The Dare 2b Transpose is a lightweight cycling jacket made from a waterproof and breathable material designed to keep you dry when it’s wet and comfortable when you start to warm up. I was offered one by Go Outdoors to try out on my commute to work.
The jacket is made from Ared 5000 which has a water repellent finish and is taped to keep the water and spray out at the seams. There is also a mesh lining and ventilated back panels to assist with breathability.
I’ve only managed to wear this piece a handful of times – maybe up to ten commutes so far – since I received it around Christmas, and until this week those days have been cold, windy and damp. It turns out that while last summer I cycled in all weathers due to the roadworks causing traffic chaos, once that all finished I pretty much instantly turned into a fair weather cyclist. As 50mph gusts (which we seem to have had regularly) would put me in the river I don’t feel too guilty, but I am hoping that once Spring arrives the weather will have calmed down for me to be commuting by bike more often than not once again. Anyway – back to the jacket.
The size 12 jacket I ordered seems a bit on the big side. There is plenty of room under the jacket for several layers and then some. I’ve not had anything from Dare 2b before and so will bear this in mind in future. At least being a bit big I have room to move without feeling restricted – much better than it being small. To be fair I’m not sure a size smaller would work for me; I’m out of proportion around the butt area and so this 12 is probably the best fit I’m going to get.
The jacket has quite a long line; longer at the back than the front as you’d expect from a cycling-specific top so your butt is well protected from the spray from your back wheel and ensuring that the jacket doesn’t ride up too far when peddling. Thankfully it also has arms of a decent length too, so my wrists remain covered when I’m holding my handlebars. The arms are also articulated at the elbows to help keep them in place when you’re moving about. The collar, which has a soft lining, goes right up to chin when I’m in my riding position and has a cinch cord to help create a decent fit to stop the weather getting inside that way. There’s another cinch cord at the hem too, and velcro at the bottom of the sleeves.
I can confirm that this jacket is waterproof. It always seems to rain on my way home from work (better than on the way to work), and I was pleased to stay dry thanks to the Transpose. I’d love to find a waterproof jacket that also lives up to its breathable claims entirely; while this is obviously made from a decent material that was fine when I was cycling in a nice leisurely fashion, as soon as I put a lot of effort into my peddling (cycling against a headwind – yuk) I wasn’t kept quite as comfortable as I would have liked. I also found I could have done with armpit vents the last couple of wears when the temperature was a bit warmer. I know it’s difficult to get the waterproof and breathable balance right, and while I am confident in staying dry on the inside when it’s raining, I wouldn’t want to be wearing this on a very warm day even when it’s wet.
One thing I don’t understand about the design (and in fact most hi vis jackets I’ve seen designed for cyclists), is how little reflective material it actually has on it. There is a very narrow strip down the inside of each arm, down the shoulders, and a bit on the back pocket, again very narrow. The 3M reflective material really does work in low light and makes cyclists so much more visible to drivers when you’re on the road and to other cyclists when you’re on dedicated cycle paths, so why not put thicker strips or more lines on the jackets? On this particular jacket two of the reflective strips are on the inside of the arms; why not the outside where it would surely be more prominent? The bright yellow does indeed help on its own in low light, but that reflective material is what is picked out by other people’s lights when it’s dark, and I want more of it. I know that reflective material is far from stylish (I choose to wear a florescent yellow jacket, I’m not that worried about fashion), but it could be done with bigger logos or patches somehow, I’m sure. Anyway, what is there is good, and this is only a £50 jacket.
Overall I’d say this is a pretty decent waterproof cycling jacket that will certainly get you noticed in daylight and twilight. With its long line and well-considered features it’s ideal for commuters who need something to keep them dry, but if you’re aiming for a personal best time each day you’ll want something much more breathable than this one.
The Dare 2b Transpose cycling jacket is £49.99 with your Go Outdoors discount card.