The Canari Optima is the lightest jacket in the test with a very high-degree of breathability. Magnetic snaps make interchangeability between jacket, vest and arm sleeves/shrug fast and precise. However, it offers very minimal wind- and water-resistance.
WEATHERSHEDDING The Canari Optima’s fabric is a wind-resistant shell that works in light wind only. It is not water-proof and its water-resistance is limited to approximately 25 minutes of fog drizzle before the tester became wet and cold.
BREATHABILITY A mesh panel on the back of the Canari Optima allows air to circulate when wearing as a vest. When wearing as a full jacket, the lightweight nylon fabric transfers moisture most effectively only when the cyclist is wearing with a breathable shirt.
FUNCTION Switching the Canari Optima from jacket to vest to shrug is simple. While wearing the vest, put on the shrug, hunch your shoulders and stretch your arms until you hear all magnets snap together. Lining up the magnets is critical. If they aren’t lined up perfectly the jacket peels open and catches wind.
FIT/COMFORT The collar has a fleece lining that absorbs moisture at higher exertion level while also providing a small degree of warmth on cooler days and lower exertion levels.
The Canari Optima does not constrict shoulders and the looser fit works well with shirt weights that range from the standard thin cycling jerseys to thicker merino wool long sleeved shirts. The arms could be longer to fully cover the cyclist’s wrists while stretched over the handlebars. Cyclists who live in cold climates will not find this jacket to be warm enough for early spring and late fall riding unless paired with a heavy baselayer.
PACKABILITY The Canari Optima’s rear zip pocket can hold the detached sleeves when wearing as a vest. It can also hold the entire jacket and two integrated elastic straps transform the pocket into a convenient waist pack.
DURABILITY For the price point, the Canari Optima is well-made but the zippers are flimsy and catch quite a bit on the fabric.