Through the end of Winter, and all Spring long, I was fortunate enough to have rain gear from O2 on hand to weather the Portland showers. My garments of choice were the O2 Nokomis Jacket and Pant.
O2 rain gear is devolved by Rain Shield, Inc., and is a nationally distributed brand based out of Minneapolis, MN. Their product lineup consists of affordable rain wear for the competitive cycles, as well as items geard towards the average Joe. The Nokomis Jacket and Pant I have been testing are their top tier products, and meant for the “hard-core” cyclist.
Past the break get my full take on the gear, plus product specs and pricing.
The Nokomis jacket, new for 2011, is made using O2’s 3FLow performance fabric. It’s designed to be a breathable, lightweight material that should help keep you dry while riding. Did it work? Yes! After just one ride, I knew this was going to be my go to jacket for both rainy days, and cooler dry rides. My other rain jacket relies on pit zips and rear flaps for ventilation, and I find that I end up to cold and/or wet while trying to keep from sweating to death in the darn thing. With the Nokomis, while I did get a bit warm when it was above 65 or so outside, I found that I wasn’t nearly as sweaty. And if it dried up, I just zipped off the sleeves and stuffed them in the back pocket to stay cool.
When it comes to features this jacket is looking good. O2 says the jacket is lightweight, and with my size XL coming in at 410g, I would say they are probably right. However, I don’t often weigh rain jackets. All the zippers are well sealed, and feel like they will hold up to regular use. The main zipper is a European style, so it is backwards to what most of us are use to. As mentioned above, the sleeves are detachable, leaving you with a nice vest for when it warms up and dries out on your ride. Both sleeves come off in once piece, and fit into the back pocket just fine. That rear pocket has another great function as well. Reverse the pocket, and you will find the jacket packs into it. And, there are Velcro straps sticking out that allow you to fasten it to your seat post for easy transportation should you find you have one to many layers on.
Is the jacket missing anything? For it’s intended use, not really. However, I like the jacket so much, I find myself wearing it out and about, and it would be nice to have front side pockets. This is not a deal break by any means. The only other nit to pick is that the pull on the zipper for the rear pocket is not reversible making it a bit difficult to zip up once packed away. From what I am told, this will be remedied in a future version.
Now on to the fit. The jacket is designed to be form fitting, but still have enough room for a couple of layers underneath. I am not the smallest guy at 6’2″ and a hair over 200lbs so I went with an XL based on the size chart, and it worked out just fine. When dressed for work, usually a t-shirt with a button up over it, I find the jacket fits just right. When riding, I had no issues putting it over both a short sleeve, or long sleep jersey with a base layer underneath.
Overall, I am very pleased with this jacket. It keeps me dry on wet days. It layers well. And on dry, cooler days (45 to 65 degrees) I find it to be a great shell over my cloths or jersey. I would highly recommend the Nokomis Jacket. It runs $189.95, and can be obtained in either black, or hi-viz yellow direct from O2.
The Nokomis rain pants are made from the same 3FLow fabric. I wore them over jeans, as well as my Oregon Cyclewear 3/4 pants, and found that they worked well. I never found myself to be overly warm, and I always found that I was dry after riding in the wet. It is nice to have a good set of rain pants for my commute, as it’s a lot easier to take these off, then to change out of wet cloths when I arrive at work.
When it comes to fit, I went with the XL again. Just as with the jacket, these fit as expected. I am able to pull them on over shoes, while wearing jeans, without a problem. These are a great match with the Nokmis jacket, and I recommend them just as much. MSPR is $89.95, and they can be had in any color you want as long as its black.