Assos Airjack 851 Jackets/Vests

Assos Airjack 851 Jackets/Vests 

DESCRIPTION

The Assos airJack 851 jacket shuts out chilling winds with strategically placed Airblock membrane on the collar, chest and arms. The high collar with snap closure, a full-length zipper with draft flap, and double-layer elastic cuffs enhance the airtight protection.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 13  
[Jan 02, 2011]
thirstyman
Road Racer

Strength:

well constructed.

Weakness:

armpit area and upper arms not well protected from wind.

I found the same weakness in the jacket as noted by some other riders above. In particular, arm pits and inside of upper arms are very unprotected from front winds when riding slightly more upright (on the hoods). I believe this is a design flaw that makes this jacket less than ideal under 40 degrees F. For rides of over two hours in those temps, this results in a cold chest area despite the airblock material on the chest itself. Only when deeply tucked does this jacket with its protected shoulder tops serve to shield the rider as the armpit area is then due to posture.

Similar Products Used:

sugio winter jacket, gore fall/winter jacket

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
[Jun 06, 2010]
phillip woolf
Recreational Rider

Strength:

Ability to handle temperature variation. Good for 5-15 Deg C. But could easily cope with 0 deg. C with variations of l/s baselayer. Looks good with Assos early winter gloves and airblock booties. Complete package works best.
Nicely manufactured, well cut on the body, quality zip, good waist band.
High collar, which converts to regular style collar when folded down.
Heaps of storage, Very comfortable, feels great on. Put it on when you know it's going to be a cold day. Can easily regulate temp by slightly opening zip. Your mates will envy you.

Weakness:

The stupid press button to secure the collar is a design flaw. Velcro with a rip tab would have been the best solution. It cannot be easily secured while wearing full fingered gloves. May have been better to adapt a version of the Assos Element, vest's collar instead of current design. Material inside collar will pill with rough stubble.
Too expensive, but don't want to see it made in china either.
Don't use it when you know it's going to be wet.
Works best with a L/S base layer.
Tab at base of zip looks good, but is a bit annoying.

Review for the Assos 851 Airjacket.
Had purchased other Assos gear and was shopping for a quality garment that would handle a reasonably wide variation in temp. range, from cold morning starts at about 5 Deg. C, to about 15 Deg C. upon completion of a bunch ride 2 to 2.5 hrs later. I didn't want to lug a bulky jacket, then later try and stuff it into a jersey pocket. Needed to block wind effectively, be fashionably appealing, have good recognition to other road users, and generally be comfortable to wear. The Airjacket filled all these requirements

Similar Products Used:

Pearl Izumi, Jaggard, etc.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jan 07, 2010]
kevin32
Road Racer

Strength:

Quality, fit, performance. Probably should switch to the Fujujack, but price always seems a bit rich. Need to find a used one.

Weakness:

As always with Assos it's the price. I justify there cold weather apparel though because I ride outside sparingly in the winter, so their jackets will last me forever.

Great product. Fit is excellent, but needed to size up because it's very form fitting. I use this jacket down to 20 degrees, but need to use a winter base layer. Between 30-40 degrees I simply switch to a thinner base layer and I good for 1-2 hours on the bike.

Similar Products Used:

Pearl Izumi

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 04, 2010]
Eclectus
Recreational Rider

Strength:

Superb fit. It really feels nice to don and ride. Stretchiness accommodates weight variation, so if you put on a little weight during the holidays, no problemo. Excellent build (Slovenia-sewn but with Swiss design and QC.)

Weakness:

The 14 F /8 C temp range is very limited. If you layer up for lower-temp extension, you lose the value of the non-constricting airJack's design and materials, and start to get feel "bulky".

The airBlock panels, placed at the front, are great for windless/low wind days, but don't work in cool/cold-temp cross-winds. Here a full-body windblocking jacket, with pitzips is far more versatile.

If Assos wants to get you to buy a multi-set wardrobe, starting with the FuguJack at $695 for sub-32F, then switch to airJack, then switch to Element One, then ClimaJet for cool to warmish rain, that's fine. But practically speaking, other mfrs have one-jacket-works-for-many-more conditions, which give you more money to spend on other stuff.

A great jacket, albeit somewhat limited as to climate-variation versatility. Assos says it is designed for 32-46 F / 0-8 C, which depending on where you live, can make it not suitable for winter at all, but more like Oct-to-early Nov and latish-March thru April. If you are in Gulf-Coast or west-coast states, it should be fine for winter, except on very rainy days.

I got mine on a rare one-size-one-color-only overstock at ColoCyclist. For $223 no regrets. At $370, I don't think so.

For example my $230 Showers Pass Elite 2.0 is far more versatile for both far-below-freezing temps with windy but dry conditions to mildly cool rainy days. Much, much wider-condition-range performance than the airJack 851, and it's no-contest bang for buck even when equally priced.

I have other Assos stuff (shorts, tights, knickers) and it's great , but very high MSRPs relative to other high-quality garments, combined with Assos' management's close tracking of mfring to sales volumes, and infrequent product upgrades, result in few overstock/end-of-season closeouts at deep discounts. Which isn't wrong for Assos to do, but you can score some far better deals on stuff that's very, very good. For example, bibshorts and tights that are normally $230-260, are performance-and-comfort comparable to Assos,(especially with Assos- licensed EIT pads which are super-non-abrasive), then when they go on sale for $150-$170, that's a way better deal than Assos' $350-400 stuff, because you can get two goodies for less than one Assos garment. I say this as somebody who wears and loves Assos' fit and quality.

Similar Products Used:

Castelli Transparante stretchy-Windstopper jersey.

Not really similar: full-coverage Windstopper, GTX, eVent, Polartec, garment-brand-specific laminates (most of which seem to be versions of Gore's expired-patent ePTFE) and water-wind-repellant open-weave fiber-coated fabrics.

Brands worn: Assos, Bellwether, Castelli, Craft, DeMarchi, GBW, Pearl izumi,REI, Santini and Showers Pass bike stuff, plus alpine sports garments for cold weather from Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, Swix, and The Northface.




OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Mar 02, 2009]
nadimk
Recreational Rider

Strength:

Material quality, fit, perfect collar, great pockets, great understated styling, windproof and breathable, pit zips, offset front zipper, exclusivity (this is key to bolstering ego and making people ooh and aah at you at work or at the park with the kids)

Weakness:

needs a chest pocket, consider adding a little insulation for added warmth, expensive (love the tax cuts George)

This is a detailed review for the much touted Rapha soft shell. STOP reading if you are 1. Not extremely picky about your cycling clothing; 2. Do not have great difficulty finding cycling jackets that fit you; 3. Not willing to spend lots of money on quality clothing; 4. Do not have a wonderful wife who allows you to spend part of your tax return on "anything you want."

With that out of the way, this is the finest piece of cycling clothing I have ever worn. I am a slight 5'5", 125 lbs and have GREAT DIFFICULTY finding the perfect fit. With 300 dollars to spend on a new cycling jacket, I had lots of choices: Assos (can't say the name in front of the kids), Castelli (do not wish to look like a motocross rider), Giordana (too flashy), and umpteen others. After doing some research, I chose the Rapha because it 1. Was very likely to fit my body shape (it does perfectly); 2. It is understated and lacks words like "radiation" and "rosso corsa" and "Assoshole"; 3. Uses a very good synthetic known to be breathable and stretchy (Hytrel); 4. Has good pockets (needs a chest pocket though; 5. Has thumb loops (don't knock it till you've tried it, you'll never go back); 6. Has an offset zipper (same as 5.)

The Rapha has supreme build quality, a perfect fit, very supple soft shell material, and very nice styling. I hate fashion hype and blah, blah, blah. But, all the hype about wearing the Rapha soft shell off the bike is true. It actually is quite practical in the end. I routinely ride then go straight to work or meetings. I slip a pair of pants over my tights and leave the Rapha on...bam, presentable. Hair gets washed and dried in the sink, but that's another matter.

But, what really matters is performance. The jacket fits perfectly on the bicycle, is completely windproof, reasonably breathable, and has two critical strong points: 1. A PERFECT collar fit with soft fleece lining; 2. Nice long arms with thumb loops. These two features make the jacket for me. It is very hard to find the perfect collar for me, and the Rapha fits perfectly. I hate when arms are not long enough when extended in the cycling position. The thumb loops are comfortable and functional.

The rear pockets are huge and well positioned. Rapha needs to sew in an internal or external chest pocket though. Just do it and move on. 86 the little pocket at the waist, although this does fit keys and change perfectly.

The Rapha is not insulated. This means layers are required in extreme cold, something I ride in routinely. But it extends the range of use to higher temps. With an insulating layer, I am comfy down to the teens Fahrenheit. It is completely windproof! Don't you hate when expensive cycling jackets mix and match materials to provide "venting" and moisture management?! This is best achieved using great materials, proper fit, and pit zips. The latter are barely visible in the Rapha but they are there if you need them. I love pit zips.

I have not used the drop down butt cover.

Lastly, the bite guard. Pure hype Rapha! Since the collar fits so perfectly, I can't reach it with my teeth. It is not necessary anyway, since the zipper slides easily without counterpull.

