Fox Gradient Jacket - Review

Jan 28, 2016
by David Arthur  
Fox Gradient Jacket


Fox launched the Gradient jacket as part of its 2015 Fall collection, and I’ve been putting it through the grinder that is the British winter. The Gradient is designed for intermediate conditions, those damp and windy days where some form of protection is necessary, but when a heavy duty jacket would be overkill. Fox has used a stretchy lightweight water-resistant fabric, and while it’s not described as a waterproof jacket, it is constructed with taped seams everywhere.

Fox has added extra details like a zipped chest pocket, laser cut vent panels under the arms and a hood that rolls up into the collar. And, if you’re hitting the road, there are some reflective accents to help you stand out to other road users. Sizes: S/M/L/XL. Colors: black or red. MSRP: $179.95 USD. www.foxhead.com


Fox Gradient Jacket


Fox Gradient Jacket
The integrated hood comes in useful during bouts of heavy weather.


Fox Gradient Jacket
The zipped chest pocket is a useful addition.



Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotes Dressing appropriately for the weather at this time of year can be a tricky old business. Correctly judging the temperature, along with the likelihood of rain and the wind chill factor can mean choosing suitable clothing sometimes feels as educated a decision as sticking a finger in the air and taking a punt. Most of the time, it never gets really cold in my part of the UK, instead, it's rain and wind that are the enemy. Get it wrong, and you can get cold and wet quickly, or you overheat from wearing too much.

In these conditions the Gradient jacket does a pretty damn good job of keeping you protected. It's lightweight and doesn't feel restrictive when riding, and it and regulates temperature well. For brisk trail rides it'll prevent you from overheating and keep you at a comfortable temperature. The breathability is aided by several small open vents at the back of the jacket that allow warm air to escape without letting the weather in.

The fully taped seams go a decent way to helping you out if you're caught in a really heavy downpour, providing a wide operating window. It also completely stops the wind in its tracks as well. There's not much in the way of insulation, so for colder rides you'll want to layer up accordingly. The fabric is on the thin side but it proved to be adequately durable, surviving a few encounters with undergrowth and trees, and the smartly placed anti-abrasion film over the shoulders adds further resistance against wear and tear. I'm not really a fan of hoods on mountain bike jackets, but on the occasion I tested it, the retractable hood fit comfortably between head and helmet. When it really is hosing down, it's a nice touch, and it's unobtrusive when rolled up.

I tested a size small and the fit was good, with a nice shape around the torso, good waist length and no restriction around the shoulders. I did find the sleeves came up a tiny bit short; I'd like an extra centimeter or two on the arms, something that going up a size would accomplish. The elasticated cuffs provide a close seal around the wrists without causing any discomfort. Overall, the Gradient is a comfortable and decent performing jacket.
- David Arthur


