SPECIALIZED DEFLECT JACKET
WITH SWAT REVIEW
Words by Sourpatch | Photos by Drew Rohde
As winter relinquishes its grip to summer, it does so with a fight, and the Specialized Deflect SWAT jacket is ready to fight back. Days that start out cool and drizzly can quickly turn hot. Conversely, seemingly warm summer days can get a quick jab of torrential rain. On days when temps and conditions can vary so much, it’s hard to find the balance between packing too much and being ill-prepared. These are the conditions that the Specialized Deflect SWAT is built for. This jacket has saved us several times this spring, and we’re happy to share the feedback to keep other riders warm and dry in case they encounter their own personal rainstorms.
The Specialized Deflect SWAT Jacket is quite possibly one of the best looking, most simplistic variable weather jackets on the market today. Being that it is so simple, there isn’t much room for talking points but that doesn’t matter. We will just let the results speak for themselves.
The Deflect Jacket has been our go-to lightweight, variable weather jacket for the last couple months. With its not-so-bulky Pertex Quantum Air Nylon construction, the Deflect Jacket is able to roll-up super tight and fit into the smallest of pockets in our hydration packs or bibs. Specialized even claims the jacket will fit into SWAT equipped bikes, which we have no doubts about. Thanks to its ability to stow away in compact places, it makes choosing to pack it a no-brainer.
When precipitation starts descending from the heavens, the Deflect SWAT Jacket does a great job of, wait for it…deflecting light to moderate rain. We’ve worn the jacket during all sorts of weather, ranging from a light snow to moderate rain, even as an extra layer on cooler days. We haven’t ridden during heavy downpours, but the Deflect Jacket has kept us warm as long as our heart rate is elevated. And most importantly, it’s kept us dry during those wet and rainy days in the woods. The Deflect’s ability to shed water comes from the jacket’s DWR coated nylon fabric. The slim fit paired with the elastic waste band and cuffs, along with an under helmet integrated scuba hood, also help keep water from seeping in.
Specialized also added an additional layer of trail protection to the Deflect with abrasion panels on the back sides of both sleeves from the elbow down. It’s hard saying just how well that layer protection works, seeing as how most of our snags come from the front, and sometimes higher up on the arms, which we’d like to see addressed in future versions of the jacket, especially since wet branches are often weighted down and dangling on the trail ahead.
At the end of the day, the Specialized Deflect SWAT Jacket is a much welcomed and coveted piece of gear in our gear bags. It is a great, minimalistic slim-fitting jacket with almost no branding and comes in two colors, Black or Oak Green. The Deflect packs up super tight, and the weight is unnoticeable, making it an easy item to recommend and pack before we hit the trail. The Deflect SWAT Jacket has done a phenomenal job shedding water and keeping us warm and dry on the trails during cool, wet days warranting its $125 price tag.