At the end of 2022, the news came out that Shakedry was disappearing from the market. We’d not long since finished making our recommendations for the best waterproof cycling jackets and suddenly everything was changing. As I worked on the article covering the details of what it meant to be at the precipice of a time when PFC bans are set to change the face of all waterproof garments, it brought to light new materials and new strategies. Despite having spent a decade riding through awful winter weather, I suddenly had a new list of things to try. One jacket in particular came to the forefront as an innovative and high-performance option, the POC Supreme Rain Jacket.
It’s a jacket that POC markets as an emergency rain shell, but its material is as close as we’ve seen to offering Shakedry performance but without the soon-to-be-banned PFC (perfluorinated compound) construction, so we’re wondering if it could actually represent more. We’d certainly hope so for the price; at £450 / $500 / €490 / AU$650, it’s even more spendy than anything we’ve seen made using Shakedry.
However, with its futureproof materials, high breathability ratings and high water column measurements, could the POC Supreme represent the future of high-performance waterproof cycling jackets? PFC-free materials are set to make a big entrance in the world of technical clothing, so I put it to the test and now I’m ready to share some details.
Design and aesthetics
The material is a 100% polyester fabric with a three-layer construction. The membrane in the centre is polyurethane, and to further bolster the waterproofing there is a PFC-free DWR (durable water repellant) applied to the outside faces. Of course, that’s not exactly the same as Shakedry but it is, at least positioned as, similar in that it’s thin and highly waterproof as well as highly breathable.
More than any other feature though, what sets the Supreme Jacket apart right away is how thin it is. It’s a given that it’s only a shell but it’s so light and thin it starts to compare to paper. POC lists it as 10-denier and if you look for fabric comparisons that are the same thickness, you’ll find the upper limit of ultra-sheer hosiery.
Compared by weight, the POC Supreme jacket weighs in at 64% of the Sportful Hot Pack No Rain jacket; a jacket that is already…