Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent line is the more technical, actual expedition-worthy side of the clothing retailer.
Recently, the came out with some new products that, while not aimed directly at cyclists, are aimed at active athletes that aren’t necessarily spending their time finding crevasses and finger holds in blustery mountain conditions.
The first piece I tested from the box of goodies was the Sirocco Wind Shell Jacket, an ultralight, super thin packable shell that’s wind proof and water resistant. Fortunately, I got to use it a few times before we went from cold spring to hotter-‘n-hell summer and it worked quite well, even beading and rolling a light misty rain right off without any hint of soak-through.
Being of general active nature, it’s not quite as form fitting as a pure cycling jacket, but to be honest, I could have probably gone with a medium (shown and tested is a Large Tall – I’m 6’2″) and that would have brought in some of the slack, but they don’t offer a Tall size in Medium, and I’m always concerned about arm length being of above average height. It’s not baggy by any means, this picture exaggerates it a bit.
So, how small, light and packable is it? Click through for more pics and details…
Actual weight for a Large Tall is 5.35oz or 153g. The material is light enough to keep you from overheating, and I didn’t seem to sweat too much while wearing it pulling a kid trailer on a school morning that hovered around 70º.
It’s very small and packable, folding into its own pocket.
The hood has an elasticized trim that keeps it snug but not overly tight, and it fits well beneath a helmet.
Sleeve length is more than adequate, too.
- Ultralight Ripstop Nylon
- Two zip hand pockets
- Full zip front with hood
- Side hem construction with elastic panels
- Sheds light rain
- Available in red, royal blue and light gray
- Regular and Tall sizes available
At $49.95 to $54.95, it’s a fairly inexpensive technical piece that’s good for cool mornings or rides that have a large elevation change. The weight is so minimal that you could stuff it in a jersey pocket at the base of a mountain and not notice it until you’re glad you have it at the top. To say the material is light and thin is an understatement, it’s thinner than some of the similar cycling-specific pieces I’ve seen and far cheaper. Plus, if you’re just a casual cyclist, you can rock it without looking like a bike geek.