Chrome very kindly sent me a De Haro windbreaker quite a while back, as with all my reviews I have taken my time and not rushed to get it written up because I like to make sure that I’ve really used something before forming an opinion, the De Haro has given me a bit of a rollercoaster ride.
The Chrome De Haro is a super lightweight windbreaker made of a micro Ripstop material, it really is as light as a feather. It’s a pretty full featured jacket for something that appears so simple at first, it has a 2-way zip, 2 small chest pockets, large rear pocket, discreet reflective detailing, elastic drawstrings and is packable.
Like many of Chrome’s products it has a refined contemporary military styling which I really like, it’s not flashy like many cycling jackets so you won’t look like a total bozo when you’re out riding. I’m a big fan of jackets like this, I had a very similar Dope one back in the late 90s and countless other ones since then. This really does bridge the gap between on and off bike clothing.
The 2 small chest pockets have a velcro closure, personally I’ve never used them but I don’t use the chest pockets on my shirts either. You could easily fit your phone or a small wallet in them but because the material is so light it would sag, things like a Lemsip sachet or a pack of tissues in case of sudden onset man flu would be better.
There is a reflective Chrome logo above the left pocket which is black when not shining. Black on black, can’t ask much more than that, I like it.
The cuffs are adjustable with a velcro strip, I’ve found it works a treat, the hook and loop is good quality and stays put. The thin fabric lends itself well to this, it doesn’t feel at all uncomfortable when it’s folded over under the strap.
The strap works both ways, one side is black but the other side features a long reflective strip which offers excellent side visibility at night which is something that a lot of bike lights lack. I really like that Chrome have given the option of whether you want to show the reflector or not, great if you burgle by bike.
The hood, this is something I’ve got some beef with. The size is good, the elastic drawcord is great but due to the lightness of the fabric it fills with air when mashing so that when you turn around to check the traffic all you can see is a great big black circle, it really does create a huge blind spot, which is dangerous.
That said, all it takes to remedy the issue is to pull the cords a little so that air doesn’t rush straight into it and inflate it like a balloon. It’s all swings and roundabouts, I love that the De Haro has a hood because most cycle specific windbreakers don’t so having to pull a cord in order to stay safe isn’t really an issue I suppose.
There are hidden mesh vents on both sides, I’m not too sure about how effective they are but I’m sure they are better than nothing. Unfortunately when you ride in a jacket like this you’re going to get sweaty, it’s a necessary evil.
There is no such thing as a riding jacket that you won’t get wet in when riding, no matter how breathable something claims to be you’re either going to get wet from the rain or from sweat collecting inside, more often than not though it’s both. Chrome refers to the De Haro as a windbreaker and it sure does break the wind to a T, but their claim that it’s water resistant simply isn’t true, it won’t keep you dry in even the lightest of showers. But, like I said above you’re probably going to be soaked with sweat anyway so it’s a moot point.
The rear zipped pocket is nice and big, it’ll take almost everything you throw at it. What else can I say about it? Every cyclist loves a rear pocket!
The entire jacket folds up into the back pocket and zips up, it’s a nice neat solution and great to chuck into your bag ready for when the sun goes down and the temperature drops.
The inflating hood can be annoying but the thing that really got my goat for a long time was the lack of hand pockets, I kept bitching and moaning about it to myself all the time for a long time. I know most lightweight riding jackets don’t have hand pockets but that’s because they are designed solely for riding, this jacket isn’t though, it’s meant to be great off the bike too and it took me a long time to accept that there wasn’t anywhere for me to put my hands. Accept it I have though and now it doesn’t bother me anymore.
The Chrome De Haro is a well thought out featherweight cycling windbreaker, despite a couple of niggles that I’ve learned to live with I’m really happy with it and continually find myself drawn to it, even back when my hands were at a loose end. It’s my go-to jacket for riding in on dry days and due to how light it is and how small it can be scrunched it’s what I wear out to clubs because I can stuff it in my back pocket and not talk to girls without worrying if someone has stolen it from the corner of the room.
At around £75 the price may be a little steep but as with a lot of things these days you have to pay more for less and when riding less is more. Check out the Chrome website for full info.
I shot all these photos in a WWII anti-aircraft command bunker situated on Mumbles Hill in Swansea, it kinda fitted in with the military look of the jacket. If you’re into history and stuff you can find more info about it here.