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First Look: Cleverhood Rain Cape

www.cleverhood.com

This is no ordinary rainwear. Don’t let the grey colour fool you. This Cleverhood rain cape is well crafted, seam-sealed and built for performance.

The Cleverhood website offers a variety of fabric choices as shown on their video and photos, but in the local shop only two choices were available. We looked at the grey Houndstooth version.

Designed to promote activities like bicycling, the cape has reflective strips to make you visible and a brim around the hood to protect your face from driving rain without blocking peripheral vision as you pedal.

Design

Cleverhood is a smart-looking, high-performance street cape, designed to keep bike riders dry and secure. It also looks good without a bike, an elegant jacket replacement just for walking.

The cape is long enough to cover your thighs while you ride or walk, all you need are a good pair of galoshes and fenders.

Arm Holes

It has front armholes that snap shut magnetically and reflective 3M piping. Finger loops inside the cape that keep hands covered when you travel by bike. It has elastic thumb loops and Velcro trim-tabs for bike-riding on windy days.

Dry Pouch

We like the 20cm dry chest pocket with a water resistant Uretek YKK zip that provides a protected location for your digital accessories and keys.

Hood

The fitted hood with a large brim gives good peripheral vision and can be worn under bike helmets. For most rainwear to work you have to keep the hood up, so a good fit is vital.

Fabric

Made with a talc-finished membrane, the fabric is strong, lightweight and durable. Waterproof (10K mm) polyester with tightly sealed seams is all carefully crafted.

The 10K rating should keep you dry in sustained but light to moderate rainfall, the type of rainfall one might typically experience in England during summer.

The fabric is a breathable membrane, with protective seam-sealing, and 3M Scotchlite™ reflective material on the trim and on the back tag. Side cinches with an elastic cord and secure Cordlocs™ are located inside the cape for increased breathability and fit.

Reflective Grid Pattern

Cleverhood's Electric Houndstooth rain cape offers the classic pattern with a high-tech twist: a hidden reflective thread. Its bright grid stands out on dark, rainy nights against passing headlights.

It is made of strong, waterproof (10K mm) microfiber with reliable Uretek zippers. Magnetic closures snap shut at armholes. Elastic thumb loops keep bike riders dry and secure. Classic look that’s built for performance (see general Cleverhood specs).

Yesterday was first day since I’ve had the Cleverhood that I was actually been able to test in it the rain, although I’d taken it with me on my bike several times when I thought rain might be on its way.

In the Wind

The wind is relevant to a full test since it often accompanies rain. Our main question is whether or not the fitted hood would remain on your head or blow off, as this usually happens with hooded coats and jackets. It appears that it might remain in place without being too tight. Only a proper test will show that.

Our next serious question was how well the product would protect your arms and legs from a soaking rain. The interior finger-loops solved this problem. Slipping the loop through your middle fingers, you hold on to the handlebar.

The cape falls over the bicycle frame, the handlebar and your hands, and my thighs, enclosing them as if in a tent. We were concerned that the bottom of the cape would fly up in the wind but that wasn't much of an issue; while it blew around in the wind it never flew up and exposed thighs, arms or hands.

In the Rain

As mentioned previously, the Cleverhood is designed for the urban lifestyle, for cyclists who bike a short distance (five kilometers or less) to destinations, possibly combining their trip with walking, the bus or rail.

The military considers a fabric waterproof at 10K (or 10,000 millimeters), the volume of water a fabric can withstand in 24 hours before it stops being waterproof.

Heavy, drenching rainfall, the type you typically experience in Scotland during the summer and fall would require 20K to 30K fabric. So while this rain cape is not ideal for monsoon conditions it will at least keep you dry until you get to shelter.

Specifications

Size - One size fits most

Hood fitted to optimize peripheral vision

Dimensions - 35.5” (90.2cm) from center shoulder seam to hem.

Weight - 1 lb 2.6oz (527g)

Lightweight, multicam ripstop fabric

All seams sealed

Durable YKK zippers

Magnetic arm closures

Elastic thumb loops inside

Reflective 3M piping

Made in USA.

About Cleverhood

Cleverhood is a clever name for a small, Providence-based apparel company committed to delivering outstanding products based on the premise that high quality, aesthetics, and ethics are not mutually exclusive.

It appears that they have put a lot of effort into their product and all of the media they have developed to go with it.

Their line of clever hoods (aka. rain capes) utilizes high performance materials (locally sourced whenever possible) and the hoods are crafted with an acute awareness of how best to deflect rain away from the body while allowing maximum maneuverability for the car(e)free, non-car-dependent wearer.