100% Hydromatic Jacket

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100% Hydromatic Jacket 39500-006_base
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First Ride: 100% Hydromatic Jacket and Short

The rainy season is here, but this lightweight, waterproof, and breathable gear from 100% will help keep you on the trail even when the heavens open up.

Rating: Vital Review
First Ride: 100% Hydromatic Jacket and Short

How much effort do you give? That is the question that 100%’s founder would often ask, and the answer became the brand’s name of course. Giving 100% implies riding not only when it’s sunny, so naturally the company decided it needed to offer something to cover up with for those rainy days as well. Enter the Hydromatic line, a jacket and short made out of lightweight, waterproof and breathable fabrics that will keep you dry even if the heavens should open up on you mid-ride. We’ve had them out for a spin, read on to find out how we got along.

100% Hydromatic Jacket Highlights

100% Hydromatic Short Highlights

How much effort do you give? That is the question that 100%’s founder would often ask, and the answer became the brand’s name of course. Giving 100% implies riding not only when it’s sunny, so naturally the company decided it needed to offer something to cover up with for those rainy days as well. Enter the Hydromatic line, a jacket and short made out of lightweight, waterproof and breathable fabrics that will keep you dry even if the heavens should open up on you mid-ride. We’ve had them out for a spin, read on to find out how we got along.

100% Hydromatic Jacket Highlights

100% Hydromatic Short Highlights

  • Polyester/Elastane stretch plain weave with 10K/10K waterproof/breathable 2.5 laminate
  • Fully taped seams keep you dry in wet conditions
  • Waterproof pocket zippers for added security of essentials
  • Invisible side hand pocket zippers
  • Reflective logos for increased safety
  • Back venting for increased air flow
  • Aerodynamic fit for best riding performance
  • MSRP: $169.00 USD
  • Polyester/Elastane stretch plain weave with 10K/10K waterproof/breathable 2.5 laminate
  • Fully taped seams keep you dry in wet conditions
  • Waterproof CF, back and chest pocket zippers for added security of essentials
  • Hidden snap bonded closure offers a clean look
  • Internal hook and loop waist tabs increase adjustability for the ideal fit
  • Aerodynamic fit for best riding performance
  • MSRP: $129.00 USD

Initial Impressions

The Hydromatic line takes a minimalistic approach to protecting you from the elements, its principal mission being that of keeping you dry for short to medium length wet rides in otherwise relatively clement conditions. In other words, this stuff will keep you dry but not very warm, and it might not be the best choice if you intend to roll around in the mud all day long. Both the jacket and short are made from a polyester/elastane stretch weave, which in addition to being waterproof is also breathable – much nicer than those rubber rain jackets we used to wear as kids that would get as wet on the inside from your sweat as they would on the outside from any rain.

Waterproof/breathable gear is generally measured by how much water it will let through and at what pressure (expressed in mms), as well as how much vapor it lets through in the other direction over a 24hr period (expressed in grams). In the case of a 10k/10k fabric such as the one used here, if you put a long tube over it you could fill it with water to a height of 10,000 mm (32.8 feet) before water would begin to leak through. The second number is a measure of how breathable the fabric is, and is expressed in terms of how many grams of water vapor can pass through a square meter (m2) of the fabric from the inside to the outside in a 24 hour period. In the case of a 10k fabric this would be 10,000 grams.

What do these numbers actually mean? 10k/10k fabric is rated for light to moderate rain, light to moderate snowfall, and light pressure. That means you can wear it for a drizzly ride all day, but best trade it for a 20k version if you intend to go outside during a monsoon.

Waterproof fabrics mean nothing if the rest of the construction isn’t up to par. Fortunately, 100% didn’t skimp here, with bonded seams and waterproof zippers abundantly applied to both the jacket and the short. On the topic of storage, the jacket provides a whopping 4 pockets, one of which positively cavernous in size, while the short keeps things more streamlined with just 2. The only thing missing from the spec list is a hood on the jacket, and possibly some kind of reinforcement around the rear of the short, as this area tends to see a lot of abuse during wet rides.

The finish of both items is impeccable, with good attention to detail and care taken in all the tricky places to keep the seams neat and tidy. Flatlock stitching is used where appropriate, and all the seams are taped from the inside. Reflective patches front and rear on the jacket are a good safety feature to have for those who ride on the road. The short features internal, velcro waist adjusters as well as a buttoned fly with a large overlapping area to help keep water out.

