Review: Primal Paradigm Winter Jacket

I've been using Primal kit for some time; my Wightlink-LCM Systems kit was made by Primal Custom, and I was very pleased with it. It was long lasting, looked great and was a good price; three key factors when you are considering team kit. The piece of kit that most impressed me though was the Primal Paradigm jacket; this is a full sleeved winter jacket that is designed to deal with the worst that the weather can throw at it.

Note: the jacket I am featuring in this review is not my team jacket, but a new 2014 range Primal Paradigm, with some new features and upgrades.

Let’s start with the cut. The Paradigm has long sleeves, a low cut back with elasticated hem and a high fleece lined collar. A good winter jacket helps to protect your extremities; the long sleeves and high collar certainly aid this, ensuring there is no chilly gap between jacket and gloves, and ensuring no wind gets down your neck.

The Paradigm is feature packed. The sleeves have strong elasticated cuffs with a Velcro tab to fully seal them around your gloves. The front zipper is high quality and strong, and has an internal baffle to keep the wind out. The new 2014 version also has some superb reflective trim on the rear, chest and sleeves of the jacket to increase visibility in low light conditions.

Perhaps the best feature of the Paradigm though is the huge under arm pit vents. This jacket is warm! There is no doubt about that. The windproof and water resistant outer fabric, with honeycomb like thermal lining works so well at keeping in the heat that I have been out in sub-zero temperatures wearing this and only a long sleeved base layer underneath. Without the double zip pit vents this jacket would likely only be useful for a month or so a year, however because they are so effective at cooling you down, I have started wearing the Paradigm now (in early November) and fully expect to still be using it in springtime.

If there is one minor downside to the jacket it is that there is only one small zipped pocket on the rear. You can easily overcome this though, by wearing a normal short sleeved jersey underneath to keep those winter essentials in. The advantage of not having multiple rear pockets in the jacket is that it doesn't distort the shape or performance (often adding an extra layer of material for pockets will reduce breathability).

To wrap up, the Paradigm is a super bit of kit. In fact I would claim it is the ultimate winter jacket. It keeps you warm and comfortable in even the wettest and coldest conditions, and its pit vents mean it can be worn from late autumn all the way through to spring. It is also lasting well with multiple machine washes and really does look the part.

This is one bit of kit that will make winter riding far more comfortable! Feel the warmth with the Darth Vader jacket!

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