100% Hydromatic jacket review – pared-back storm shroud

Not only does it use an aerodynamic cut, the 100% Hydromatic jacket slips through bad weather like a sprinter through the pack

Torso of man wearing black cycling jacket in front of hedge
(Image: © Paul Burwell)

Bike Perfect Verdict

The 100% Hydromatic jacket is a bit of chalk and cheese in that it has a slender fit but a bulbous hood. The excellent DWR coating causes water to pool easily on the surface but wind will be whistling up those short sleeves. The lack of forward vents and the double layer created by the two wide pockets also means temperature management will be a challenge, especially when there are no toggles on the zips.


  • +

    Excellent DWR surface treatment

  • +

    Vast side pockets

  • +

    Huge over-helmet hood

  • +

    Practical color choice


  • -

    Mediocre breathability and waterproofness

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    No zip toggles

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    Short in the sleeves

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The 100% Hydromatic jacket has a slim aerodynamic cut for riding fast but with an integrated over-helmet hood that can be deployed when the weather takes a turn of the worst. How does it compare to the best MTB jackets?

Zoom in on man's hand pulling hood adjuster on cycling jacket

The generous hood has adjustable bungee cords so you can pull it tight (Image credit: Paul Burwell)

Design and specifications

The 100% Hydromatic jacket is manufactured from a 2.5-layer waterproof and breathable fabric. It sounds a bit odd having a half layer but it’s common in the industry and easy to understand. Essentially the jacket has a polyester/nylon outer layer with a waterproof and breathable membrane bonded to the inside. That half layer is a sort of printed inner skin that helps protect the membrane. In some jackets, this also has a texture to help wick moisture. However, the big benefit of a 2.5-layer jacket over the standard 3-layer design is that it's weight-saving and less bulky, making it more packable. 

There are no details on the membrane used in the Hydromatic, other than it has figures of 10K/10K for waterproofness and breathability. These aren't particularly high, but the jacket does have a very good DWR (durable water repellent) coating, which is the first line of defense in any good waterproof. This PTFE coating is hydrophobic causing water to pool on the nylon face fabric where it can then run off as you’re riding along. The problem with DWR is it’s not a permanent treatment and it can wear and wash off, which means you will need to renew this periodically. 

Man's gloved hand holding zip of black cycling jacket

The jacket has a very effective DWR coating (Image credit: Paul Burwell)

To keep out the wet this jacket has fully taped seams and an integrated hood. Velcro tags are featured on the sleeves, and it has full waterproof zips and is backed up by a wide internal storm flap. To stop the end of the zip digging into your chin there’s a zip garage/gutter at the top. The two vast side pockets also get waterproof zips and inside the right one is a large, tethered goggle/glasses wipe.

The jacket comes with a massive, over-helmet hood, with two adjustable bungee cords. There’s also a little press stud toggle on the inside, so you can fold the hood down into the collar when not in use. 

Man's gloved hand holding lens wipe attached to cycling jacket

Inside the right side pocket there's a large glasses wipe (Image credit: Paul Burwell)


Although the Hydromatic has a slim cut, the outer fabric is made from a polyester/elastane mix and has a small amount of stretch allowing it to feel snug but not restrictive. However, I’d still recommend trying it on for size because the jacket is a little short in the sleeves and these can also ride up as you lean forward over the bars. 

Ideally, this is a jacket you’d wear with just a thick base layer underneath, rather than something you’d take on and off during the course of the day. That’s because the pockets add an extra layer to the front of the jacket and, apart from a single rear shoulder vent, there’s no way to increase airflow other than judicious use of the front zip. To allow more effective heat management I’d rather have some pit vents or similar.

Rear view of man's head wearing cycling jacket hood in front of hedge

The huge over-helmet hood protects you from the elements (Image credit: Paul Burwell)

As mentioned, the membrane doesn’t have very good breathability and waterproof figures, so it can feel clammy when you’re working hard. The DWR is one of the best I’ve tested though. Water pools really well on the surface and even after a couple of washes and half a dozen wet rides, it’s still going strong.

The vast hood seems a bit at odds with the slim cut. 100% has opted for a 2.5-layer construction to save weight but this bulky hood negates any benefit. My big downer on the construction though is the lack of toggles on the zips. If you’re wearing gloves, even thin ones, these are hard to get hold of. The Velcro straps on the cuffs also started to curl up after a couple of wears and there were several instances where the front zip felt like it was going to derail.

Gloved hand and cuff of cycling jacket with grass behind

The sleeves are a little short and the Velcro cuffs started to curl up after a couple of wears (Image credit: Paul Burwell)


The 100% Hydromatic feels like a bit of a mismatch – it’s slim cut around the body and arms but with a top-heavy hood. The latter will protect you from the elements, but wind will be whistling up those short sleeves. Managing the internal temperature is also slightly tricky because there are no vents on the front of the jacket and the front zip is hard to undo. That said, if you ride an e-bike this can add some welcome warmth.

Tech specs: 100% Hydromatic jacket

  • Price: $189 / £169.99 / €189
  • Sizes: Small, medium, large, extra large
  • Colors: Black, orange
  • Materials: Polyester/elastane, 10K/10K waterproof/breathable 2.5 laminate
  • Weight: 343g (size large tested)
Paul Burwell
Freelance writer

Paul has been testing mountain bikes and products for the best part of 30 years, he’s passed comment on thousands of components and bikes, from the very first 29ers and dropper posts to latest e-MTBs and electronic drivetrains. He first put pen to paper for Mountain Bike International magazine but then contributed to What Mountain Bike, Cycling Today and Cycling Weekly magazines before a  20 year stint at MBR magazine. An ex-elite level XC racer, he’s broken more bones than records but is now sustained on a diet of trail building, skills coaching and e-bike trail shredding.