Cycling apparel can be split into two different categories: one category of gear will draw wide-eyed stares and will have mothers covering their childrens’ eyes if you wear it anytime you’re off the bike, and the other category will blend into normal, everyday life and serve many purposes. Thankfully, more and more mountain biking gear, such as the Hincapie Soigner Jacket, is falling into the second category.
The Soigner jacket is constructed using Body Thermal Dry fabric and fleece insulation. The jacket features two zippered hand pockets and a zippered chest pocket, but forgoes the classic rear cycling pockets.
Out on the Trail
With such a simple spec list and low-key design, you’d be forgiven for not realizing that this is a cycling jacket. And honestly, that’s a good thing: not only will this jacket perform on the bike, but it will look… well, normal when running errands on the cruiser or chilling at the bar.
But as might be painfully obvious from previous articles, I’m not a food blogger. I’m a mountain bike journalist. So, how did this jacket perform on the bike?
I’ve used the Soigner both with and without a long sleeve base layer, and with this long sleeve base layer I was comfortable when pedaling down into the mid-20s.
However, at temps in the 20s, once I reached the top of my climb and turned around to come down, the Soigner was quite chilly. While the fleece lined interior is comfortable and snuggly-warm, the jacket doesn’t have any wind-blocking technology incorporated into the fabric. So while I felt great when climbing or rolling along mellow trails, descending a mountain pass on the fat bike was cold. For those types of rides, I’d simply ride up in the Soigner, and then toss my rain jacket on before the descent. Adding a wind blocking outer layer was all I needed to stay warm.
Let’s be honest, though: temps in the mid-20s are pretty mild for winter riding. As a result, I’d recommend this jacket as more of a spring/fall jacket for most of the country, or a winter jacket for places like the Southeast, California, etc. I found it to perform best on its own in the 30s and 40s, considering the lack of wind blocking technology.
While I’m not likely to continue using the Soigner in the winter, this is the perfect jacket for fall/spring riding here in Colorado. Also, it’s great for pedaling around town, running errands, and not getting sideways, scandalized looks in the grocery store due to revealing cycling clothing. And when you consider the price (less than some short sleeved jerseys), it’s hard to say no.
Thanks to Hincapie for providing the Soigner Jacket for review.