Who are Macna? That’s the most common question I’ve faced since taking on this jacket for review, so I’ll tackle it first. Macna are a Dutch bike clothing company with an innovative approach to design that hasn’t received enough attention in the UK.
I’ve tested their kit before and been impressed by both the quality and neat design touches that set it apart from similar brands.
They’ve repeated that trick with this Macna Impact Pro textile jacket, which boasts features you’d normally pay a lot more money to get your hands on.
Firstly, the breathable waterproof membrane is laminated to the protective outer layer. Riders familiar with Gore-Tex’s Pro system will appreciate this means the water is repelled at first contact with the jacket rather than soaking through the outer and being stopped by a drop liner on the inside.
This jacket has Macna’s Raintex membrane rather than Gore-Tex, but that’s reflected in a price that’s around £270 cheaper than the cheapest Gore-Tex Pro jacket at the time of writing.
Having worn this jacket, and the matching Logic trousers, through some of the worst weather I’ve ever experienced I can report that it works. It’s not as effective as the Gore-Tex equivalent, but it’s a big improvement over using a drop liner.
The main benefit of a laminate construction is that the kit dries more quickly than clobber that has the waterproof membrane tucked away on the inside.
One trip from Lincolnshire to West Yorkshire saw two hours of rain that, at times, was landing hard enough to hurt my glove-clad hands. Hanging the soggy Macna jacket up overnight brought it back to a state where it was merely damp for the morning ride home, when by rights it should have still been properly soaked.
The problem area is around the cuffs, because the sleeves on the medium-size jacket I reviewed were a little short for my arms. This allowed water to soak the gauntlet section of my gloves and travel up inside the sleeves of the jacket.
Rain also got through the neck opening, but I put that down to my preference for a loose-fitting collar as the Impact Pro jacket has an excellent closure system at the neck, with a sliding clip that allows a fine range of adjustment.
If I’d been more patient before setting out on my journey, I could have allowed less room for the water to get through – without causing any unnecessary restriction around my throat.
Another benefit of using a laminated waterproof membrane surrounds the ventilation. Opening a zip-up vent on the Impact Pro allows air to flow almost directly to the body, only needing to pass through a fine mesh. With a drop liner, air has to pass through the membrane and it’s nowhere near as effective.
Vents on the Impact Pro live under each armpit, where they are operated by a rubber-like sliding zip, a la zip-lock bag, rather than a regular metal-toothed zip. This works well at keeping out water and they’re also easy to use, unlike some other attempts at this style of zip in the past.
There’s a third vent on the back, by the shoulder blades, and this uses a more conventional metal-toothed zip as it’s less vulnerable to direct attack from rain.
The vents themselves work well, as I discovered on a red-hot 30-degree ride through the north-east of England during the peak of the 2018 heatwave. They’re more effective when not wearing a rucksack, however, as the shoulder straps block some of the incoming air.
One note of caution, though – the jacket is obviously not waterproof with the vents open. I say ‘obviously’ but that’s in hindsight. A thunderstorm that punctuated the heatwave conditions soaked me to the skin and taught me very effectively that the vents need to be shut when it’s raining.
As well as having a high level of specification, the Impact Pro has the option of clever upgrades. An optional wind collar can be attached to a connection zip discreetly tucked away around the neck of the jacket, and there are mounting points for a high-viz vest over the outer shell.
The jacket has also been prepared to easily fit Macna’s Hotvest heated liner for the days when the removable thermal liner isn’t going to keep you warm enough.
Ideas like those set Macna aside from the norm and the Impact Pro jacket has been excellent company for over 2000 miles of riding in mostly inclement weather. If they could turn their innovation attentions to a cleverer design at the cuff then I’d be looking at dishing out a gold award rather than silver.
Fit & Comfort
Other than the sleeves being a bit short for me, fit is good and the comfort is accurate. Sleeve shortness is only an issue in the rain.
This is one of the jacket’s key appeals – the fact that opening a zip vent pulls the waterproof membrane aside for air to get through. Armpit vents alone are good, but a couple on the chest would be helpful additions.
The tendency for water to get in through the short cuffs reduces the effectiveness. If you’re not careful with the neck closure than it’s a bit too vulnerable to water ingress there, too.
Construction standard is high. Nothing shows any sign of wear after 2300 hard miles and touches like high-grip Velcro panels to secure the cuffs make a big difference.
The jacket impresses here, only losing out for a lack of standard back protector and a storm collar, though an optional zip-on collar is available separately. Bonuses include a main zip puller that cleverly clips back on itself to stop it flapping in the windflow… lovely stuff!