Similar Products Used:

Showers Pass, Adidas climawarm, Cannondale LE jacket, borrowed Assos airjack (hated that one but it was too big)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Dec 07, 2008]
Lorden
Road Racer

Strength:

Design, pockets, zipper, reflective material.

Weakness:

Cost, insufficient wind block on underside of arms

Disappointing product considering the brand and price. I'm an avid user of Assos gear, it is expensive but the fit and quality are extremely high, such that you look forward to riding in it.
While this jacket is very well made and has very nice materials there are two main problems: 1) the wind block material only covers the front area of your arms, so on a cold day the back of your arms get cold. This basically necessitates the use of long sleeve underwear. The wind block material at the front also needs to be a bit lower, otherwise if you're in a fairly upright position (say on a climb) then the lower part of your stomach can feel a bit exposed.
2) The design of the flap could be better. It is difficult to fasten while in motion. Velcro would probably be better.
The jacket itself fits very well, the zip is extremely functional and useful. This jacket could be excellent, but I think Assos need to extend the coverage of the windblock material.

Similar Products Used:

Adidas Climacool jacket

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Apr 30, 2008]
Johnnysmooth
Road Racer

Strength:

Fit, quality of fabric, quality of mfg, 5 pockets, high snap collar, overall quality
Simply the best and I've gone thru lots of jackets

Weakness:

Price, but you get what you pay for. I'm looking at a 10yr lifespan, min, so cost really does not seem that unreasonable

Have been using this jacket for about 5 years now - it is simply amazing.

Yes, it is expensive but it is the finest piece of craftmanship you'll find in a jacket, holds up very well (another 5 yrs of use, no problem), great fit, doesn't flap in the wind, high tight-wrap collar really keeps the wind out (I keep mine snapped and simply regulate temperature with the zipper. THis really is a great jacket and if you can find it on sale at the nd o the winter season, grab one.

Similar Products Used:

Bell, Pearl, Castelli, Descente, Giordano

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 02, 2008]
Mark Manner
Road Racer

Strength:

Form fitting, blocks wind in front, breaths in the rear, looks great and fits great in the cycling position.

Weakness:

Cost, but that is the way it is for Assos and other top quality products.

I have been using the Assos 851 this winter, and really like it. It fits very well, once you figure out the right size. Assos is variable in sizing in my opinion. For example, I wear large in Assos bibs, XL in their top line jersey, and L in the 851. In most other companies' products I wear mediums. It is worth the trouble to get the right fit, and I find I can wear this in weather from about 25 deg. F to 45 deg. F.

Similar Products Used:

Nike and Hincapie cycling jackets.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 15, 2008]
robnfl
Road Racer

Strength:

Windproof, form fitting and comfortable on the bike.

Weakness:

You'll get chilled at the post ride coffee stop.

I was looking for a jacket that would keep me warm during the winter months with temps in the upper 20's to 40's. Well this jacket fits the bill perfectly. With a good long sleeve base layer this jacket keeps me warm even when the temps dip down to the low 30's and upper 20's. Without a base layer it works good with temps in the 40's. Any warmer than that and this jacket would probably be too much. This jacket is one of those types of cycling attire that work great while you're riding and creating some internal heat, but once you stop you'll get chilled quick. I like to start my rides feeling a little chilly then warm up. That way I don't have to peel a bunch of outer layers off after warming up. This jacket works perfectly for what I need. Also, this jacket is extremely form fitting. It fits my slimish torso perfectly, but maybe too tight for some people.

Similar Products Used:

Pearl Izumi.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Dec 13, 2007]
velomonkey
Road Racer

Strength:

Works as advertised and fits well on the bike

Weakness:

Too much $$$$$$$

Well, after a lot of trial and error I have finally found a good winter cycling jacket. For background I live in New England and we get 30 degree days starting in December and then it goes down from there and back to 30 in late February. Three months of indoor riding is too much, so you need a good balaclava and good winter gear if you're going to ride.

I just got this jacket and my first ride was a perfect test case - a 29 degree day and snow falling. The assos jacket performed great. I was completely comfortable and I only had a summer base layer and a short sleeve jersey under the assos. The jacket is a snug fit, but the wind block works great and the jacket is designed for use on a bike. Try it on standing up and it's not the most comfortable garment - get on the bike and the position greatly improves the garments fit. Good work by assos. The jacket looks good and the pockets are nice and deep. All in all I am happy with the purchase though the neck could be bigger (I am 6'3" 190 and I purchased the XL and I am not going to zip it all the way up) and the zipper strengthened since I plan on having this jacket for at least five years.

Assos is expensive and it pains me to buy this stuff, but it works and looks great to boot.

Similar Products Used:

Not much, truth be told

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 13  

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