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109 Comments

  • + 106
 Huge fan of fox stuff. Have to say this is probably the ugliest jacket ever.
  • + 23
 Who comes up with this crap? Blue on red? On black? Damn.
  • + 1
 They couldnt decide which one to test in between the two colors option so they went on cut the two and came out with this red / turquoise / BLACK jacket for this review
  • + 23
 Looks a bit like they found some old shell suits in the cupboard left over from the late 80s and stitched pieces of them together...
  • + 1
 couldn't have they make it in more simple colours ?? like if it was full black it would have been sick
  • + 6
 @veero *scouser accent* CALM DOWN CALM DOWN
  • + 5
 There is a black version available...
  • + 4
 Fu?k you lol, I actually said that in a scouser accent, out loud. Wife thinks I'm a nutter, well, more of a nutter.
  • + 3
 www.jensonusa.com/Fox-Gradient-Jacket Relax there is black color available too.
  • + 11
 Even the 80s threw up a little in its mouth.
  • + 1
 Looks a bit like VW Harlequin spec
  • + 1
 does it come with a free David Bowie`s cd? looks like fox´s designer has fondness for the 80`s .
  • + 1
 just saying royal racing stage soft-shell was like £50 in sale and is epic for me
  • + 2
 yep. wins the ugly award.
  • + 1
 I actually kinda like it? (which is a blessing seeing as I own it)
  • + 3
 Does that giant horizontal red stripe make me look fat? "No, your fat makes you look fat"
  • + 3
 First time a product on Pinkbike had me laughing out loud before I even go to the comment section.
  • + 5
 It's ugliness is scientifically proven to repel water.
  • + 4
 ....and women
  • + 48
 I miss review bazooka
  • + 25
 "What's a rain jacket?" - Every single person in California
  • - 4
flag sambs827 (Jan 28, 2016 at 21:23) (Below Threshold)
 yup...many seem to have missed the bit about how riding certain trails after a rain wreaks havoc on them......
  • + 2
 Depends on the type of trail. In Germany with rocky/muddy mix it wasn’t a problem. Here in SoCal there are trails with more clay and that can really wreck them quickly. And other places rain so much that if you didn’t ride in or after the rain, you’d rarely ride.
  • + 17
 @sambs827 - Jeez we would never ride anywhere if that was the UK, you just have to man up and ride in whatever weather and then do the right thing and help dig and maintain when you have spare time
  • + 0
 keeps the dust out
  • + 2
 @sewer-rat I'm a New York boy originally, and there most of the trails can handle the wet. Here in NorCal......people have to be more selective. Most of them are not.
  • + 1
 ummm, colinthemetz, no.30+ inches in this part of California since 10/1/15. Today was an excellent day to ride. only .75 inches of rain since sunrise.
  • + 18
 You are better off getting a jacket from a reputable outdoor brand like marmot, Patagonia, or arcteryx. You might pay a little more money but but it will probably last longer and wont look like something out of the 80's.
  • + 17
 I used to think that until I tried riding specific jackets that had a bike specific cut. That is, longer in the back to cover up spray, shorter in the front so it doesn’t bunch up and longer sleeves for when your arms are stretched out Also, some of them take into consideration breathability on the back and wind proofing on the front. I won’t go back. Got a Mavic it’s killer.
  • + 13
 "arcteryx" and "a little more money" don't belong to the same sentence, my friend. i would never use a 600€ goretex shell for biking...you fall, you rip it and then? naa cycling specific stuff is better. Endura MT500 jacket for me is the non plus ultra.
  • + 2
 Pearl Izumi WRX all black jacket. Usually they go on sale for around $100 if you look carefully. I have one and love it.
  • + 4
 Arcteryx does make bike specific jackets that are great. I have a few arcteryx pieces and also some Mavic stuff and think there is some crossover tech in materials used and how garments are put together as both brands are owned by Amer sports (also Salomon).
  • + 3
 well on arcteryx website there's no signo of mtb specific clothing...at least on the american one.
  • + 2
 Look for Climbing Jackets. Usually have slightly longer sleeves and a longer back. Also have a bigger hud so can go over a helmet when its really nasty! I'm using a RAB at the moment and its a belter.
  • + 5
 What's wrong with the 80's? Kids nowadays. Want everything to be black. I miss my neon yellow and pink K2 skis with neon pink Leki polesFrown
  • + 1
 I own that Mt500 jacket, it's essentially a gore Tex knockoff material that works very well and costs 1/2 as much, has HUGE vents with waterproof zippers. Works so well on bike that it's now my ski shell too
  • + 1
 I used to work for McKinley out door. We made a 4 ply jacket that was so awesome. Better then all of the other riding jackets in the market.
  • + 2
 I dont want to look like Im in highschool and I dont want to look like my dad who just came back from EddieBauer/Northface, there should be a balance.
  • + 12
 Looks like it was stitched together from remnants. I thought you could only find fugly clothes at the thrift store.
  • + 5
 The hot dog of jackets...leftover pieces of other jackets made into well..... that.
  • + 3
 Great analogy man. Hot dogs are to crap food as this jacket is to...
  • + 9
 Looks garth designed in 90's.
  • + 10
 That was supposed read... Looks like Garth brooks designed it in the 90's.
  • + 14
 I thought you meant Wayne and Garth...?
  • + 3
 Those sleeves look way too short imo. But, I do like the design although the colour scheme is a little wonky to me.
  • + 8
 shwing!
  • + 1
 maybe if it was made of denim
  • + 1
 Party on Wayne!!
  • + 8
 Reviewing clothes on the Internet is like reviewing phone sex with a live person
  • + 35
 What?
  • + 7
 Looks like something someone from the 'Special Unit' at my school in 1985 would have worn.
  • + 6
 So.you forgot your PE kit? You will have to wear this!
  • + 2
 If you sweat like michael jackson at a school play, ditch the waterproofs. You'll be soaking wet if you wear one of not.
Get a good windproof (such as a Montane), save some money (and fluids) and don't overheat.
It's the combination of cold and wet which is the problem, away from the extremes you can deal with either on their own.
  • + 2
 I'm really surprised so many of you think it's ugly! I think it looks great! Colour scheme is so "out there" it looks good, retro.

