Sometimes it’s good to venture out of your element a bit. Salomon is best known – aside from its ski gear, that is – as a devoted trail running company, but the XT Wings II jacket represents a crossover into dual running/mountain bike apparel. The resulting product serves both purposes fairly well – in fact, it might be more impressive on the bike than it is on the run.
Salomon XT Wings II Jacket Features
- ClimaWind lightweight windproof and water-resistant stretch softshell front
- ClimaWind breathable stretch woven back panel
- Ultrasound seamless construction
- Full zipper with lockdown zipper, garage, wind flap and velcro cover
- Dual hand 6” zipper pockets
- Reflective logo and accents
- Weight 160g (5.64 oz)
- MSRP $120
Salomon XT Wings II Jacket Review
Like other soft shells on the market, the XT Wings II combines wind- and water-resistant material on the front panels, and a breathable mesh panel on the back for moisture transfer and temperature regulation. What distinguishes this jacket is Salomon’s proprietary ClimaWind fabric, which has a very unique feel and impressive stretch properties. The front panels are 100% polyester with something of a sharkskin texture to them, and are extremely effective at wind resistance – even riding downhill on the bike – with nice flexibility to allow full range of motion while running.
It’s a good thing the material stretches, because the slim fit of the XT Wings II is fairly snug through the trunk, and especially in the forearms. This narrow profile is the primary reason I’ve used the jacket more frequently for MTB riding than trail running. Of course, this is an individual thing; my own preference is for a slightly looser fit while running, but your opinion may differ (really, I’m OK with it).
Whether cycling or running, moisture transfer is maximized with breathable mesh on a back panel that is noticeably larger than most jackets in this category. It’s composed of 85% nylon and 15% elastene, so the stretch component of this panel is outstanding, and the material is thin enough for rapid drying after your workout.
The entire jacket is built with seamless construction for improved comfort, and has some nice extras such as zippered hand pockets (which sadly seem to be a lost feature on many jackets), an adjustable hem, and a Velcro-closure collar to improve its versatility for running, riding, or general activewear.
Good XT Wings II
- Excellent wind resistance in front panels
- Great breathability on back panel
- Stretch material on all sides provides full range of motion
- Trim fit is ideal styling for MTB use
Bad XT Wings II
- May be uncomfortably snug for running, especially through forearms
Bottom Line: Salomon XT Wings II Jacket
Decent for running and even better for MTB riding, the XT Wings II Jacket is a nice lightweight dual-purpose jacket for those outdoor endurance workouts before the deep cold of winter sets in.