Given the weather forecast for the upcoming week, it is an opportune time to talk about rain gear again.
As I’ve written before, my preferred setup is now a raincape, along with a rain jacket if the weather is cold. I’ve been very happy with my fancy Cleverhood raincape. It does a pretty good job of keeping the lower half of my body and legs dry without the steambath effect that rain pants can have. However, since the particular model I have is made from a heavy and bulky fabric, I started thinking about a lighter alternative that was a bit better made than my original Chinese model. After a little internet searching, I was directed to the Bike Doctor in Vancouver, and last Xmas break I went over to check what they had. (A great family and commuting oriented shop BTW).
It turns out that they had two models of capes from Impac, a yellow one, and a thinner tartan model.
Although I’m a big believer in being visible, I opted for the tartan (with reflective trim) since it packed much smaller.
Here it is rolled up small. For a size reference, the platform of the scale is 6″ square.
For a size reference, the platform of the scale is 6″ square.
Turning it inside out, you can see that there are elastic handstraps at the corners of the front side, and ties on the back to tie around your waist. You can also see that the front is cut wider than the back.
It’s also interesting to compare it with the Cleverhood, which you can see is much wider, but with velcro tabs to reduce any billowing.
Here is what it looks like on the bike.
You can see that there is quite a bit less side coverage than with the Cleverhood.
Nevertheless, during the past month, whenever it has been mixed rain and snow, it has kept my legs dry. What I’d say is that if it is pouring rain to begin with, I’d go with the Cleverhood, but if there is a possibility of rain later in the day, it’s great to be able to stash the Impac cape in my bag just in case. The front of the Impac cape is not quite wide enough to keep my arms totally dry, but that’s part of the compromise for getting something very small and light.
As it turns out, I also have a third cape inbound from a Kickstarter campaign (the Boncho), and it is due at the end of April. What I really hope is that by investing in three capes, it won’t rain at all for the rest of the year. (here is my review of the Boncho)
Update: I’ve added a comment from Paul, who is the designer of the Impac rain capes:
Hi and thanks for the review and info. I designed the Impac rain cape and recommend the regular one which is a bit longer at the front which keeps the tops of your pants dry. It works best with taller booties. The Cape Scot is super light and small and fine for smaller people and bikes with a lower bar height. With these rain capes there is no need to have the side closed and the benefit is less fabric and better ventilation. When riding the rain comes from in front and does not get around your covered arms. These are very economical and fast to deploy over your street clothing. The Impac capes have a lot of reflector and the window for front light is also a great feature. Finally the hood is designed to go under the helmet which keeps your head dry and allows better peripheral vision. http://www.thebikedr.com/product/impac-rain-cape-2600.htm