Specialized Deflect H2O Mountain Jacket Review
- Great against elements
- Built in room at elbows for pads
- Several pocket options
- Sizes large
- Noisy fabric
- Inner mesh lining stuck to skin
- No reflective features
The Specialized Deflect H2O Mountain Jacket performed admirably well against the elements without sacrificing breathability. It was durable, comfortable, and intelligently designed with ample pockets and a packable hood with a drawstring. The fit ran larger than riders preferred and the fabric (though functional), was noisy and a bit bulky. It was not the best overall performing jacket in the test but it was highly functional as an everyday shell across moderately cool to warm temperatures and weather.
Specialized used Gore’s Windstopper fabric for this piece and it held up as expected, living up to the excellence these two brands are known for. It was as good as any in the test against gentle, steady rain, but riders did feel some general dampness after going through heavier more prolonged downpours.
Gore’s Windstopper Active Shell provided good body temperature management on cold mornings and on descents, even when temperatures dipped, where other jackets in the test started to show weakness. The jacket did well as a shell with inner-layers in temperatures approaching freezing.
The Deflect H20 offers more pockets than any jacket in the test, which was welcomed by riders. The two side venting pockets as well as the front and rear waterproof pockets were intuitively placed with easy access. All zippers have long pulls tabs, which came in handy for gloved hands. The fabric was noisy and the mesh inner-lining was at times awkward as it tended to cling to wet skin, although it more than made up for it in its performance against the elements. A downside was there were no reflective features anywhere to be found.
As mentioned, the fit was loose and an added mesh lining bunched and clung to sweaty skin—definite drawback to an otherwise solid jacket. The ample room did enable sub-layers and pads, but riders in the test preferred a more athletic fit.
The mesh lining seemed to add bulk and complicate packability, though it still compressed enough to force into a jersey pocket.
The Deflect tested well and gave the feeling of being indestructible. The seams held up against being yanked on and after several washes, it came out looking like new.
Blend: 100% Polyester woven twill with a 2.5 charcoal membrane.
How We Tested It
The jackets in this test were used in rain, high winds and sunny days on asphalt, hard pack dirt, sand, granite and sandstone in Southern California. Temperatures ranged from 48 to 75 degrees and distances ranged from 10 to 40 miles with big climbs and descents.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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