ANYWAYS

Wanted to ask - would anyone that has or has worn this. I normally where "small" t shirts, but it really depends on brand and style - so I wanna know if the smalls are REALLY small (I have some biking gear that's small, and it's too small) or if they're bigger smalls. Just not sure to get a medium or small. Would buy online so I couldn't test.
  • + 2
 I liked the review, it focused on the jacket's performance, fit and range of use, which is what I would look for on a piece of technical clothing. Looks are subjective, but a little less contrasting combination would work for me. In a three colour combo I'd go for black, then a neutral colour then spice it up with a vibrant one. Plus it's less likely to clash with the clothes you already own if it's a bit on the conservative side of fashion.
  • + 1
 A cycling jacket with no vents is pretty usless if you have to pedal. And this fox jacket has no vents correct?
Endura makes some decent, reasonably priced, breathable waterproof jackets, in Black and other normal colors.
Get a jacket with pit and side zips or ride wet.
  • + 1
 I just purchased this jacket and it had TERRIBLE FIT. There is s great deal of attention to detail if you look at the interior of the jacket. All the seams are reinforced and this it makes this a very waterproof and durable jacket ( I am assuming) . However, it also makes the jacket rigid and non conforming. Particularly in the shoulder area.

Futhermore there is a material bonded to the shoulder area which makes it difficult fot it to sit well on your shoulders. Especially after it has been creased. It stays bunched up and it makes it look like YOU HAVE HORNS coming out from your shoulders.

Aside from the fit issue this is a fantastic jacket. Tech wise it is exellent. Super lightweight. It can be had for $100 or so if you look around. YOUR FIT MAY VARY.

I ended up opting for the FOX Dawn Patrol 2 and the Bionic Lt . Those are both excellent. I just wished the Gradients fit was a bit more conforming to the body.
  • + 0
 So, to sum up then, YOUR HORNS MAY FIT VARY TERRIBLE, YOU FIT FOX
  • + 1
 yep guess that was pointless eh?
  • + 1
 Not at all, I'm just easily distracted by caps. Thanks for sharing your experience.
  • + 5
 That's got a face only a mother could love.
  • + 1
 These jackets are not rip stop material....its crap. ruined mine the first day owned it. Never made it to the trail, ripped on a piece of velcro on my shoulder brace and the taped seems weren't even fully laminated to the jacket...for $100+ for a rain jacket, just go with something like Endura that is actually made to last.
  • + 5
 So in England you just ride in the rain and it's considered OK?
  • + 14
 In England you do everything in the rain, going to the beach, playing football, outdoors work, hiking, even bbq's!

When it rains 80% of the year, sometimes for months at a time, you have little choice!

