Here’s the headline: Sugoi say the RSE Neoshell is “the world’s most breathable waterproof cycling jacket”. That’s a bold claim and one we’re looking forward to putting to the test.
A jacket which is fully waterproof and breathable is something of the holy grail for clothing manufacturers, and Sugoi claim the RSE Neoshell will keep you dry both on the inside and outside.
The jacket gets its name from the Polartec Neoshell fabric from which it’s made; a material designed to rival Gore-Tex.
The Neoshell membrane is said to be two times more breathable than a conventional membrane, allowing moisture (i.e. sweat) to pass out of the jacket while remaining 100 per cent waterproof and, they say, 99.9 per cent windproof.
Other features to keep the elements out include fully-taped seams and the cuffs have a velcro closure to provide a secure fit over gloves. There are no pits zips, often found on jackets to provide additional ventilation, which gives an indication of Sugoi’s confidence in the Neoshell’s breathability. There are, however, three pockets: two at the rear and one of the chest.
The RSE Neoshell is a hardshell jacket, so one you’re likely to keep on for the duration of a ride in prolonged rain, rather than a packable jacket which can slip in and out of a jersey pocket when required. The fabric doesn’t have much stretch in it and is quite stiff, as you’d expect from a fully waterproof hardshell like this, though the inside of the zip and collar have a soft lining.
The RSE Neoshell is described as having a ‘pro fit’ ideal, Sugoi say, for “cyclists with lean athletic builds.” The rear of the jacket is a little longer than the front, while the zip is offset. Our test sample is black but there’s also plenty of reflective detail on the front and back, while the jacket is also available in red.
The RSE Neoshell comes in five sizes, from small to extra-extra-large, and the tech-heavy jacket comes with an equally heavy price tag of £249.99.