American cycling kit maker Ornot’s new Magic Shell Jacket takes advantage of a new next gen version of Polartec’s popular NeoShell waterproof fabric to deliver hardshell protection in a lightweight knit softshell. They call it the “lightest, stretchiest, most breathable comfort of any waterproof fabric, ever”, and it’s now in an all-conditions jacket you can also wear in heavy rain… Ornot.

Ornot Magic Shell Jacket w/ waterproof Polartec NeoShell

With the release of the $210 designed & produced in California Magic Shell jacket, Ornot claims to be the first to market with Polartec’s latest knit iteration of their NeoShell fabric. Unique for a waterproof shell fabric, the latest NeoShell is a highly stretchy, light knit fabric with unparalleled breathability, making it perfect for a close fitting cycling jacket. We’ve seen NeoShell a few times before, but this newest version is better than ever.

Ornot Magic Shell Jacket waterproof cycling jacket with Polartec NeoShell stretchy breathable lightweight packable

c. Ornot

Ornot says they had set out to design an all-around cool to cold weather cycling jacket, and hadn’t even thought about making a rain jacket since they wanted better breathability than typically found in a waterproof shell. Looking for a close fit, no flapping in the wind that it clocks & water resistance, Ornot was working with softshells, until their partners at Polartec suggested the next generation NeoShell they were working on. Still technically a softshell, this new fabric features a knit face and backing with a high-stretch, extra breathable membrane layer in between. This new NeoShell claims breathability around 10-12,000g/m2/24hr making it at least 2x more breathable than best waterproof breathable shells on the market.

Now after almost a year testing the new fabric, Ornot thinks that the new Magic Shell jacket will replace pretty much every other cycling jacket in your closet.

Ornot Magic Shell tech details

Ornot Magic Shell Jacket waterproof cycling jacket with Polartec NeoShell stretchy breathable lightweight packable

Although the fabric is waterproof, Ornot has made the Magic Shell without taped seams in the interest of maintaining max breathability. What little water that gets in during heavy rain will be matched by the road spray on your face and dripping down your neck. Anyway the fabric will still keep you warm when your baselayers get wet.

Ornot Magic Shell Jacket waterproof cycling jacket with Polartec NeoShell stretchy breathable lightweight packable

The jacket features a full-length, two-way zip to let air in as you heat up on the climbs (it is a shell after all.) In the interest of a packable shell, the jacket does not get its own pockets, only a storm flap behind the zip, a hem gripper & a single rear reflective tag.

Ornot Magic Shell Jacket waterproof cycling jacket with Polartec NeoShell stretchy breathable lightweight packable

The new jacket comes only in all black for now, and is available in six sizes (XS-XXL). It is tiny & lightweight, a small claims a weight of just 220g, so you can even stuff it in a jersey pocket.

Ornot Magic Shell Jacket waterproof cycling jacket with Polartec NeoShell stretchy breathable lightweight packable


  1. onrhodes on

    I’ll be “that guy” chiming in first about…….can we STOP making raingear in black! I’m not an expert on fabric coloring or anything but why do you want to wear black when visibility is already going to be limited…i.e grey, cloudy, misty. etc. Other than that, looks like a nice competitor to the Gore-Tex Shakedry stuff.

  2. FritzP on

    Or more generally what is with the all black clothing trend in cycling? Maybe driven by those that live in cooler climes? In the sunny US southwest (and elsewhere where its warm and sunny) all black clothing is a heat amplifier. Not good for performance in the era of marginal gains & all that.

    • JNH on

      As someone who lives in the north of England and rides in the cold and dark, it’s not us. Every wet weather shell I own is Day-Glo yellow, with the exception of one Endura jacket that is bright blue with reflective strips. All my buddies wear bright jackets too, even if they don’t go full signal flare. Riding in all black gear strikes me as an elaborate method of suicide. It doesn’t make it any warmer either, we’d need some sunlight for that!

    • Eli on

      All black only helps if sunny. Enter shade and you get colder. I’d rather my insulation not vary that much in warmth when amount of light changes. I’d rather have better visability

  3. Heffe on

    I have to give a shout out in recognition of the pun in the title of this article. Also, let’s see some colors and maybe some ‘zapp’ technology from Sugoi on these jackets. I just don’t have a death wish these days – too much to live for now that there’s 12 speed road groups to purchase and obsess over.

  4. Normon Thibault on

    Regarding BLACK rain jackets. From what I understand (working in the industry) they have not figured out how to make the GORE shake dry fabric (also used by Arc ‘Teryx and others) in any other colour than black. There is an issue with the way it is made that it will not come out right in other colours. This might also be the same issue for this fabric from polartec but it would be nice to hear from Ornot or Polartec on this (and also GORE).

  5. Markus on

    I would prefer something in bright colors as well, but at least for Gore’s shakedry fabric it’s simply not possible technically. A dye will not stick to the fabric. It repells water, it repells dye. And the fabric is black. Don’t know if this is the same case with Polartechs material.

  6. Velo Kitty on

    > Still technically a softshell

    Softshell has no technical definition.

    The weight of the jacket is good. I would prefer a colorful jacket for visibility with a black stripe on the back to hide the grime.

    It’s good to see that Polartec Neoshell has not totally died. It seems like it has almost disappeared from the marketplace. Gore Shakedry and similar Columbia Outdry technology seems to be the way to go though.

  7. TomM on

    +1 for no more black/dark cycling gear, especially not for bad weather!

    But it’s good to see Neoshell reviving. It was always my favorite shell material for riding in rain (I live in Seattle and do long base rides all winter). The newest Gore fabrics including Shakedry have their deficiencies around toughness and I only find them as breathable as Neoshell, not more.

  8. bbb on

    I can only assume that all the guys moaning about dark colours, use bright flashing lights in most of conditions, as evidence suggests that lights are more effective in attracting attention of drivers than a passive high-vis kit.

    • matt on

      The Oro is a totally different jacket. The new Polartec Neoshell fabric is much more breathable and thus our jacket is intended to wear all day even if it’s not raining. The fabric is stretchy and soft on the inside and out. The Magic Shell is a great jacket for temps under 55 degrees that happens to be made with waterproof fabric. 😉


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