Vermarc’s Prima PRR is its top-of-the-line softshell jacket. With that, you’d expect the fit to be close and it hits the mark with a racy and comfortable cut that stays in place well when you’re moving around and working hard on the bike.
The elastic waist is nice and tight, and the silicone strip stops it from riding up too much. The cuffs extend over the outside of wrists and depending on what gloves you have and whether you wear them over or under the cuffs, this is either a welcome feature or an annoyance.
You can comfortably wear the Prima over just a base layer and it’ll fit with the comfort and closeness of a winter jersey, with the bonus that the softshell makes it more resilient against the weather.
The extended cuffs can work well depending on what gloves you’re using
During a few commutes home when the temperature was down to three or four degrees Celsius, we tried it with just a baselayer on and, although we weren’t totally isolated from the cold, we weren’t painfully chilly. When the temperature gets close to zero, the stretchy material comfortably accommodates a jersey underneath. Regardless of what you wear it with, it’s comfy to ride in and free from restrictions.
Some of the Prima’s ability to keep you warm in cold weather is down to the fact that it does a good job of keeping wind chill at bay. Thanks to liberal use of Windtex material, most of the panels are windproof, barring the white torso side sections and a part of the back.
The Windtex does a decent job of letting moisture escape, but the absence of a ventilation system meant that we did get clammy on climbs or when the temperature started to rise. Combating this meant opening up the front – which lets the cold in.
Storage is well taken care of
The inside is backed with a material that feels a lot like towel (or the seat covers from an 80s Volkswagen). Although the absence of Roubaix-style fleece fabric means the Prima lacks an instantly luxurious, soft feel, it insulates well enough and is comfortable.
This isn’t a full-on waterproof jacket, but the water repellent softshell exterior means you’ll be kept dry up to a point; when it’s spitting and drizzling, the Prima prevents an instant soaking.
Storage is handled by three open rear pockets and a zipped valuables pocket. The tops of the open pockets are elasticated and stretchy enough to hold all you need for a long day out. Depending on how you look at it, styling is either subtle or bland, but we think there’s an air of Assos about it – though perhaps that’s down to the monochrome palette.