At PressCamp this week, the folks at Sugoi were especially excited about a pair of new rain shells built using Polartec’s NeoShell fabric. While the fabric is soft to the touch and the RSX mountain and RSE road (shown) shells fit well, it was Sugoi’s simple breathability demonstration that really made an impact.
Above you can see a pair of water columns sitting on top of single layers of each the Polartec NeoShell and GoreTex Paclite fabrics. As we used a bulb to pump air into the sealed chamber below each jacket, the difference was obvious. Though both fabrics kept their lower chambers completely dry, the NeoShell (left) allowed truly amazing amounts of air through. While it may not be perfectly analogous to what happens on the road, there is clearly a big difference in the fabrics’ ability to allow air through. Sugoi are so confident in the fabric’s breathability that the RSE goes without any traditional vents.
With a cycling industry exclusive on the material through 2014, Sugoi will be offering NeoShell in the snug RSE road model ($280) and looser, hooded mountain RSX model ($300) from this fall. If the Polartec fabric’s reception in other industries is any indication, pulling on and riding in a rain shell will be less unappealing than ever before.