The Review | Fox Downpour Jacket and Attack Q4 CW Shorts
If you live in the knuckle end of the UK, good quality waterproofs are as essential as mud tyres and sintered brake pads. There is a bewildering range of waterproof jackets and shorts on the market,
but there are few choices if you want something a little less restrictive. Nobody really likes riding in waterproofs, but the new Fox Downpour Jacket (€ 220.00 or $ 249.95) and Attack Q4 CW Shorts
(€ 139.95 or $ 149.95) with new high performance Ultra Q4 4-way stretch maybe about to change that!
The new Ultra Q4 fabric is very stretchy, and really puts the ‘soft’ back into softshell. The two layer membrane backed fabric is welded and seam sealed for maximum protection from the elements, with a 10,000/10,000 waterproof/breathable rating. The styling is sharp and bright, and the fit is not too baggy. We have been putting the jacket and shorts to the test through a tough UK winter, and it’s time to see how they performed!
The Downpour Jacket has a lot of features that impressed us. We liked the underarm zippered vents, and the laser cut vent panel on the rear – both really helped to vent the jacket when the heat started to build on long climbs. The hood came into its own on high ridge line traverses where the wind was doing it’s best to freeze our ears off, fitting under a helmet comfortably. We liked that all the zips were waterproof and they all remained closed when fastened – your keys and phone are safe in this jacket.
The Attack Shorts feature the same hi-tech fabric and offer the same waterproof protection, with fully taped seams and waterproof zips on the pockets.
We have tested the Fox gear in all weather conditions from sunny to downright miserable – and it has fared well. Though not as waterproof as a high performance three layer fabric like GORE-TEX®; the Ultra Q4 shrugged of rain showers with ease and was a lot more comfortable and dynamic than expected – a bit like wearing a thick jersey. After extended rides in heavy rain, we were a little damp around the shoulders and in the seat area, but aside from that we were very warm and dry. The fabric offers far more protection than any other softshells we have so far tried, and proved resistant to minor crashes. We really liked the close fitting style and stylish looks – the yellow colour is certainly distinctive and you will get plenty of attention.
The Ultra Q4 fabric proved very breathable, so much so that we often grabbed the gear even if no rain was expected. There was no ‘boil in the bag’ feeling, and the humidity build up was managed well with the back vent and pit zips. After over 30 wet rides, the only issues we encountered were that one of the wrist closures separated. It still worked fine but the logo separated from the velcro closure. NOTE: The Ultra Q4 fabric needs to be line dried, we ran a set through the tumble dryer and it caused the taping to lift on the seams – this is clearly mentioned on the label
The Fox Downpour Jacket and Attack Q4 CW Shorts are a great pairing for shredding in the mud. Although not waterproof enough for full days on the mountain in heavy rain, they provide more than enough protection to keep you warm and dry if the weather spits it’s dummy. We were really impressed with the stretch fabric, feeling far less restrictive than conventional rainwear. The styling is loud and in your face and perfect for those who like to be noticed.
For more information check out the FOX website
Words and Photos: Trev Worsey