Sweet Protection bike products have quickly risen to the same dizzy heights in popularity as their snow and water sports products, and are guaranteed to be spotted on riders out on the trails worldwide. The Delirious is a fine example of a minimalist jacket which shows that Sweet Protection are bang up to date with both design and material choice. It’s made with Gore-Tex’s 3 layer Active fabric, which they claim to be the most breathable in their extensive range of waterproof fabrics. This lightweight (270g) and pack-able jacket also features an extended back drop, adjustable cuffs, collar and hem, a chest pocket and some funky reflective prints. You can get your hands on one in either True Black as tested, or the more racy Scorch Red.Buy Jackets on
The cut of this jacket feels perfect. I’ve ridden with it on a lot and have never felt anything other than comfortable. The low drop tail does a fine job of keeping the draft out and your backside dry, whilst the front is short but not so short that you look like a tool when you’re off the bike. My broad shoulders aren’t an issue and the arms are nice and long so that even at full reach no gaps appear between glove and cuff. I was chuffed that the size large worked so well for me in the sense that it felt a slim enough fit not to flap about when wearing just a single layer, yet it still had room to throw a decent size layer on underneath when the conditions got really poor. For its size and weight the protection it offers in bad weather is just awesome. As it has no hood there are limits to what protection it can offer, but as a ‘summer’ shell for the mountains it ticks all the boxes.
Thanks to impressive developments in recent years with 3 layer Gore-Tex fabric it somehow finds the ability to keep the rain and wind out whilst being breathable enough to keep your core temperature where it needs to be when you’re working hard on the bike. I’ve worn it for long periods where I’ve been pushing myself and found that when I’ve stopped it’s still remarkably dry on the inside, and I’ve not overheated like I have with other jackets. All summer this has been my go-to jacket. Even when it’s not raining, thanks to its amazing breathability, it doubles up as a bomber windproof. When the weather eases it can be packed away into the smallest of bags with ease, and at only 270 grams you hardly notice you’re carrying it.
If you like a jacket with lots of pockets, you may be a little disappointed as it just has the one chest pocket, which is ample enough to hold a large smart phone in a case, or a good size bag of Haribo if that’s how you like to roll. As with any lightweight shell, the durability it offers depends on how well you look after it. Throw it in the washing machine on a normal wash with washing powder and you will end its life as a waterproof shell, yet care for it well and it will stand the test of time. I have had some good crashes whilst wearing it too, which should have ended its days as well as my skin cover, but it has somehow stood strong. The only negative that I can come up with is that after some use the tab on the main zip came off in my hand, but it hasn’t been an issue as the cord which attaches it works fine on its own, and perhaps I was being overly enthusiastic about getting the jacket done up!
This is a brilliant minimalist jacket which offers amazing protection from the weather whilst providing buckets of breathability. It definitely isn’t the cheapest on the market but it’s certainly a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. Of all the jackets I’ve had over the years without a hood, the Delirious stands head and shoulders above all of them. This jacket does not disappoint.
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By Charley OldridCharley Oldrid is a man who spends a lot of time in the saddle. A highly experienced Mountain Bike Guide, having led trips all over world riding the finest trails he can find. His personal riding style can only be described as wild, getting sideways isn't an option on a ride with Charley, it's mandatory. If anyone can find the limit of a test bike, it's him.