Search and State : S1-J Riding Jacket Review

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I picked up the Search and State S1-J Jacket from NYC Velo last winter and have been using it both on and off the bike ever since. The S1-J has accompanied me on long winter rides through upstate NYC to the rural mountains of Thailand. The S1-J is the closest thing I've found to the perfect cycling jacket.

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Below are my humble and honest thoughts on the S1-J after over a year of abuse in NYC, San Francisco and Thailand.

- The S1-J is extremely comfortable. Unlike most rain jackets the S1-J feels great against your skin when just wearing a t shirt or jersey. Big deal? Yes. It kinda is.

- The S1-J is a true 3 season jacket. I've worn mine in sub freezing temps in New York, sporadic temps in the San Francisco Bay Area and extreme temps while in Thailand. I've never really understood the concept of a 3 season product until now. The fact that I can use the same jacket in the winter of NYC and the summer of Thailand says a lot. It's kinda ridiculous when you think about it.

- The jacket is made right here in New York City. Real people making real gear for real cyclists.

- Like all Search and State products the S1-J is minimally branded.

- After a long or intense ride I notice that a lot of sweat will build up inside the rear pocket. I believe this is a good sign as it shows that the fabric really wicks away your sweat. The downfall being the contents of your rear pocket is normally covered in sweat.

- The sleeve cuffs are pretty slim which makes for a great fit but can be hard to get over a glove. I find that in colder conditions I will just make sure my glove goes over the jacket rather than under. Ends up working better anyways.

- The jacket can fit in your jersey pocket but is a bit bulky. I think this spring I'll play around with a stuff sack to see if I can reduce the bulk. It kinda feels like carrying an extra bidon in your back pocket as far as mass goes. To be honest I haven't been in too many situations where I had to stow away the jacket in my pocket.

- The S1-J is cut for being on the bike. The front of the jacket is quiet short to accommodate your riding position when on the hoods or in the drops. Makes sense. Most companies do this. The only reason I am noting this is because I tend to wear this jacket all the time and it does look a little funny when walking around Soho. You can tell it's a cycling jacket which is fine by me.

- I wear a size M SAS jersey but a size L in the jacket.

- I can comfortably fit a merino hoodie under the S1-J which is essential as the temps start to dip into the 40's and 30's.

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Here are the details from Search and State:

"Whether you're on a spring training ride, racing a gravel century or on a mountain pass, you need apparel that is versatile and tough. The S1-J is warm when it's cold, breathes when it's hot, and is built to last. It's also lightweight and packs neatly into an S1-A jersey pocket. Forget about the weather; be comfortable, and focus on the ride.

The S1-J is a 3 season jacket that features C-Change™ fabric technology by Scholler®. C-Change™ is a bionic climate membrane that independently reacts to changing temperatures, closing when exposed to cold and opening in response to warmth. The S1-J traps heat when you need it, vents moisture as it's produced and will be the most versatile piece of technical apparel you own.

We believe that durability, style, and comfort are paramount."

- Schoeller®, C-Change™ fabric - Waterproof - Windproof - Breathable - Two way Riri® waterproof AquaZip - Rear pocket - Tailored fit - Overlock seam construction - Handmade in the USA - All fabric is Bluesign® standard certified for resource productivity, consumer safety, air emissions, and occupational health and safety.

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The S1-J retails for $245 via SAS or if your in NYC you can drop by NYC Velo and pick one up in person.