ELEMENT SL PRO
SPECIALIZED’S SOFTSHELL OFFERING is a very impressive performer. We rode for two hours in rain that varied between ‘spitting’ and ‘torrential’, and all the water did was bead on the surface of the three-layer fabric. Really impressive. Breathability is also up there with the best, which is just as well, considering the amount of warmth generated inside the SL Pro. There are underarm, zipped vents to help. Although the seams aren’t taped, we experienced no water ingress. On the practical front, the two main rear pockets are covered in a wipe-clear material that doesn’t get discoloured by road spray, and is also utterly waterproof. A separate, zipped pocket for valuables has a taped zipper, and the rear hem is low and stays well seated. Our only gripe? The zipped pocket isn’t quite big enough for a modern smartphone.