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Specialized Deflect H2O Mountain Jacket Review

- published August 2017

84

2017

RATINGS

Weathershedding
6
Breathability
7
Function
7
Fit/Comfort
8
Packability
8
Durability
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
84

SHOP

MSRP
LOW PRICE
$200.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Great against elements
  • Durable
  • Built in room at elbows for pads
  • Several pocket options

THE BAD

  • Sizes large
  • Noisy fabric
  • Inner mesh lining stuck to skin
  • No reflective features

THE VERDICT

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.

FULL REVIEW

Weathershedding
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.

Breathability
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.

Function
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.

Fit/Comfort
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.

Packability
The mesh lining seemed to add bulk and complicate packability, though it still compressed enough to force into a jersey pocket.

Durability
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.

For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our best fat bikes test, best cycling backpacks test, and other related bike gear tests.

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.

About the Author

Boad Swanson

Boad Swanson

Boad Swanson is a healthcare entrepreneur and outdoor enthusiast. He primarily tests mountain bike and cycling gear in the year round friendly climate of Orange County, CA.

 


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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$200.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Weathershedding
6
Breathability
7
Function
7
Fit/Comfort
8
Packability
8
Durability
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
84

Weight

11.28 oz

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