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Huez* Starman Storm Jacket – review

Huez* is a new brand from London that seeks to produce premium performance road wear designed to meet the needs of the 'modern cyclist', covering both commuting and training rides. The company's debut collection includes everything from suit jackets, to chinos and this understated rain jacket called the Starman Storm, which provides comprehensive protection from the elements, though it struggles in the breathability stakes when riding hard.

The jacket is made from two fabrics: a Japanese three-layer nylon and Swiss-made Schoeller C_Change four-way stretch. The Schoeller fabric is popular for high-end jackets, with the Starman priced at £235, and the C_Change membrane is said to react to changes in temperature, opening up to let out heat and moisture, while narrowing in the cold to help retain heat while remaining breathable. The jacket also has covered ventilation holes on the upper and lower back which can be opened to allow cool air in.

Combined with a winter jersey and merino base layer, I found the jacket to be perfect for cold winter rides. It’s 100 per cent waterproof with the seams and zip fully-taped and so it’s an ideal companion when you want to really keep the elements out. However, on warmer days the Starman is prone to moisture build-up. A little more ventilation under the arms might help, though with fully waterproof jackets there’s often a balance to be struck between keeping rain out completely, while ensuring there’s enough breathability in the fabric to let moisture escape when riding hard.

Inside the rear of the jacket there’s a mesh pocket for the jacket to fold into or to stow valuables. In practice, it’s easier to store most ride essentials in your jersey pockets and reach in through the ventilation holes to access anything you need, rather than fumbling with the zipped mesh pocket while riding, but it can be useful for valuables that you’ll only need at the cafe stop.

When packed down into the pocket, I found the jacket a bit on the large side to fit snugly into a jersey pocket. That’s not a problem when it’s consistently freezing cold and/or raining, when the jacket will stay on and the Starman is at its best, but something that can be a nuisance if you’re looking for an emergency rain jacket to carry in a jersey pocket without too much bulk

Huez* is among a growing number of brands that seeks to design clothing that works both on and off the bike, and so the fit is slightly more generous than an out-and-out race-cut jacket. I normally wear a medium in most cycling clothing, but went down to a small in the Starman. That’s the smallest size Huez* do so some riders may struggle to find a close fit. The rear tail of the jacket is much longer than most cycling jackets and provides comprehensive coverage in all riding positions, while the arms are generous in length and are finished with Velcro cuffs to provide a secure fit around the wrist and when wearing gloves. That, combined with an elasticated and silicone-lined hem at the base of the jacket, keeps everything firmly in place and the elements out.

The Starman is undoubtedly a stylish jacket. The black and dark blue colourway got plenty of positive feedback from other riders, but, on the flip side, it’s not going to be the brightest jacket on the road. However, on closer inspection, there’s an understated reflective Huez* star logo on the left sleeve, two reflective tabs at the rear to help provide easy access to jersey pockets through the ventilation holes, and the jacket is criss-crossed with reflective ‘Darklight’ tape, which is invisible by day but reflective under the glare of headlights. It’s a suitable middle-ground for riders who, like me, commute to work and sometimes ride when it’s dark, and who want the reassurance of a jacket with reflective detail, but who don’t want to look like they are riding to a building site.

Conclusion

The Huez* Starman Storm is an aptly-named jacket – it does a very good job at keeping wind and rain at bay in truly foul conditions. That comes at a price, both in terms of the £235 mark up, and a trade-off in breathability when the jacket is worked really hard. It’s undoubtedly a stylish jacket – but it’ll cost you.

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