Velocio’s lightweight Trail Anorak utilizes Pertex Shield Air to brush off wild weather with ease whilst still being breathable, lightweight, and well fitting. There is no doubt Velocio has achieved this and despite my dislike of the anorak format, I think it's one of the best MTB jackets around. However, while your body might stay dry, the Trail Anorak is eye-wateringly expensive with an outlay that will be unjustifiable for most.
Velocio has specced Pertex Shield Air which has an outer and inner fabric that sandwiches a nanofibre membrane. The material has a soft, rustle-free finish and all the seams are taped to stop any leaks or drafts. Slightly stiffened sections have been positioned along the front hem of the jacket and the peak of the hood to help it sit flatter.
Being an anorak there’s a half zip down the front with another half zip that starts at the bottom left and extends almost to the armpit. There are three pockets for storage, a front pouch with zipped access on each side and ventilation holes, there's a right-hand rear pocket and an internal chest pocket with a media port. All the external zips use YKK Aquaguard zippers to keep the water out when you're zipped up. Rather than rely on Velcro, the wrist cuffs use an elasticated panel which gives the sleeves a very simple low-profile closure although they do take a bit longer to dry.
Although the Trail Anorak needs to have wiggle room to get it on and off over your head, once zipped in the fit is surprisingly good. It's baggy enough to wear over multiple layers and not feel any binding when pulling shapes on the trails yet close enough that it's not going to be overly flappy on grizzly gravel rides either. There's a drawstring at the rear to nip the hem close to avoid up the back spray, on the hood there are two drawcords controlling the opening and another on the rear to reduce its volume. The cut, subtle details, and minimal drop tail doesn’t shout cyclist either, so unless you’re covered in mud no one will notice.
Velocio offers the Trail Anorak in either Fire Red or Navy and there is a wide range of sizes from XS to 4XL. There is a women's version as well which has the same color options and XXS to 3XL sizes.
Velocio’s Trail Anorak has been very impressive so far, fending off some truly unpleasant conditions. Healthy dosings of mud means the DWR treatment doesn’t bead water as well as it did when it was new, although the same can be said for all DWR treatments now they are going more eco. Whether the water beads or not, the Trail Anorak is still doing a very good job of keeping the rain on the outside. I didn’t notice any leaking through the neatly taped seams or zips and despite sustaining a few crashes, the Pertex Shield Air is still in good condition.
As I have previously mentioned, I find the fit to be particularly usable on both the mountain bike and adventurous gravel rides. Although it doesn’t have a handy pocket it folds into, the jacket rolls up reasonably small and it's lightweight means it’s a good option for bikepacking as well.
I'm not a huge fan of the anorak style, much preferring the easy on and off of a full zip. That said, the front and side zip gives the jacket a reasonably wide opening and the tall hip opening not only dumps a good amount of heat without a parachuting effect, it also makes accessing the pockets on your best bib liner shorts or hip pack much easier. The hood is well shaped too, easily swallowing a helmet and staying securely in place with the help of the elasticated drawstrings.
Pocket vents are a bit of a fallacy and although the holes on the inside of the front pouch are quite big, I didn’t feel much cooling benefit if I had the pouch open. On the subject of pockets, the rear right-hand pocket is a nice touch as it sits low enough that it doesn’t clash with other storage options, although I did find it a bit tricky to access as you really have to twist and reach around to access it.
Based solely on performance, the Velocio Trail Anorak is excellent. A refined fit allows plenty of movement whilst still keeping flapping or drips and chilly drafts to a minimum. The waterproofing of the Pertex Shield Air fabric has endured well despite being subjected to very muddy conditions and some impromptu rolling on the ground. It's not outwardly bike-specific so will work well for hiking and other outdoor adventures too. With all that considered I would happily rate the Trail Anorak four stars, though I'm deducting half a star purely because I'm not a fan of anoraks and the added faff of not having a full zip.
At this point, if you are readying your bank card you're going to be in for a shock. Velocio charges a whopping $445 / £362 for the Trail Anorak, which loses it another half a star and makes it one of the most expensive jackets I have tested, demanding considerably more cash than other top-ranked waterproofs like the Albion Zoa rain shell, 7Mesh Skypilot, or Endura MT500 II. With competitor jackets costing at least $100 / £60 less, it's hard to recommend the Trail Anorak unless you're getting a really good discount on it.
The Trail Anorak is available direct from Velocio at Velocio.cc
Tech specs: Velocio Trail Anorak jacket
- Price: $445 / £362
- Weight: 287g (men’s medium)
- Sizes: XS – 4XL men’s and XXS – 3XL women’s fit
- Colors: Fire Red, Navy