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At the tail end of spring, Adam Ziskin, owner of O2 Rainwear in Minneapolis, contacted us to see if we wanted to check out one of their rainjackets. Since I recently moved to the midwest, which has its rainy season(s) in cooler temperatures than my previous home of Florida, I volunteered to be the tester. There’s nothing I hate worse than being cold and wet; with little body insulation, I really suffer when the cold rains come down.

Wouldn’t you just know that as soon as the O2 Calhoun jacket came in the mail, the rains stopped and the sun started beating down with ferocious intensity? It’s simply too hot and too dry to properly review a rainjacket, so that will have to wait until the rain returns in fall. In the meantime, we wanted to give you a “first look” at the jacket, which is quite a nice piece of cycling kit:

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Here’s a little information on the Calhoun directly from the O2 website:

Product Details
100% 2.5Layer Rip-Stop Nylon
Waterproof, fully taped internal seam
Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Compact
Supreme Wind & Water Protection
Waterproof, full length front zipper with garage
Reflective elements for low light visibility
Welded waterproof front Napoleon pocket
Form Fit
Pit Zips for additional ventilation´╗┐
Breathability: W/R; MVP: 10,000g/m2/D
Waterproof: W/P: 10,000mmH2O;
Weight: Avg. 13 ounces depending on size

As you can see from the specs, it’s one of those laminated fabrics that is waterproof yet breathes…this isn’t a cheap polyurethane-coated nylon rainjacket. And, it’s very packable…I am hoping it will roll up tightly enough to fit in a jersey pocket for those iffy ride days.

Normally, I wear small sizes, but Adam sent me a medium based on my dimensions. The jacket doesn’t hug me as tightly as I thought it should…and this is actually a good thing as it will allow me to do some base-layering when the weather turns chilly. When it is raining and overcast, extra visibility is always a good idea for commuters, and the Calhoun has us covered day and night: bright yellow coloring and reflective patches/trim on front and back. If you prefer something a little less hi-viz, the Calhoun also comes in a blue model. The jacket has long sleeves with simple hook-and-loop closures — sleeves long enough to provide full coverage even when slumped over in the drops of a roadbike — and an extended tail to keep the rider’s backside dry and stripe-free.

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This jacket represents a bit of a first for me: in all my years of riding, I have never used or owned a cycling-specific rainjacket. I have “made do” with a variety of ponchos, cheap windbreakers and plastic trashbags…and many times nothing at all, but never something designed and constructed for the specific task of keeping a bicyclist dry and warm. So, I am quite excited to give this jacket a real shakedown, as much as I dislike riding in the rain. Stay tuned for the full review sometime this fall. While you’re waiting, swing on over to O2′s website to get a look at some of their other products — it looks like there’s something for everyone of the bikey persuasion.