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Gear Check: Ashmei Ultimate Softshell

  • By Paul Moore
  • Published February 21, 2012

Ashmei bring a whole new stylish and functional approach when it comes to producing a run jacket.

The Ultimate looks classy and expensive, and that’s because it is, but don’t let that put you off. Ashmei have covered all the important elements when it comes to a winter run jacket in that it’s windproof, water resistant, fast wicking, warm and extremely breathable.

Unlike many this has been tailored so it fits right when you’re on the move and the body hugging cut makes it flap-free. The way the whole jacket has been mapped in terms of best placement of materials and panels for best breathability, comfort, stretch, and warmth second to none. The superb breathability of the Ultimate comes from the use of Merino fabric around the back, sides and armpits.

This is material is fast wicking, warm – even when wet – and offers lots of stretch for a fitted cut. This breathability adds to the versatility because it means the Ultimate can be worn across the cold season rather than just on the coldest days. The arms and front panels are made from softshell fabric, but this isn’t the stiff stuff found on cycling jackets. This softshell material is lightweight, soft and extremely flexible making it ideal for the task in hand. Neat touches like the sealing front zip which sits to one side with a zip garage to avoid neck irritation, two small pockets, lock down zips, subtle reflective stripes, external iPod pocket with internal cable routing, silicon hem grippers, bite panel for easy zip adjustment and thumb loops show the Ultimate has been thoroughly thought through.

This jacket is the Rapha of the run world where quality and style haven’t been sacrificed or compromised. Naturally this all comes at a price, but in our minds is more than worth it when we spend so much time pounding pavements and trails throughout the winter.

Perfomance: 9
Value: 9
RRP: £180.00

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Paul Moore

Paul Moore

Paul Moore is the Online Editor for Triathlete Europe. When not glued to a computer he can be found writing books - most recently Ultra Performance: The Psychology of Endurance Sports and The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges. Both are available on Amazon. Paul has also written Ultimate Triathlon: A complete training guide for long-distance triathletes which is also available on Amazon.