Found: Novara’s handsome Dutchtown urban jacket

Novara Dutchtown jacket combined While they don’t get a lot of attention in the cycling world, REI’s house cycling brand Novara has lately been churning out a number of nicely considered and reasonably priced pieces of clothing and gear.  Case in point:  the $120 Dutchtown jacket.

Built to work both on the bike and in more casual settings, the DWR-coated Dutchtown offers “great protection for riding in some wind and rain” (bonus points for truth in advertising).  Discrete reflective logos and roll-down reflective cuffs add a bit of visibility without going full Fred.  With the cuffs tucked away, the jacket is more than passable while walking around town.  More details and images over the curb…

Novara Dutchtown offFrom REI:

The Novara Dutchtown bike jacket gives you great protection for riding in some wind and rain. Off your bike, it’s a solid everyday option when you want a good-looking jacket.

  • Polyester fabric with a Durable Water Repellent? finish resists water and wind to keep you warm and dry
  • Media port lets you conveniently listen to your tunes while you’re walking around town
  • Roll-down cuffs with reflective trim keeps you visible in low light
  • The Novara Dutchtown bike jacket has 2 front pockets and 1 inside zippered pocket; back zippered pockets securely store your essentials
  • Double vent at back hem for ease of movement while riding
  • Active fit

www.rei.com

Comments

ed - 05/05/13 - 8:05am

Novara’s commuter gear is always very well thought out and is pretty high up on my list of “best bike ‘company’ for commuters” never very Fred, and not “Haute Velo” either. Just nice, Seattle-inspired cycling gear. Fills a much-overlooked niche in the cycling world that other manufacturers tend to serve as an afterthought behind high-end roadies and hardcore mountain bikers.

Doug - 05/05/13 - 11:47am

Novara brand products from REI are great for year round commuters like me. I ride all year in Northern Minnesota and use several Novara products. I was at a REI last weekend and tried on the Dutchtown jacket. It fit great and felt nice, but alas it also was a bit heavy and too warm. I prefer multiple thin layers. However, it was so nice I’m considering getting one for everyday wear off the bike. I did buy the Novara Westbrae Knickers and wore them the next day in a century ride. My new most comfortable knickers by far.

The Novara item I can’t live without is their Headwind pants. They only stock them in the fall and winter. A slightly loose fitting winter tight with a laminated windblock layer on the front. I buy two new pairs every Fall and they last about 4 winters. So I’m stocking up on them. the loose fit allows for layering. Alone they go down freezing. With a pair of leg warmers underneath they go down to the mid-teens. And with a winter tight I’ve taken them down to -30F with a -60 windchill. My legs have never been cold since discovering them. It makes my insane winter commute possible.

jeremy - 05/05/13 - 1:28pm

I like the look of a lot of REI’s stuff but having the smallest size be a medium makes it non helpful to a slimmer, shorter cyclist. Wish they offered any of it as a small

Marc Basiliere - 05/05/13 - 2:36pm

Jeremy,

There actually is a small size- it may just not be in stock on their website. If you check your local store (in person or via their website) other sizes may be in stock. I recently tried the small on- and it fit my small frame well.

marc

Fred Fredericks - 05/05/13 - 9:10pm

What’s wrong with going full Fred ?!?!?!?!?!?!

Dave - 05/06/13 - 3:43am

Novara products are nice, I have the commuter bag and eVent rain jacket. I got the bright orange jacket a few years back because riding in black in the rain when drivers can barely see through their windshields is downright stupid/suicidal. If more people were willing to be seen, rather than looking cool all the damn time, then there definitely wouldn’t be so many cyclists killed by drivers who “DIDN’T SEE THEM”!!! Oh yeah and if anyone reading this rides at dusk/night without BRIGHT lights, you’re just as stupid. Same goes for all the sidewalk riders and wrong way salmon riders out there. BE SEEN, BE SAFE!

Rob - 05/06/13 - 10:48am

The above comments were in no way written by people who work for novara….

Matthew - 05/06/13 - 6:53pm

@Rob: I’m not a Novara/REI employee, and I’ll echo the above comments. You can find better kit than Novara, and you can find cheaper kit than Novara. But the Novara kit hits a real nice sweet spot between price and quality, and the REI no-questions-asked return policy makes it worth a try. I love the stuff coming out of their “Mainline” design stream right now. Reminds me of Chrome or Swrve in quality (also great commuter clothing choices), but about $10-20 cheaper per piece.

I tried the Dutchtown jacket on, and it felt more like a damp winter piece than a wet spring piece (the lining is a bit warm for a May shower). Would definitely buy it if it were October or November. It reminds me of the Portland jacket by Showers Pass (also a great piece).

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