Poc Fondo Splash Jacket – review - Road Cycling UK

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Poc Fondo Splash Jacket – review

Quality waterproofing and above average breathability make for a good rain jacket from Poc

Poc have amassed a huge following since their move into the road bike market thanks to a combination of superb styling and pro-level kit. Their new Fondo range comes in at a lower price than the standard road garb, but aims to still offer a similar level of functionality. 

Style-wise, you can’t knock the jacket at all. The dark blue colour combined with white Poc logos is attractive and understated, and unlike their AVIP road range will probably appeal to most riders rather than dividing opinion.

On first glance, the Fondo Rain Jacket looks pretty simple, with the navy blue colour scheme attractive yet understated enough to please almost anyone. It’s very difficult to go wrong with navy. The confusing thing is that it looks almost exactly the same as Poc’s Raceday rain jacket which is also navy, although they call it navy black rather than navy blue. That’s cleared that up, then.

The top zip garage is the worst feature of the jacket. It took me about 10 attempts to make it fit like this for the photo and it’s almost impossible to do with one hand

The fit is pretty good and the jacket’s cut close enough to make it a proper race-ready piece of kit, but loose enough that you should be able to fit it on even if you’ve layered up underneath. At the back the collar is cut high and the hem sweeps low, although the drop tail could be a little more pronounced as out riding in the rain it failed to cover my bib tights when I was bent over flat-armed on the hoods, let alone in the drops.

  • Specification

  • Price: £135
  • Size tested: L
  • Sizes available: S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Website: Poc
  • UK distributor: 2Pure

Having said that, the drawstrings at the hem are a nice touch and make sure that, even though it’s not long enough to protect your rear at least this means you can keep dry by pulling them tight and shutting out the elements.

There’s a small zipped pocket on the rear, and the key word there is small. It’s also wide rather than deep – think smartphone in landscape rather than portrait – so it’s use is pretty limited. You can definitely store a few gels in there if you don’t want the bother of trying to access jersey pockets under the jacket, but given that I didn’t have any trouble doing that the pocket went largely unused.

Drawstrings at the waist allow you to slim down the bottom hem to make sure no road splash creeps up inside

The one really bad point about this jacket it the top zipper garage. It’s honestly dreadful. Every time I zipped the jacket up to the top it got caught, and there was no way to get it done mid-ride without either riding no-handed or stopping. It just sits too close as the material is quite stiff, so can’t relax enough to let the zip past easily. When the zip’s done up, it works very well and is remarkably comfortable, it’s just getting it to that point can be a bit of a trial.

One way it is very good is waterproofing. Even in heavy rain it does a great job and combines that with an above average degree of breathability placing it firmly in the upper echelon of the rain jacket market. If only it were a little longer to help keep you rear end dry then it’d be a great piece of kit.

I usually try not to talk about price because expense is relative (one man’s expensive is another’s reasonable), but Poc presenting the Fondo range as affordable seems a little bit cheeky. Sure, it’s affordable when compared with the other, more expensive, clothing in the range, but a £135 rain jacket is only going to look that way when compared with their £245 equivalent in the Raceday collection.

Waterproofing on the Fondo Splash jacket is excellent, and coupled with above average breathability, makes it a really good option even in heavy rain

Conclusion 

While you can’t deny that Poc’s Fondo Splash jacket is a stylish bit of kit, it’s pleasantly surprising that has performance to match those upper market looks. While Poc haven’t exactly jumped into the budget market with their ‘more affordable’ range, knocking over £100 off the price of the Raceday jacket is a good start, and it certainly provides a more accessible way into Poc clothing, if not exactly a utilitarian one.

Pros

– Quality waterproofing combined with above average breathability
– Great looks
– Cheaper (emphasis on the ‘er’)

Cons

– Collar end zipper garage continually catches
– Could do with the dropped back being a little more pronounced

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