While POC may be more well-known for their helmets and other protective gear, their apparel lineup is renowned for it’s design, fit and function. Protection is the name of the game for the folks at POC, so protection from nasty falls or the elements all come together with the new POC Mantle Thermal Hoodie.
POC Mantle Thermal Hoodie Features:
- Constructed from a stretchy and insulative recycled double-layer thermal polyamide
- Uses fluorocarbon-free DWR treatment
- Brushed lining for comfort
- Zippered rear pocket
- Full-coverage hood can be worn under a helmet
- Lycra cuffs
- Sunglass holder pocket
- MSRP: $180
A MTB pullover that’s much more than that
As usual, I like to push the limits of any jacket that comes in for review. With the POC Mantle Thermal Hoodie, the limits were theoretically pushed while trail running — even though you won’t find that marketed by POC as an intended use for this one. Spoiler alert… it’s a pretty good jacket for mountain biking and trail running (if that’s your jam).
POC spends plenty of time and effort honing their gear. And, thankfully, they also are keen on simplifying their color schemes. Block colors or timeless patterns are pretty much all you’ll find. They are a Swedish company, so everything bleeds their classic Scandinavian style. With the new POC Mantle Thermal Hoodie, you can choose from grey or green. There’s nothing flashy about it, but it sure makes for a long-lasting look both on the bike and around town.
For starters, the Mantle Hoodie is made from recycled and earth-friendly materials. The double-layer thermal material offers a brushed lining and smooth (but dimpled) exterior. The dimpled look provides visual interest and also highlights the circular brushed lining. This type of layered material has been refined over the past few years and results in a killer feel against the body with supreme breathability. A brushed lining alone only does part of the job, but it’s the circular pattern that makes it spectacular by allowing space for water vapor to be expelled to the exterior.
As a case in point, I did take the Mantle Thermal Hoodie on a trail run. The temperature was about 28-degrees, so I wore the Jack Wolfskin Infinite LS base layer and the Mantle Thermal Hoodie. At the start, the wind was a little chilly. But only a few minutes into the run, I felt comfortable and the entire ecosystem started to shine. Perspiration was absorbed and expelled by the base layer, which then handed it off to the Mantle Hoodie to take over. How did it all work? Splendid. Absolutely splendid. Upon inspection, there weren’t any areas where moisture gathered in significant amounts. And, where it did gather dried up in short order. So, don’t underestimate the breathability of the Mantle Thermal — it will surprise you.
For MTB use, the Mantle is outstanding. While I have a wide variety of traditional cold-weather gear for cycling, this one is a great option when matched with a set of longer baggy shorts and a thermal top. Of course, you could layer up the Mantle, but I found it to be a great partner with a light base layer and thermal jersey underneath. It wears well on the bike and becomes part of you — basically disappearing. The cut is great for on-bike use and the long length adds coverage. I didn’t use it with a hydration pack, but there’s little to get in the way of straps and pads if you wanted to.
The pullover design does simplify things and provides a nice front profile for wind and weather protection. However, the zipper could stand to be a few inches longer for easier on/off. And, the sleeves only work well with smooth-faced base layers. Most of mine slip into the Mantle’s sleeves without bunching, but a few long-sleeves end up getting pulled to my armpits. A mixture of smooth and brushed-face fabrics in the sleeves could reduce this bunching. I had hopes that the Mantle could somewhat replace my 14-yr-old Arc’teryx Accelero Pullover, but it’s not quite there. Breathability is excellent. As is coverage. But, the short zipper and the sleeve bunching are difficult to live with for more regular use.
I do appreciate not having any pockets up front for a clean, unobtrusive look and fit. The rear pocket is a great feature to have, but note that any significant items will cause the jacket to pull backwards. I’d stick with a gel or lightweight items. A phone is fine for walking around, but not for riding or running. I mean, it works, but I’d rather keep my phone in a jersey pocket instead.
Fit: I’m 5’11” and 175 lbs. The size medium was the perfect fit.
- Breathes like a champ
- Great cut overall — great hem length for coverage
- Hood comes in handy
- Comfortable to wear on bike or even for trail running
- Plenty of stretch for natural movements
- Sheds just enough moisture for unexpected weather
- Wears quietly
- Cuffs play nicely with gloves under or over them
- Brushed liner can pull sleeves up to your armpits
- Zipper length could be longer for easier on/off
- I’d love to see a minimalist zipper garage
The Bottom Line: POC Mantle Thermal Hoodie
Riding in inclement or cold weather has a new, stylish companion in the POC Mantle Thermal Hoodie. Layered up, this pullover can handle some cold temperatures. More importantly, it breathes like a champ and feels supremely comfortable. A touch longer zipper could put this one over the top.
Buy Now: Visit POCSports.com