ION Shell_Amp Vario Jacket & Pants – Review

ION Shell_Amp Vario Jacket & Pants –

ion

Shell_Amp Vario Jacket –

While it’s not winter right now, it’s hardly the best summer we’ve had. I’f you’re looking for a new we weather jacket, the ION Vario is certainly worth a thought. Forget those noisy rustling waterproofs you’re thinking of, due to the soft-shell fabric of the Vario, it’s quiet, breathable and offers lots of easy movement.

Features –

  • WaterProof 4-Way Stretch (20.000mm)
  • Breathable (20.000 gr/sqm/24h)
  • Vent Zips
  • Taped Seams
  • Lens/Glasses Wipe
  • 3 Point Hood (Helmet Ready)
  • Reflective Details
  • Adjustable Cuffs
  • YKK Zippers

The hood is easily big enough to fit over a regular XC lid with ease. I’m not usually a fan of riding with a hood up, it feels a bit restrictive and I don’t like the noise, it’s a distraction. Not so with this one though, and that’s good because it does make a big difference when the going gets cold. It’s adjustable too to help improve the fit. Would it be nice to have somewhere to stow it away? I guess so but that never put me off using it. As someone with a slim build, I tend to prefer clothes a bit more tailored and fitted. This isn’t really a negative for the jacket, just a bit of personal preference but if they did offer a ‘slim-fit’ option, I’d choose that.

Sizes –

  • 48/S
  • 50/M
  • 52/L
  • 54/XL
  • 56/XXL

The arms have zip vents in the top, rather in the usual ‘pit-zips’. These seem to work fine, offering good ventilation when things get a bit warm. To keep things neat and in place at the wrists there are velcro cuffs. I tend to like them loose and relaxed but when it gets cold, it’s good to be able to do them up tight to stop the drafts. Like with other ION items I’ve had, they’ve included their lens/glasses wipe in the pocket. Attached via a piece of elastic to keep it from getting lost. It’s only small so it’s going to keep your vision unobscured for a full day in the wet but it’s nice to have for those little moments when you need it.

Shell_Amp Vario Jacket – £215

 

Shell_Amp Vario Pants –

Taking all the great features from the Vario jacket, ION produced the Vario pants. The pants have a zipped pocket on either side, one includes a neoprene protective sleeve for a phone or iPod (other mp3 players are available).

Sizes –

  • 28/XS
  • 30/S
  • 32/M
  • 34/L
  • 36/XL
  • 38/XXL

Features –

  • WaterProof 4-Way Stretch (20.000mm)
  • Breathable (20.000 gr/sqm/24h)
  • Vent Zips
  • Taped Seams
  • Waist Regulation
  • Reflective Details
  • YKK Zippers

The help keep things cool in the warmer months, the pants have zipped vents on the outside, above the knees. They’re only small but they work well and are easily opened or closed on the move.

The Vario pants are so comfortable due to their relaxed fit, I find myself using the most days, riding or not. The 4 way stretch fabric gives such good movement they’re great for climbing in. The zippered lower legs are great for this as it allows you to do them up so they aren’t flapping about and getting in the way.

Shell_Amp Vario Pants – £175

As with the rest of the ION gear I’ve used in the past, the Vario jackets and pants are of great quality. They’ve goth had their fair share of knocks and scrapes, give them a quick wash and all evidence is gone. To me that’s a sign of a quality product.

Words – Chris Lazenby

Photos – Rich Bennett