Morvelo’s ridiculously light, 79g Plan B Race Cape promises wind and rain protection in a package the size of a small burrito. I tested it through some awful Tasmanian weather, and over a bikepacking weekend to see how versatile this thing is.
Words: James Raison Images: Lana Adams
The Plan B has an impressive feature-to-weight ratio. Its material is 100% polyester split into a 2-ply membrane for wind blocking and water resistance. There’s 2 vents at the shoulder blades to help it breathe, reflective trim around the waist and cuffs, and a soft inner collar. It all folds away into its own zippered pocket and slides easily into your jersey pocket.
The cut is very slim, as befits a race cape. It's made to hug your body and is especially tight around the cuffs. It results in very little flapping or dragging when you're wearing it. I like that a lot.
THE WIND TEST
I got a great sense of the Plan B’s wind and warmth capabilities after climbing Mt Wellington. The summit was a frosty 4 degrees and I had a long descent ahead of me, so I donned the Plan B and threw myself back down the mountain. The jacket is an impressive wind-blocker for its size and stopped me from freezing on the long descent. It didn’t flap around annoyingly either which I appreciated. The ‘Plan B’ moniker is appropriate. This thing will help you out in a bind.
THE WATER TEST
Tasmania’s legendarily wet weather tested the Plan B to its saturation point a couple of days later. The jacket’s is quite outstanding for its size when it starts to get wet. It kept me warm and dry for about 45 minutes of constant rain. That might not sound like much, but this is not a full-blown waterproof jacket. It’s there when you really need it, and I did really really really need it on that ride. Eventually the thin membrane gets overwhelmed and moisture is transferred through. I was riding in constant rain, with water flicking up from wheels in front of me. Once wet, the jacket still does a good job blocking wind and keeping you warm-ish.
THE BIKEPACKING TEST
Such a small jacket is very handy to have when you’re juggling layers bikepacking. I put this thing on for the chilly 10 degree mornings over a gilet and jersey. It keeps you toasty warm. Once you start to heat, just slide out of it and stuff it back into its own storage pocket. Something this small and useful can go with you anywhere and I packed it without hesitation.
All wet-weather jackets are a compromise between water resistance, breathability, and size. The Plan B does exceptionally well for how absolutely tiny it is. The Plan B is one of the best packable jackets I’ve ever used and can help you out in cold, and lightly wet conditions. At $130, it’s pretty solid value. It’s priced well below many gilets and is more functional with its long sleeves.
For absolutely drenching rain, you’re going to need a Plan A. For most of the conditions that recreational riders tend to find themselves in, the Plan B is a winner.
The Morvelo Plan B jacket is available from our kit partner Cycle Closet. Go to the Cycle Closet website.
DISCLOSURE STATEMENT - The Morvelo Plan B was supplied by Cycle Closet for us to test on our riding trip to Tasmania. We receive no proceeds from the sales of Morvelo apparel through Cycle Closet or any other retailer.