Monday, March 24, 2014

Levi's Modular Commuter Parka - Not just for cycling in the rain..

It's nice to be selected to review this new Levi's Modular Commuter Parka or rain jacket if-you-prefer on Street Fashion Sydney; and although I am no longer doing the daily cycle commute no-matter-the-weather as I did for many many years, I am still happy to ride in the rain without worrying about it too much. One thing that does help make riding in the rain a lot more pleasant though is having a good waterproof cycling jacket so you look a lot less like a drowned rat dying of exposure when you arrive at your destination. The 2014 Levi's Modular Commuter Parka seems to tick most of the boxes that I like to have ticked for a good dry ride. It's lightweight, has fancy water resistant three-layer fabric; vented in the back (top yoke), has a zip out hood correctly sized to cover your skid-lid. While the parka may not be bright yellow or orange (thank god), it is a nice drab green-grey or light Khaki with the all important reflective strips detailing the lower back seams and sleeve seams on the front shoulder.

Self portrait wearing the Levi's Modular Commuter Parka - Rain Jacket - Street Fashion Sydney, Fuji X-Pro1

Levi's menswear fashion - Flat lay photograph - bike and grass, Levi's Modular Commuter Parka - Photography by Kent Johnson.
All stitching and seams are sealed, that's the black tape everywhere.. I love the brass clips, zip toggles and Levi's trademark rivet on the sleeves. Of course its not really wet weather gear unless it keeps you dry. Unfortunately even though there are storms on their way.. at time of writing the best I have been able to do by way of weather testing is to give the parka/jacket a pretty good hose-down in the back yard with an additional strong jet of spray onto the zipper breast pocket into which I had stuffed a tissue. The tissue I am please to say emerged bone dry, so perhaps one can safely ride in the wet with the mobile phone on the outer layer; zipped-in nice and dry and safe and sound. The zip out hood looks like it will solve the water down the back of the neck problem; my only concern is that the tail might have been a bit longer. But then I have never had a jacket that had enough tail to cover my ass so who cares! The up side is you won't look like a dork wearing a bright yellow 'morning coat' when you step off the bike; which means this rain jacket will be just as useful off the bike as on. During a commute I would be wearing Lycra cycle shorts anyway and change at my destination; but it would perhaps be nice to invest in a pair the Levi's commuter trousers (size 34 waist by the way) so one could take a casual urban ride in iffy weather and not worry about the wet bum issue; actually some shorts would be nice too! Maybe in the next range.

Inside view, zips, vent mesh, taped seams, Levi's Modular Commuter Parka - Photography by Kent Johnson.
And I know you are all dying to know why the jacket has been labelled with the moniker 'modular'; its because you can zip in the City Hybrid Trucker jacket which looks pretty good too; though I suspect would make for a much too warm cycling experience in Sydney in all but the coldest of weather; at least if you were covering any significant distance. So this looks like a great jacket; its certainly comfortable to wear and cycle in. At 6'4" the XL size has the right arm length when reaching to the bars, as you do.. I like the three pockets but beware of putting anything electronic in those patch pockets; I'm sure those flaps work - just as long as they stay out! Not too much reflective tape (though some will disagree) I for one prefer not to look like a target on the road side.. and Velcro sleeve tabs at the wrist to adjust for air and waterproofing.

Water spray testing, Levi's Modular Commuter Parka - Photographed by Kent Johnson.

Selfie wearing the Levi's Modular Commuter Parka - Rain Jacket - Street Fashion Sydney, Fuji X-Pro1

Jacket side view while riding, Levi's Modular Commuter Parka - Photo by vivalaViv

Parka three quarter back view while riding, Levi's Modular Commuter Parka - Photo by vivalaViv

Jacket open, riding bike, Levi's Modular Commuter Parka. Photo by vivalaViv

Portrait against grafitti wall; mountain bike, menswear fashion Levi's Modular Commuter Parka - Street Fashion Sydney.

Of course the Levi's Modular Commuter Parka looks good, even if it's looking too-new at the moment; that's nothing a few wet rides won't fix.

Thanks to fellow blogger Vivienne from vivalaViv for wrangling the Fuji X-Pro1 and making our cycling action shots and final portrait.

Join me on Instagram to follow the ride;

Thanks to Levi's Australia @levis_anz and Sweaty Betty PR @sweatybettypr for supplying the #leviscommuter.

Join me on

Street Fashion Sydney - shot with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 

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