Review: $426 Steinbeisser Trail Rain Jacket from Assos

Assos is more often associated with road cycling, but the Swiss company has expanded its lineup in recent years to welcome the weary crowd into the mix. Of course, the $426 USD price of the Stenbeisser Trail Rain Jacket is going to limit the number of riders who end up with this particular piece in their closet…

I’m sure at this point someone is already ranting about that award, maybe with a semi-amusing remark referring to the company name and a line about the fact that garbage bags cost next to nothing. That might be true, but it’s worth putting the price on the back burner for a few minutes to delve into the details and performance of this Lithuanian-made raincoat.

Assos Steinbeisser jacket details

• Waterproof/breathable Schloss Tex fabric
• 2 zipped side pockets
• Fully taped seams
• Hood under the helmet
• 7 sizes
• Weight: 257 grams (size M)
• MSRP: $426
• More information: assos.com

The Stenbeisser (Google tells me it means “wolf fish” in German) is made from Schloss Tex, Assos’ own 3-layer waterproof fabric, with fully taped seams. The jacket falls into the minimalist category – there are only two zipped side pockets, and that’s it. There are no zippers, hood adjustments or pockets that the jacket could be stuffed into to be seen. The hood has a clever function though; there are slits in the stretch fabric that allow you to pass your helmet straps through them, preventing the fabric from bunching up under your chin.
ADAPT

The Steinbeisser has a very cycling-specific fit, with longer arms and a dropped tail to ensure it covers as much ground as possible. A size medium worked well for my 5’11” height and skinny build, but there isn’t much room for layering underneath, and taller riders may find the fit too snug, especially around chest and elbows.

This cycling-specific fit also means this is probably not a jacket you’d wear around town or use for any other activity except cycling. It’s not the end of the world, but it does make the price a little harder to bear knowing it has such a narrow range of use.

FUNCTION

I was a bit worried about the Steinbeisser’s lack of zippers, as I tend to get hot and can’t stand the feeling of overheating on a long climb. Ultimately, this Schloss Tex fabric is very breathable, and I never felt trapped in a sauna, even when pedaling slowly on damp, humid days. If I needed more ventilation, I usually unzipped the lower part of the jacket to let in a little more air. On the contrary, this jacket is cooler than most rain coats – it’s really good at keeping the rain out, but it’s not the layer to grab if staying warm is higher on your priority list. .

Speaking of keeping the rain out, the Steinbeisser does it very, very well – precipitation beads up quickly and the fabric never soaks. The performance is in line with other high end waterproof/breathable fabrics, and I have no complaints when it comes to the level of waterproofing.

One feature I would have liked to see is the ability to store the jacket in its own pocket. There are a few jackets, like POC’s Signal Jacket, that pack into their pocket and then have straps that can be used to attach it to a handlebar.

SUSTAINABILITY

There are no rips or tears to be seen, and I made my way through many wet branches and blackberry bushes while wearing this coat. Assos has a crash policy where they will repair or replace the jacket free of charge for the first 30 days; after that they can fix most problems for about
$25. On top of all that, they offer a 2-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

The fabric held up well, but it developed a mottled look from all the mud that got rubbed into it. I’ve soaked and scrubbed it a few times to try and remove dirt stains to no avail, although I should also mention that my laundry skills aren’t the best.


Advantages

+ Impressive level of breathability
+ Excellent balaclava/helmet compatibility
+ Relatively light and packable

The inconvenients

Dear
Slim fit means there’s not much room for layering
The fabric does not hide stains very well


Pinkbike’s take

Yes, it is a very expensive rain jacket. If you’re only going to be riding in the rain a few times a year, there’s no need to spend that much (unless you really want to) – there are plenty of options in the sub-$100 price bracket that work well and can also be used for hiking, ski touring or walking around town.

What if you live in a place where it rains most often – is it worth it? It really depends on you and your wallet, but I will say that the Steinbeisser is one of the best performing rain jackets I’ve tried when it comes to overall waterproofing and breathability.

Mike Kazimer