept the elements out; I could see the water beading on the jacket. Throughout the ride, I stayed fully protected and comfortable.
On that dense foggy ride, I was incredibly thankful for the Radioactive Yellow fabric and reflective elements front and back. Typically the fog burns off as the sun rises, but not this time. Often visibility was down to 10 feet. Wearing something bright in addition to front and rear lights (also Bontrager/Trek) gave me peace of mind.
This jacket also comes in black, but I’m not one to wear dark colors when road riding. I’d suggest black for trail and MTB adventures.
Other features I like about this jacket include the three large rear pockets. So many jackets don’t come with back pockets, forcing you to store things in your jersey, which isn’t always easy to get to while riding. A drop-tail with silicon grippers provides additional coverage from the elements, even in the drops. The internal brushed thermal interior fabric, including the neckline, is next to the skin soft.
Trek offers the Circuit Softshell Jacket in both men’s and women’s versions with sizes from XS up to 2XL. The cut is semi-fitted, and I recommend purchasing the proper size. The company sample was one size too large, and when I went to ventilate by unzipping from the collar down, the wind filled the jacket. Luckily there’s a two-way zipper, and I simply vented from the bottom… problem solved.
The only negative comment regarding this jacket is that I found the cuffs a bit too loose, letting the wind go up the sleeves. A Velcro-type closure to cinch the cuff snug on cold days and loosen on cool days when more ventilation is necessary.
Trek hit the mark with the new Circuit Softshell Jacket. It’s great for a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions. If you’re in the market for a new jacket that’s affordable and offers so many great features, this one’s worth a look. I’ll be testing the other new Circuit styles soon, so keep an eye out for reviews on their Windshell and Rain versions.
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.