Chrome Ike Commuter Jacket Review
At first glance the Chrome Ike looks like just another casual jacket, albeit a nice one based on the compliments I receive nearly every time I wear it. The discerning eye may notice the tech giveaways of its cycling backstory, making it equally suited for the ride to work or out at the bar. This might be the first cycling jacket I have that I can wear without being pegged as outdoorsy, even if it is windproof and water resistant, with longer sleeves and an extended back to prevent your belt from showing while on the bike.
Many mistake the Ike for wool at first glance, but it is actually a woven and brushed polyester with windproof panels on the front. The polyester wears better than wool — no snags, no runs, easier to wash — and along with the Chinese construction helps to keep the price of the jacket to $125. Classic military style shoulders, collar and chest pockets give it the style you either love or hate, while the rear kangaroo pocket with left and right zippered access gives it away as cycling specific. The rear pocket is great for carrying a minimal flat fixing kit around town or for stowing a hat and gloves indoors — you’ll need the gloves for walking around, like many cycling jackets, there are no hand pockets on this one either. A full length zipper with top and bottom pulls along with zippered cuffs allow for on the bike ventilation without looking out of place casually as pit zips might. A drawstring allows you to cinch the bottom closed when the going gets cold.
This isn’t a jacket for your next all day epic, but perfect for a night where the bike is the transportation in between the more important hanging out, or workday if that’s more your flavor. I find the jacket surprisingly warm for something officially billed as a wind jacket, taking me comfortably through the 40s and 50s on its own and down to freezing and below with a hooded sweatshirt underneath. For short rides and walking about, this has become my go-to jacket, earning a spot by the door for the bulk of the fall and winter. While on the bike I may wish for pit zips, and off the bike wish for hand pockets, I’m willing to live without either for the sake of the overall style and cut of the jacket. The Ike is available in four sizes in the pictured gray twill, and carries a 1 year warranty against materials or manufacturers defects. If you’re in New York, Chicago, Portland or San Francisco you can try this jacket on at your local Chrome store, otherwise order onlin at www.chromebagsstore.com.