On The Trail

Both the jacket and the short are made out of lightweight materials, and they almost make themselves forgotten in use. Of course, no waterproof gear is going to be as breathable as your favorite riding jersey, so you do end up feeling a bit clammy when you first put it on, but the Hydromatic stuff is soft to the touch on the inside and generally quite comfortable to wear.

The cut of both items is on the “athletic” side, and this is by design – aerodynamic benefits are cited in the marketing material. This means that the Hydromatic lacket can be worn over a riding jersey and a base layer, but it may start to feel a bit bulky if you need to also add a thick thermal layer (by then you might want to start looking at a proper winter jacket anyway). It is however stretchy enough to accommodate a slim backpack underneath it, if that is how you roll in the rain.

As for the short, the hem length is borderline on the short side, the dreaded kneepad gap never quite materializing but always threatening to make an unwanted appearance at just the wrong time. In general, the short feels just a bit “flimsy”, for want of a better word. We’d probably have chosen a sturdier fabric for this particular piece of apparel – it does work very well for keeping you dry though.

When it comes to moving around on the bike, the jacket and short know to stay out of your way. The stretchy material coupled with a bike-friendly cut means that your movements are never restricted. The jacket is longer in the back and the hem is elastic, both of which help keep those pesky backdrafts at bay. The vents on the back work well to provide a little extra breathability, unless you wear a pack over them of course. The cuffs feature Velcro straps to help you cinch them down as needed to keep wind and moisture away from your forearms. And what about that water? Well, as you’d expect from a 10k/10k fabric, this stuff will keep you nice and dry even on longer rides out. When the garment is new, water will pearl off the surface thanks to a specific treatment which may wear off over time – but this is actually not what makes it waterproof. Even when the surface appears to take on water, it will actually not penetrate to reach you for quite some time yet. As for breathability, it’s not too bad. Any waterproof garment will feel a bit stuffy inside when you exert yourself in it, but the Hydromatic gear does a reasonably good job of evacuating said stuffiness, leaving the inside a bit damp but not moist. All in all, the Hydromatic line is very functional and well suited to mountain biking in wet conditions.

Things That Could Be Improved

We’ll start with the most obvious shortcoming in our opinion: the lack of a hood. Pulling a nice big hood over your helmet when it starts to pour down goes a long way to keeping you warm and comfortable, and although the Hydromatic jacket is meant to be light and packable and perhaps not a first choice for really rainy days, a hood would not take up much more space.

Our second observation concerns the short: we think it could have been made out of a slightly sturdier material, or at least feature some kind of extra patch of more abrasion resistant fabric in the seat area. If you ride when it’s wet out, you invariably end up sitting on mud, and this turns into grinding paste fairly quickly with your pedaling movements. Half an inch extra length on the hem would also not be too much here, in our opinion. It’s not too short as it is, but you can never be too careful with that awkward gap.

Long Term Durability

This is only a First Ride review, so we can’t provide any real life feedback on actual durability. The material quality and workmanship certainly seem up to the job at first look, and our previous experience with 100% apparel has been positive, so we’d expect good things here as well. We’ll come back and update this feature if we discover anything untoward this winter.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Sure, it’s only water – but if you get soaked with it, most rides are not going to be much fun. 100%’s new Hydromatic jacket and short are light, comfortable, unobtrusive on the bike and best of all will keep you dry in all but the worst of weather. With a bike friendly cut and a sober design, you won’t raise too many eyebrows if you should happen to stop by an internal watering hole on your way home either. A good choice to keep in your pack for those surprising mid-ride showers, or as your go-to gear for early/late-season rainy rides.

More information at: www.ride100percent.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

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Specifications

Product 100% Hydromatic Jacket
Riding Type Cross Country, Dirt Jump / Urban, Downhill, Freeride, Trail
Jacket Type Wind & Water Protection, Packable
Rider Unisex
Material Polyester/Elastane stretch plain weave with 10K/10K waterproof/breathable 2.5 laminate
Pockets 4
Vents 1
Size S-XL
Colors Orange
Miscellaneous Polyester/Elastane stretch plain weave with 10K/10K waterproof/breathable 2.5 laminate.
Fully taped seams keep you dry in wet conditions.
Waterproof pocket zippers for added security of essentials.
Invisible side hand pocket zippers.
Reflective logos for increased safety.
Back venting for increased air flow.
Aerodynamic fit for best riding performance.
Price $169
More Info

​www.rideonehundredpercent.com

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