staying dry, better than I thought
This jacket replaced the Showers Pass model that was great for a few months then all the seams failed...I was a bit skeptical about the Stratos at first, it fit a little different--shorter sleeves, less length in the back. But after two winter months in Seattle--I like it better than the Showers Pass.
The one feature I wish was better is the ventilation. there is no vent across the back for air flow. The pit zip are at an interesting angle, I think I like them better, but it is tough to tell how they facilitate venting, without the back vent. I don't want a lot of pockets, but the chest pocket is a must for my commuter pass--its secure and deep--and I am growing to like the storm flap that covers it.
I have been in a couple of good down pours on my morning commutes and I have been relative dry. I have to be very careful about layering though, or i am likely to sweat to much.
I LOVE the visibility of this jacket--REI wants you to be seen and since I commute 9 months in the dark, this is worth it for that alone.
I would--and do here--recommend this to others.
Best bike jacket for the money
I had the original one, and I thought that one was well constructed, but could have used some improvements, as I noted in my review of it years ago. Well it seems as if the designers read my review, when they came out with this one. I personally have owned many bicycling jackets. Many of them are over priced pieces of junk, that wear out fast, or are not fitted for thicker guys like me. Many of them are just not thought out well. I mean, you can find a XXL size jacket, that has the neck part cut for a size S, so a person that takes that size jacket would never be able to zip all the way up. The older model had very little reflective material, which did not help you in low to no light situations. Well, this jacket not only fits right, and is very well constructed, but it screams safety, with the bright color choices and bold reflective material generously placed all over the jacket. I ride in all weather, rain, shine, snow, etc, so it's important to have excellent gear. This piece deserves to be recognized as one of the best you can get for the money.
What a relief! I have finally found a replacement for my disappointing "anything-but-waterproof expensive commuter jacket" I had bought last year at another store.
Although the rain gods have taken some time off since this jacket arrived I am very impressed with it the build and I'm sure I'll be kept good and dry.
This is a beautifully constructed riding jacket at a great price.
I have been riding in some subfreezing temps and windy weather over the past couple of weeks and the well-crafted, concealed front zip has kept me warm. Absolutely no draughts.
It looks built to last. The "medium" fits my 5' 10" frame like a glove and wife says it looks "great"...bonus!
Works Well Enough
The jacket does everything I need it to do. It is warm and waterproof. I commute 25 miles roundtrip and it is comfortable on a wet day in the 30s with just a short-sleeve jersey and arm warmers underneath.
The sleeves come down just to my wrist when I'm on the bike, but the chest of the jacket runs a little small. I am 5'7", 160 lb. and the Small size would be a much better fit with about an inch more around.
Definitely keeping it, if you've got a smaller frame than mine it will be perfect.
I bought this to replace a similar jacket that had worn out after many years/miles. This is an appropriate sucessor. I bought the large for my 6 foot 185 lb frame. The fit is trim with good length in the arms. (35" sleeve) I was able to wear a good insulating layer underneath.
Really like the chest pocket for easy access to cell phone and wallet.
I ride a recumbent so I don't use back pockets if possible.
The only improvement would be if the chest pocket was waterproof so that objects are protected from sweat.
Wanted pit zips, ok without
I overheat easily so I purchased an XL instead of a L to allow more air flow since the jacket didn't have pit zips. This is working great and breaths very, very well. Can sinch jacket down as needed. I overheat very easily and this thing is like wearing nothin during hard exersions and is totally water proof thus far. We'll see in one year. Was hard to go away from Gortex but thus far it's actually better believe it or not. Breaths and repels water better. Time will be the real test. Thus far I'm in love.
stratos 2.0 jacket...just awesome!
this is the most practical and durable jacket i've ever owned. it's bright and highly visible from a distance, it's waterproof and suitably warm enough for cold weather (i wear a REI polartec hoodie underneath it on very cold days). i just have to say, i love this jacket! other people must also because i'm always getting compliments from strangers on the street on it. the only drawback i see (and not nearly a deal breaker), i wish it had a lower side-pocket where i could store a wallet or my headlight. etc.)
Luxury Jacket, but zipper sticks
The jacket fits very well and I really like the color. Pit zips avoid feeling swampy, but still have to unzip jacket to avoid feeling sweaty inside. Zipper pockets are great and have a good feel. It has butt flap for wet weather. It's wind resistant to 60MPH and riding at 30MPH I don't feel any draft inside. The inside has good sealing for water/wind.
Main zipper sticks at the bottom when putting on, but might be a specific jacket issue and I'll return if it fails.
Great jacket for tough weather.
I'm on one bike or another every day of the week. Although it hasn't rained much in the past four months, what there has been has been easy to ignore. The jacket fits great, and there's just enough room for a couple of layers to keep out the cold. (Down to about fifteen so far.) Paired with the matching pants, a good pair of gloves, and covers for the shoes, I've already done one ride of 50+ miles in below freezing weather. Bring on the snow.
Overall this is a great jacket. It fits very comfortably and is very visible. It has a small chest pocket which I put my iPhone in which is convenient. Could have more pockets but the lack of pockets isn't really a big deal (for me at least). The main drawback is that it can get really hot inside the jacket--this is a drawback for bicycle rain jackets in general though; not just this specific one.