Danny Harts 2011 Champery run makes more sense when you understand this
  • + 3
 Depends what you mean by OK. Is it fun? Depends on your definition of fun.. Does it damage the trails? The soil in England is very different to the West of the US, and there are a lot of areas where you can ride in the wet without damaging trails.
  • + 17
 Yep,if you don't ride in the rain,you don't ride at all.
  • + 7
 It's all shits and giggles really. A bit of damp won't hurt you. It just makes you slide around more and appreciate the dry day you get each year. And like @ctd07 pointed out, just look at all the UK boys who are so often on the top step. They ain't scared of no drizzle!!
  • + 2
 kinda like sloppy wet trails tbh
  • + 2
 There are parts of California where all these UK comments would apply. For you non-Californians out there, a pretty significant portion of the population of California thinks Santa Barbara is in northern California, when there is really another 700 miles of it north of that.
  • + 0
 Everything wet in the UK except the girls and they are REAL wet.
  • + 1
 I meant more is it socially acceptable. Really knew the answer already. Just depressed that my only days off work right are when it rains and I don't have any trails that don't get messed up all summer if you ride in the rain here.
  • + 3
 I don't know why everyone is complaining so much, I actually think it looks pretty sweet.
  • + 1
 Try to get laid in that, i dare you.
  • + 3
 Challenge accepted.
  • + 4
 $179.95 USD. can buy me alot!
  • + 0
 For the first time it's not a 500$ jacket xD
  • + 3
 You can easily find it 150 shipped I got mine for 110 shipped
  • + 1
 good to know Wink
  • + 2
 Dont make a bad comment about products reviewed by Pinkbike. They'll delete them!
  • - 1
 What's with the vertical zipper on one side of the chest?
It seems like the majority of shirts and jackets made in the last couple of years have the one vertical pocket on the chest.
While watching a playoff game last weekend I noticed even the head coach of one team was wearing a shirt with the same fricking thing. It's like all the clothing manufacturers got together a couple years ago and decided that was gonna be the new trend, and I don't get it.
  • - 1
 I think arcteryx started it and it just became a thing.
  • + 1
 remember having a shell suit in the early nineties looked a bit like that. Just could not imagin paying anywhere near that RRP for something so ugly.
  • + 1
 Me too,fila I think or it may have been earlier.club tropicana drinks were free aswell I think.
  • + 3
 Can it be described as ugly?
  • + 5
 Yes. It absolutely can.
  • + 1
 Picture this with a fanny pack!! 80's are back in full force. Fashion is like a wheel and it will always comme rolling back, like it or not...
  • + 1
 why is it that in cycling, dressing like a colorblind moron with 598 sponsors is the norm?

I have those shorts, scored em for 9 bucks at an rei garage sale.
  • + 1
 The "industries" latest attempt in making us look like a troup of unemployed clowns looking for ANY kids show.
  • + 3
 Wow.Fire the designer.
  • + 2
 Oh !!! my eyes are bleeding !!!!
  • + 1
 On all things other than physical, I am a stunt kite that rides bikes and I feel this coat is perfect for me.
  • + 1
 stay simple with colours Fox ... thats how to make a product that people will actualy buy ..
  • + 2
 I think Aldo Nova wore one of these in his videos in the 80s.
  • + 2
 Good grief Fox, think about it ?
  • + 1
 Looks like a good promising jacket that won't break the bank like Goretex! I bet it rolls up to be pretty tiny too.
  • + 1
 Are they doing a man version of it?
  • + 1
 Buy a Berghaus for the same money and have done with it
  • + 1
 I wouldn't take that for free!
  • + 1
 To bad it's so ugly. Kind of retro looking.
  • + 2
 BU-F-UGLY
  • + 1
 to dusty for a jacket right now
  • + 4
 Where are you living? Some of us are experiencing this thing called winterSmile
  • + 2
 Egypt
  • + 1
 Seriously?
  • + 2
 I love it!
  • + 0
 why not just put the pb's take in the review? idk just my 2c
  • + 1
 Looks inside out

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