Quick Take Review

This week, Northern California turned from Summer to Fall and then eased into Winter. 90 degree days turned to rain and then to snow on the nearby peaks in less than five days. And this morning found me reaching for the ZOIC Downtown Jacket as I prepped for a short morning ride.

For those that don’t know ZOIC, the company has been around since the early 1990s designing apparel that works both on and off the bike. The Downtown provides a great example of ZOIC’s approach to cycling clothing. The company constructs the Downtown from a lightweight stretch polyester and spandex blend. It’s essentially a softshell jacket that moves with you as you ride or recline on a bench with a cup of coffee.

Material: Polyester and Spandex
Weight: 13.25 oz

The ZOIC Downtown Jacket looks great in just about every situation. Understated black, high, stovepipe collar and relaxed fit make it work. But that doesn’t mean the Downtown doesn’t have cycling-specific features. The jacket is cut long in the back. There’s a rear pocket with pull tabs on either side, making both opening and closing the pocket’s zipper very easy. And two exterior handwarmers and two interior accessory pockets essentially complete the package. Nicely done, ZOIC.

On our early morning rides, the ZOIC Downtown provided good wind resistance. On fast descents, expect some penetration but it never really bothered us – even when the temps were in the low 40s. We didn’t test water resistance, but ZOIC treats the Downtown with a durable water-repellent that should last for 30 washings according to the company’s website.

One suggestion that would take this four-star jacket to five – replace the left-hand zipper pull on the Downtown (very Euro) with a standard right-hand pull for us American guys. Other than that, the Downtown is a total winner.

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to ZOIC and Merrill Marketing/Communications for providing product for this review.