Goodbye umaJack, hello pompaDour.
It's rare that a jacket is able to tell its story through sheer numbers, but not surprisingly, the iJ.pompaDour_S7 achieves just that. For its construction, Assos used 30 pattern pieces, 10 different textiles, and 12 separate components. In other words, Assos put some thought into this jacket. Then again, in order to disrupt the seven year reign of the umaJack, we expected nothing less.
Even the name of the iJ.pompaDour_S7 is highly strategic. The "pompaDour" part of this jacket's name is the Assos translation of Madame Marquise de Pompadour, who was the official chief mistress of Louis XV. Among her many accolades, Madame de Pompadour was highly regarded for her intelligence and keen eye for Rococo interiors and architecture. In fact, she planned the designs for buildings like the Place de la Concorde and the Petit Trianon. However, she's most remembered, and endeared, for introducing Dom Perignon's invention, champagne, to the Royal Court. For these reasons, she served as inspiration for Assos to test the boundaries of possibility in winter riding apparel, in both style and sophistication.
Now, reason tells us that, as the umaJack's successor, the iJ.pompaDour_S7 would appropriately build off its predecessor's success. However, Assos actually modeled the iJ.pompaDour_S7 off of its men's iJ.bonKa. Accordingly, the chest, collar, and arm panels that face the wind take advantage of Assos' twinDeckFoiling in order to keep the cold at bay. It has two layers, one windproof and one insulating. The outer layer is the stratagonUltra airBlock material — Assos' new waterproof, breathable, and flexible membrane that's less breathable when cold and more breathable as the air directly next to the membrane heats up. This allows it to retain more heat when you're cold, and to be more breathable once you heat up and start to sweat. The inner layer is Assos' RXQ fabric, a lightweight stretch fabric that's smooth on one side and fleecy on the other. The upper-arms are made from stratagonMedium, a lighter, stretchier, and more vapor-permeable version of the Ultra. This material provides both a better fit and more enhanced ventilation. The Medium is also found on the side panels. The back panel consists of the RX fabric, a heavyweight stretch fabric that's alternately smooth and fleecy. And the bottom hem, in the back, has Assos' rear stabilizer to hold the jacket in place.
The iJ.pompaDour_S7 also does a few new tricks. There is extra shaping at the elbow for enhanced comfort, and the jacket also comes with a thin turtleneck layer that you're able to either put on or leave at home. However, if the temperature is low, we recommend wearing it, as the turtleneck helps seal the collar from the elements. This touch is doubtlessly inspired by the many cyclists who borrow "neck gaiters" from the ski drawer to help keep their necks warm on the coldest of days. The difference here, though, is that those are typically bulky and this is thin and designed to fit between the collar and your neck. Assos also incorporated its patented rear stabilizer panel design that reduces vertical stretch, while also preventing the pockets from sagging under load.
Combining what Assos calls its Advanced Ergonomic Pattern Design (AEPD) racing cut with its cycling-specific body-mapping pattern design, the iJ.pompaDour benefits from the most thought-out design process in the business. Assos is the first to tell you that high-end materials mean nothing if the cut is bad. That's why it's spent a maddening amount of time on two points of study — how the body is shaped, and how it changes throughout the movements of cycling. Accordingly, the AEPD cut is made for the shape of cycling, not standing (just a little something to remember when you try it on). With the iJ.pompaDour, the cut greets the contours of your body and adds a slight compression to aid in muscle recovery and stabilization. It's worth noting that AEPD achieves this without adding a sensation of pressure. Further along these lines, the cuffs use a no-pressure closure system that Assos calls WristWrap. To achieve this gentle grip, Assos integrated them with the fabric of the sleeves instead of placing them inside the hem. Altogether, the characteristics of AEPD literally make the jersey "click" into place for the ultimate in cycling fit.
The Assos iJ.pompaDour_S7 Women's Jacket is available in five sizes from X-Small to X-Large and in the colors Black Volkanga and White Panther. This jacket is part of Assos' Winter 6 ALS ClimaRange, which means that it's intended for use in temperatures ranging from around 41 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit.