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Review: Ion's 2022 Outerwear Collection

Jan 13, 2022
by Alicia Leggett  
Ion's new outerwear collection comes with the tagline 'get over it' - it being the cold and wet weather that tends to discourage many of us from riding as much this time of year. I had the pleasure of testing a women's kit as the weather has cooled down and I've increasingly needed some well-thought-out garments to keep the elements out and the warmth in. Below are my impressions.






The Shelter Jacket 3L is designed to keep rain and wind out while maintaining breathability and giving riders plenty of features. It has two armpit zip vents, a helmet-compatible elasticized hood, and two chest pockets, one of which has a goggle wipe inside.

The four-way-stretch fabric is soft and flexible without the crinkly noises that often come from water-repellent jackets. The grey and black color blocking looks nice to me, especially with the light blue zipper, but it's available in "tidal green" and grey with a pink zipper as well for those who want a bit more color. The men's version is available in the same colors but with more neutral zippers.
Shelter Jacket 3L Details
• Sizes: women's XS-XL and men's S-XXL
• Ion's 4way_Stretch fabric (which is, yeah, exactly what it sounds like)
• Breathable and water-repellent: 20,000mm water column & 20,000 gr/m/24h breathability
• Armpit vents, goggle wipe, and helmet-compatible hood
• $249.99 USD / $319.99 CAD
www.ion-products.com (men's available here)

The Shelter Jacket 3L is easy to like. Mainly, it's the attention to detail that I'm impressed by: the hood snugs around a helmet or helmetless head thanks to its elastic, eliminating the need for any adjustments, and the sleeves are perfectly shaped to cover the backs of the wrist and snug against the inner wrist using, again, nicely-placed elastic. All the seams and zippers are sealed to keep water out, and the pocket placement is user-friendly.

The fit is quite true to size, essentially exactly what I'd expect from a women's medium. As a tall person with long limbs, I really appreciate not only the shape but the length of the sleeves, though that's something to be aware of for the shorter folks.




Pros

+ Comfortable
+ Well thought out
+ Very breathable for the warmth

Cons

- Sleeves may be a bit long for those without long limbs





The Shelter Pants 4W Softshell are a bit more robust than the jacket, with reinforcement on the lower legs and seat and a durable, softshell material. As with the Shelter Jacket 3L, Ion has excelled once again in the outerwear department. The Shelter Pants 4W Softshell are quite comfortable and have just the right amount of stretch, so they don't limit any pedaling or other movement.

In the interest of range of movement and flexibility, they have a short zipper at the bottom of each leg - a feature I've been calling the Instant Bell Bottom™ (no, Ion has not cosigned on that name). The zipper is nice for putting on tall socks or knee pads (depending on the knee pads).
Shelter Pants 4W Softshell Details
• Sizes: women's XS-XL, men's S-XXL
• 4way_Stretch fabric
• Mesh vents on thighs
• Neoprene phone pocket
• Zip calves
• Adjustable waistband
• $169.99 USD / $219.99 CAD
www.ion-products.com (men's available here)

The pants' other features are smart, too. Two mesh vents let extra heat out on the uphills but seal nicely the descents, hook and loop adjustments ensure a good fit at the waist, the closure snap is plenty sturdy, and there's a neoprene lining in the right hip pocket to offer a bit of protection for a cell phone.

These pants are some that not only will serve me on lots of chilly bike rides in the months and years to come, but will also come in handy for other cold-weather sports.




Pros

+ Four-way stretch for maximum comfort
+ Smart features
+ Versatile and robust

Cons

- Some might not like the extra zippers on the calves




The Haze Amp gloves are a durable option for those looking for some extra warmth on rides where they'll encounter some rain and wind. The gloves fit nicely, with a neoprene cuff and wind-resistant backing, and come with a bonus integrated rain cover that folds under the cuff when it isn't needed. The claw shape of the rain cover allows for index finger braking while keeping the rest of the fingers together for warmth.

There's also a screen-compatible fingertip, so using a cell phone doesn't have to mean losing feeling to your fingers.
Haze Amp Gloves Details
• Sizes: unisex XXS-XL
• Wind-resistant material
• Integrated claw rain cover
• Velcro closure and neoprene cuff
• Screen-compatible fingertip
• $69.99 USD/ $89.99 CAD
www.ion-products.com

Silicone dots on the palm help with grip, and there's a small thumb patch that'll work as a goggle wipe. Although they're not bulky, the gloves are warmer than many fall and winter riding gloves, especially with the rain cover. The rain cover also helped me to find the sweet spot of climbing without the cover before adding that extra warmth for the descents, thus avoiding the problem of sweating and then freezing.




Pros

+ Claw rain cover
+ Warm without sacrificing dexterity

Cons

- On the pricey side




The Bike Tee Scrub LS jersey isn't part of the Outerwear collection, but it arrived with the rest of the goods, so I'm including it for good measure. The jersey is made of a mesh torso and solid sleeves, all made of polyester with what Ion calls S.Café technology, which uses coffee grounds to treat the fabric to provide better wicking and odor control.

I can't exactly speak to the effectiveness of S.Café, but I can say that, like all the Ion products above, the jersey is thoughtfully designed and integrates features that we don't usually see in jerseys without adding unnecessary weight. On the back, there's a small pocket that can hold a lift ticket or a key, and on the other side, there's a microfiber goggle wipe.
Bike Tee Scrub LS Details
• Sizes: women's XS-XL, men's S-XXL
• Ventilated mesh torso
• S.Café fabric finish claims to provide odor control and faster drying
• Small pocket on the back
• Integrated goggle wipe
• $79.99 USD / $99.99 CAD
www.ion-products.com (men's available here)




Pros

+ Breathable
+ More features than most jerseys with minimal added weight

Cons

- Maybe too breathable - a bit see-through
- A bit baggy





57 Comments

  • 38 12
 Downvote this article, please! Be safe be well, Incognito Robin
  • 3 0
 @notoutsideceo: Hmm not super read up on this situation but a union might be really good here actually. Keep the staff in turbulent times at decent conditions and they will do good work for the company.
  • 10 0
 MTB and dicking around on various mtb websites while stuck at work is my carefree, almost childish escape from the real world and adult responsibilities. The real world is starting to infiltrate.
  • 3 0
 The 15 members of that union don't seem to include any of the PB staff.
  • 13 1
 @mammal: the pink bike staff are like "you are getting paid?! We just work for swag and the camaderie."
  • 6 19
flag dmackyaheard (Jan 13, 2022 at 9:30) (Below Threshold)
 @notoutsideceo: Why on earth would you want an article like this down voted? The Outside buy out of PB was already not super popular by a portion of its readers. If you want to improve the visuals of Outside and PB, why would you discourage a union within your ranks? I have friends that work in outdoor media, and the crunch of staff and lack of compensation is a real problem, not just in Outside, but others. Wow.
  • 29 3
 @dmackyaheard, you do realize that @notoutsideceo isn't the actual CEO, right? He's just a random PB user with too much time on their hands who's taken trolling to a new level.
  • 3 4
 @slumgullion: Are you sure?
  • 3 0
 @slumgullion: He is, he has a photo on his account that proves it.
  • 3 0
 @BikesNRussets: the photo of the letter from CTO/SVP John Schnipkoweit dated 12/25/22 'Category: DH racing' or the photo of Batman? Whoever he is, he's leading voters by the nose, up and down
  • 7 0
 @dmackyaheard: Read his hundreds of comments, and ask yourself 1) If the actual CEO of Outside would bother being so active in these forums, and 2) If these are messages that the actual CEO would share?

There's also the part about his handle being [NOT]outsideceo.
  • 3 0
 @mammal: It's the great mystery of the PB comment section. There are comments that make sense, ones that poke fun of himself in his position, and a few out of left field. I do have an informal bet happening with some friends on whether or not its a troll account, however, I also believe in aliens.
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: I just found my soulmate! And he's a dude..
  • 2 0
 @dmackyaheard: Absolutely zero mystery here, t's obviously not the CEO. Why wouldn't his account be "outsideceo" if he was the CEO?
  • 16 4
 @mammal @dmackyaheard Gentlemen, I appreciate all the investigative journalism you have engaged in...please consider applying to Outside Inc.; as you can see we're having some talent 'issues' especially on the editorial side. Fear not, I'm trying to do a part 2 of the PinkPod and at that time I will be addressing all your questions. As far as the letter from John...he's never been very attentive to detail - hence my pseudonym!

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 4 0
 The obvious conclusion is that @mikelevy becomes the Union Rep for Pinkbike.

Here's the name: International Personhood of Mountainous Riders and Reviewers
  • 5 0
 @dmackyaheard: put me down for $1000 on him being actual Chief. He knows the names of too many other actual chiefs off the top of his head, and spending time here shows how skilled he is at delegation
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: Agree... He's too calculated not to be. BUT... the first comment he made above was a little... odd
  • 1 0
 @dmackyaheard: how? He means it, and a downvote is still engagement. The O+ tags have disappeared from Comments as user experiences are optimized, and Chief is besting commenters at their adopted game. He's WAKI, but glibly self-aggrandizing instead of genuinely interested and generally enraged. I take it you're not accepting the bet
  • 7 0
 @ceecee: On a side note...'Be safe be well' branded jerseys (loose fit, not lycra for all you Pinkers) are on the way...they will sell out quickly, if you want to be added to the waitlist DM me!

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 2 0
 @notoutsideceo: Your cover has been blown... It was a good run!
  • 4 0
 @ceecee: Did you listen to the podcast interview with Robin? The dude is dry as burnt toast... no way is he able to come up with the gold that @notoutsideceo is dishing out.

No, it's much more likely that he hired WAKI as his Pinkbike-specific social media liaison.
  • 3 0
 @dmackyaheard: "notoutsideceo" started as "outsideceo" when Outside bought PB and immediately got canceled then reappeared as "notoutsideceo" and continued the schtick. Good fun.
  • 2 0
 @DDoc: You are correct...that said my CTO and I have looked to rebuild our friendship since the banning incident you describe here.

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 1 0
 @dmackyaheard: #NeverTrustKaz...

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 1 0
 @srjacobs: 'Be safe be well.'

@notoutsideceo: drone
  • 28 0
 I read the jacket con as "sleeves may be a bit long for those without limbs" and thought, "yes yes, that's a good point".
  • 28 1
 What can I say? I strive for inclusivity.
  • 4 0
 I have what they call positive ape index. A knuckle dragger if you will. So for me this was a selling point.
  • 8 0
 No offence but this isn't a review it's more like first impressions, we don't really find out how well they worked long-term or your personal opinion on the products. This is just a bunch of info I could have read on Ion's website.
  • 7 0
 Ion stuff lasts a long time....good investment
  • 4 0
 thats right! unfortunately their designs get worser every year
  • 3 1
 @funkzander: Still better than Looseriders or Troy Lee pyjamas
  • 1 0
 @funkzander: What's wrong with these designs? They look good.
  • 1 0
 @rrolly: personal taste. i really liked their 2015 and 2016 collections and liked nearly every jersey and short from that years but after that the designs were not my cup of tea any longer. i prefer simple basic single32 coloured stuff. quality on the other hand i was always very pleased with ion. their kpact kneepads are my favourites.
  • 2 0
 I can ride in some piss poor weather and it not cost me $560 £400 to keep
me cosy in it. For the light weight bike gear I have tried in the past, you end
up having to re treat often otherwise succumb to wet out, not to mention weak
threads under stretch and wear causing seams to open up, couple of branch
bramble strikes and the whole lot opens up, tiny zippers that jam or to small to
open with gloved hands, bike specific clothing never seems to last.
  • 2 0
 Last week, after extremely muddy ride, I decided that riding in my hiking pants was fairly idiotic idea and that I need a dedicated long riding pants.
Just today I ordered a pair of Ion Shelter pants. 126chf (138US$) and free shipping.
  • 1 0
 What do you ride in then?
  • 2 0
 I’ve been beating the crap out of a pair of Ion Shelter pants for the last two years. They show zero wear so far. Even a couple minor crashes without tears.

Also, they offer the widest temperature range of all my kit, due to the thick but breathable fabric, and the small but very effective hip vents.

On the negative side: I prefer the Specialized-style waist closure, don’t find the phone pocket all that useful (kind of a pain to get even an iPhone Mini in and out of it with gloves on), and I wish the butt panel was truly waterproof, not just DWR.
  • 3 1
 Ok now. Not wearing any Gucci, Prada, and other fancy crap....why should I wear a $250 biking attire so I can take a spill and throw away my $250 biking attire ? Everything rips and shreds when you take a spill going fast.
  • 4 0
 Jeez, who the hell can afford that after all the other mtb expenses!
  • 3 1
 People that wanna stay warm I guess
  • 2 0
 @talanking: It even said it’s too breathable, so what’s the point now hahaha.
  • 1 0
 @talanking: At least for the Jersey.
  • 1 0
 Everyone that moved to Idaho in past couple years. Or sold a house in Idaho the past couple years
  • 1 0
 wife bought me something similar from PI as a gift in December....expensive, yes, bought totally worth it for winter riding (no snow down here, just cold). Haven't missed any of my regular biking days this winter
  • 1 0
 If I would ride in €170 pants I would put the kneepads on top, not underneath. Why save your knees and kill the pants if you can save both?
  • 2 0
 I dare any one to try to warranty a Ion product. Let me know if you crack the code!
  • 1 0
 I wish more MTB brands would make winter clothing that is suitable for places like Colorado. Moisture isn’t usually the main concern - the occasional single digit (F) is.
  • 2 0
 Jeans and a hoodie work well too...
  • 3 1
 Allot of negativly charged coments in here.
  • 1 0
 I'm showing my dadness. Saw the photos and thought, "darlin', you should get some moisturising cream on those hands!"
  • 1 2
 Ion's apparel - one of the worst I have. Traze AMP series.

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