Words: Brian Goldstone
French aviator and adventurer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once declared “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” While Saint-Exupéry is better known for flying rather than riding, his design sensibilities align perfectly with our new Oro: a truly waterproof breathable jacket that smashes the 100 gram barrier.
We started with the lightest, most breathable material we could find – GORE-TEX® Active fabric featuring SHAKEDRY™ technology. Its unique construction completely eliminates the face material and glue layer, essentially leaving you wearing just the GORE-TEX® membrane laminated to a lightweight inner fabric. The outer surface film repels water perfectly, never wets out, and never wears off, so it remains highly breathable in all conditions and needs only a quick shake to leave the surface dry. The precise combination of protection and comfort allows riders to leave the garment on through widely varied conditions, rain or shine.
But for us the fabric was only the starting point. As with every piece designed in our Squamish, B.C. studio, every detail of design and construction was optimized. Countless rounds of patterning and prototype construction were used to achieve perfect fit with an absolute minimum of seam length – reducing fabric, thread, and tape weight. We worked with our partners at YKK to retrofit custom lightweight sliders on our zippers. We developed a unique zipper installation process to eliminate an entire layer of tape and fabric overlap from each side. And we reduced hem bulk by using a laminated raw hem edge to give an ultraclean and lightweight finish.
However we didn’t set out to make the lightest jacket – we set out to make the lightest possible, fully functional jacket. 360 degree reflective tape, multipurpose vents that serve as passthroughs to your jersey pockets, waterproof elasticated cuffs, and a dual purpose essentials pocket/stuff sack complete the package. The final result: 93 grams, medium.
Lighter than an energy bar. Packs smaller than a cell phone. Fits easily in a jersey pocket and deploys easily against chilly winds or torrential downpours.