March in Wisconsin is not for the meek. Is seems as though thirty-eight degrees and snaining with fifteen mile an hour winds (gusting to forty) is on the menu most of the time. Spring usually teases us with a few sunny days where the mercury may get above sixty but it snows just about every April in the big Whiskey and sometimes into May. This past March featured a particularly potent run of prescription-strength weather. I try to get out on the bike every day and that means that every once and a while, I get to ride in every sort of precipitation that Mother Nature has to offer. I really love riding in sketchy weather. All of the animals come out when it’s rainy.
This Spring I started testing a Lupra Jacket from the new Gorewear Trail Collection. There is no better time of year to test a new rain jacket than Spring.
When I first saw a photo of the Lupra, I was captivated by the sculpted over the helmet hood. I’d recently written a piece about how to winterize a normal bicycle helmet. So when I saw the sleek sillouette of the Lupra’s hood, my curiosity peeked. Soon after that, the folks at Gorewear announced their new Trail Collection and a size large Lupra Jacket found its way to the Fat-Bike.com test bunker. I’ve been exposing it to what I refer to as, gnome-spring. Gnome Spring is sort of the opposite of Indian Summer. This year, my rides have been blessed with every form of precipitation that falls between rain and snow and I’ve been wearing the Lupra through it all.
Right in the middle of field testing the Lupra, I went to Sea Otter, where I atteded a Gorewear Trail Collection Launch Party | Media Breakfast. There was a bunch of cycling press there. I had been wearing the jacket for a month in the cold wet conditions in Wisconsin, yet I was standing in a crowded tent in balmy temps out in California with Zapata Espinnosa, among others. All of this at the closest thing that I’ll ever get to a fashion show. It sort of blew my mind for a second, but I learned a lot about Gorewear’s design philosophy and how the new Lupra was constructed. During their presentation, they turned the jacket inside-out to reveal the Goretex Infinium panels.
The Lupra utilizes body mapping GTX Infinium woven technology along with stretchy breathable panels for enhanced moisture management and freedom of movement. Gorewear wanted to create a shell for trail riders that could be worn in all weather conditions while climbing or descending and that is very packable when not in use.
If you’ve read any of my recent apparel articles, you know that I’m a fan of Goretex Infinium. I think it’s the most breathable windproof water resitant membrane available. It keeps me more comfortable than other waterproof breathable fabrics that I’ve worn. I had gotten away from running any kind of windshell before I tried Infinium because I was prone to overheating. Infinium put the shell back into my kit and it is there to stay!
The lupra has a slightly looser fit. I can fit a base layer and thick mid layer under it comfortably. It features two zippered pockets that are positioned to work with the waist-belt of a hydration pack or fanny-pack. The hood is what caught my attention and it is as functional as it is beautiful, There are three shock-cord adjusters that articulate the hood to fit with or without a helmet. When the hood is not being used it lays flat at your shoulders and doesnt flap around.
I’ve worn the Lupra in the steady rain and all sorts of mixed frozen precipitation and stayed comfortable. Well, as comfortable as one reaimes while their shoes are sopping-wet. I haven’t worn the Lupra as a winter shell. During most of the field testing of the Lupra the air temp has been above freezing and it’s performed admirably. While it’s not fully waterproof, it has handled external moisture so well that it has fooled me into thinking that it is. Gorewear knocked it out of the park with the Lupra Jacket. It gets high scores for both function and fashion!
For more information about the Gorewear Lupra Jacket visit – https://www.gorewear.com/us/en-us/lupra-jacket-mens