The Hincapie Elemental Shell Jacket is lightweight, packable, and equipped to keep out the wind and light rain. Like most of its kind, however, it lacks breathability and is best stowed in the jersey pocket when the shower has passed. The cut is generous too.
We wore the Elemental Shell jacket in temperatures over five degrees and quickly decided upon doing so only when rain was falling. Worn over a long-sleeved jersey, overheating rapidly ensued.
Like many of the Hincapie garments we’ve tested recently, the Elemental Shell jacket is feature laden. The most important of its several assets are the taped seams, which gave credence to claims for water resistance and which performed as advertised on the rain-hit rides of our test period.
Other useful facets included the full-length storm flap that covered the zip and the very deep collar, which prevented the always unpleasant sensation of water ingress at the neck. A firmly elasticated waistband prevented the jacket from riding up and even the slender cuffs performed their limited task adequately. The tail pocket was a nice idea and a feature absent from many jackets of this type, but given the lightness of the material, its perhaps best used only for lightweight items like a tube and tyre levers. We bypassed it entirely, opting to use jersey pockets in the knowledge that it would be a garment worn for the entirety of the ride.
The cut was disappointingly large in the body, and the sleeve width was generous too, although the length was sufficient to cover our gloved wrists with ease and to remain in place. If you’re not so determinedly in pursuit of the ‘pro’ cut, however, you might appreciate tailoring that fits easily over all manner of bulky garments beneath.
White creates a striking finish, and the jacket has washed well, returning to its pristine shade after each wash so far in our limited acquaintance. Experience, however, has taught us the value of darker shades for prolonged use on British roads and the black alternative might be more practical.
The Hincapie Elemental Shell jacket is another high-quality item from a brand with a knack for making understated, functional clothing. Taped seams, a two-way zip protected by a storm flap, and a very deep collar all provided excellent protection from conditions that while not arduous would have been uncomfortable in its absence.
The cut we felt was a little too generous – notably so in a garment with fabric light enough to fill with wind and billow given half a chance. Additionally, the inevitable downside of all jackets that seal out the elements – a tendency to overheat – was present here too, making it one to pull on and take off as the weather dictates rather than to wear throughout the ride.
Size: S to XXL
Colour: black or white
Website: Hincapie Sports