At A Glance
The Matrix jacket was a popular for the brand last year, and for 2015 they have gone for some tweaks rather than a complete overhaul. The fit has been made a little slimmer and waterproof zips have been added on the vents and pockets at the front. A softer cuff strap has been used to improve comfort and there is a bold new lime green colour way.Buy Jackets on
In terms of what remains the same, the jacket still has the 10k/10k waterproof breathable rating. There is a moisture wicking and breathable liner to draw sweat away from your body; a mesh vent across the shoulders also helps to keep things cool. The vented mesh pockets have a double zip, so you can utilise the top part for ventilation and still keep your belongings safe.
Lastly, the fully adjustable hood is still there which is great to see, with toggles and elastic it can fit comfortably over your open face lid, and then get tightened up to wear normally when your lid is off.
On The Trail
There is a new pin stipe check pattern, which replaces the straight pinstripe from last year. It’s very stylish and subtle and worth mentioning purely because this jacket looks so good it seems a shame to cover it in mud. We don’t normally like to talk about colours and fashion too much, but with the Matrix it is worth a particular mention as it’s a jacket we would happily wear on a night out just as much as we would down the trail.
The breathable mesh lining gives the jacket a familiar feel from the inside, even if you are wearing a short sleeve top. It also does a good job of keeping that moisture away from your body. The side and back vents work well keeping things cool while the outer shell does a very good job of keeping you dry.
Arguably the best feature of this jacket is the hood, we haven’t come across many jackets with a hood that actually works and is comfortable with a helmet. To be honest we often don’t bother wearing them. However, if you are caught on some miserable mountainside as the heavens open you’ll be nice and snug inside the Matrix hood. It fits a lid perfectly and the mouth guard is soft and comfortable too, leaving just a small part of your face exposed to the elements.
Achingly stylish the Matrix jacket from Royal Racing is almost too good to get muddy. Use it out on the trail though and when the conditions get rough you’ll be glad of its design and well-considered features!Buy Jackets on
This review was in Issue 32 of IMB.For more information visit Royal Racing
By Rou ChaterRou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.