zoic cutWhile Fall is well underway in many parts of the country, in So Cal we are still in the 80’s with flirtations of cold spells here and there.  So when the Zoic Men’s Coalition Shacket and the men’s Reign Quattro knicker hit my door some time ago, it was just too darn hot to even give them a try.  But, as the mercury would drop and the clouds would roll in for a brief time, I would get out in one or the other garment and give them a run.  But first, here are some details from the Zoic website:

The “Shacket” cold weather shirt/jacket combo

A 2-for-1 windshirt/jacket constructed in a tightly woven poly/cotton fabric that comforts you like a shirt while it shields you from the biting chill of winter riding. Internal sleeve cuffs prevent cold creep up your arms. Reflective accents on the collar and back pocket are night ride & commuter friendly

Features:

  • Internal sleeve cuffs prevent “cold creep” up your arms as you ride
  • 2 front chest pockets
  • 2 button cuffs offer loose and snug fit options
  • Tech pocket with special placement for cell phone or music player
  • 9” wide rear pocket provides easy access with E-Z-grip silicone pull and stay-put tabs
  • Tagless neck label eliminates itching and irritation

Fabric content:  

  • 80% Polyester, 20% Cotton

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Reign Quattro:  Our utility knicker!

All the features you love about the Reign, with exclusive Quattro fabric with DWR (durable water repellency) to keep the rain off and the wind out.

Features:

  • Fusion Gusset inseam provides superior range of motion and eliminates seat hang-ups
  • 2 front hand pockets, 2 reinforced back pockets and cargo pockets
  • Cargo pockets with zip closures to keep contents secure while riding
  • Headphone cord control grommet and loop
  • Microfiber sunglass wipe secured with elastic strap
  • Locking zippers with logo tabs stay shut while you ride
  • Tagless labels eliminate itching and irritation

Fabric contents:

  • 86% Polyester,14% Spandex
  • DWR

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Looking at the Shacket first, it reminded me of the Tradesman flannel riding shirt that we reviewed a bit ago.  But the Shacket brings into play a more wind resistant fabric along with the Tradesman’s anti-lycra styling statement.  That made me sit up and take notice as adding the wind resistance seemed to promise a more useful combo of casual looks, techy features, and an extended range of riding conditions.  OK, first of all, at least in my mind, the Shacket is not a technical cycling garment.  It does not compress much at all so it is a big parcel to stuff into a hydration pack.  It does not seal up tight against the elements (button up front) and it does not fit snug to the body.  So what is it good for?  How about riding to an MTB based chili feast, hanging with your friends at the top of the hill while you sample the homemade cornbread, then heading out on tasty single track, all while looking casual!  Yep.  I did just that while wearing the Shacket.

How about bopping around town, running errands, grabbing a bite out, and then when the sun drops, the temps fall, and the wind picks up, you can button it up and ride home in comfort?    Or maybe you just hate the style of a roadie-type cycling look, functional or not?   The Shacket says no to form fitting lycra.  Sure, the Shacket could be used as a full on go-for-a-ride garment as long as the temps are in the 50s and below as it does not vent terribly well.  But the wind is very well dealt with, and although it is not wind ‘proof’, it does buffer it and with a thin base tank and a 3/4 sleeve jersey underneath, I rode out comfy with temps in the mid 50s to high 40s and breezy conditions.  The inner sleeve that keeps wind from blowing up the Shackets’ sleeves is clever and adds warmth to the garment.  Yes, wind can get past the button front, but it did much better than I expected.

Straight against the skin it felt a bit clammy if you were perspiring but I pretty much always wore a long sleeve layer under it.  The Zoic Coalition Shacket will fit right in there with baggies, pads, and full face helmets too.  I would grab it for a quick trail ride as well as a Fall/Winter bike path trip into town for tacos.  Not bad at all to have that hanging in the closet.  $85.00

Great if:

  • You do not expect it to replace your form fitting, convertible Gore soft-shell riding jacket
  • You would not be caught dead in a form fitting, convertible riding jacket of any brand cu’z roadies wear those.

The Reign Quattro knicker had me pretty stoked to get on the trail.  I had already tested the Reign knicker that was not in the Quattro DMR (treated fabric) and found it to extend the temp rating of lycra shorts and leg warmers, but I knew it could be better.  So I still LOVE the regular Reign knickers for casual shopping-touring-eating-whatever rides around town (I even wore them around Interbike for three days) but the Quattro version is a much more versatile trail garment.  The Quattro knicker is more wind resistant and sheds water, but is not waterproof.  A light shower or splash will be fended off but the coating is only so-so for keeping you dry.  What I wanted them for was to layer over wool riding shorts and knee or leg warmers to extend the temp range into the typical fall through spring So Cal conditions.  And they do that.  I actually wore them on a vacation/road ride in San Diego into temps as warm as the 70s with just a liner under them and they were OK, but they were a bit hot as you might expect since they do not really breath well.  It has not gotten really cold here yet and will not for a good month or so, but I can tell that they will give me a good bit of comfort as a top layer.

I do not notice much pedaling restriction, even with layers under them…pretty stretchy…and they did not get in the way.  $109.99

Great if:

  • The look and unique feature set of this garment makes you happy…you know who you are.
  • You think ‘handlebar’ goes with ‘mustache’ because knickers and the look that results are not for everyone.

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Note: Zoic sent over their products at no charge to Twenty Nine Inches for test and review. We are not being paid, nor bribed for these reviews and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.