This review consists of a double review from two WV Cycling contributors, with their opinions and statements placed distinctly throughout the post.
Product Description from O2 Rainwear:
“O2 Rainwear’s 3Flow™ Performance Series is designed for the serious cyclist who won’t be detoured by the elements, yet is versatile and affordable enough to attract anyone who rides a bike. This higher-end gear is Waterproof, Breathable, and Windproof. Jacket includes pit zips, a back pocket for storage, a drop-tail for road spray protection, a built-in hood around the collar, and is seam sealed. Constructed with 3Flow™ Performance Fabric.
Rain Shield, Inc. is a Minnesota-based company founded in 1997. Rain Shield’s objective is creating O2 branded rainwear from microporous film. O2 Rainwear™ is making waterproof and breathable rainwear much more affordable than it ever has been in the past. Rain Shield is continually pursuing new uses of the innovative Microporous Film.
O2 Rainwear Microporous Film is a very inexpensive, yet high-performance laminate that has the best combination of water holdout and breathability of any fabric on the market today. Our Microporous Film is thin and lightweight, making O2 Rainwear™ easy to pack and for people to bring with the them. But the greatest aspect of Rain Shield, Inc.’s O2 Rainwear™ is its affordability – allowing people to experience this outstanding comfort and protection at the same price as non-breathable, rubber, plastic, and PVC-coated garments. No Wet, No Sweat! We have a continuously expanding line of the O2 branded rain jackets, rain suits, and bibs. We can also decorate our garments with waterproof embroidery and special packaging for ASI and promotional applications. Please check out our Product Catalog to see what the best product is for such activities.
The use of polypropylene was a key factor because it is very inexpensive compared to materials used for brand-named waterproof and breathable membranes, such as Teflon and polyurethane.
By 1987, the process for making the polypropylene membrane was perfected as it achieved the same levels of water hold-out and breathability found in more expensive garments.”
The rain jacket held up to my expectations. I previously wore a rain jacket that seemed to allow water to seep into the jacket and into the back of my shorts. When I wore this jacket during our rainy ride, I was very satisfied. My backside was kept dry and the jacket seemed to have good moisture-wicking properties. It didn’t seem to ‘stick’ to my skin, when I began to get warmer on the inclines. I felt comfortable in this jacket because the fit was not restraining in any sense on or off the bike. Really, it was like a second layer of skin that kept me dry!
What most impressed me about this jacket other than it being manufactured in America (Minneapolis, Minnesota?), was that every stitch, seam, and hem is sealed with a thin plastic layer that has been either chemically or sonically bonded with the rest of the interior of the jacket. This prevents all of the stitches to allow water intrusion. The jacket comes clean very easily, and has not needed a true laundry washing after seventeen rain-rides. The zip-up vents in the armpits are a bit small, but suffice when needed. My only complaint is how binding the neck portion of the collar is when completely zipped while the hood is concealed. This was not comfortable, and I was tempted to cut out the hood. I also really appreciated the mesh kangaroo pocket in the back. Even with a zipper, things stayed dry from the outside, while did not absorb ample amounts of sweat either. The jacket can also be rolled up moderately tight, and stuck into its own pocket, or rubber banded small enough to fit into one of your rear jersey pockets. Very convenient.
O2 Rainwear has created a quality product in America that is competitively priced, while performing better than other jackets in the same price range. The fit is accurate for its size, and works well on a man or woman. Rain has nowhere to enter on this jacket, while sweat does seem to escape better than other products in the same price range, or higher.
Even without my bias for American made products, I give this product 4.5 out of 5 stars.