Published on June 1st, 2012 | by Greg0
Cannondale Morphis: Rip Off Your Sleeves (And Re-Attach Them!)
It's an unfortunate fact of life that technology has not yet brought us to the point of Transformers. Sure, we've got incredible wireless touchscreen computers that fit in our pockets, and some camping gear is pretty compact and portable, but most gadgets and gear generally have a form and stick with it.
It might not be programmable matter, but the Cannondale Morphis Jacket is pretty nifty indeed. Unless you're an athlete or really fond of the outdoors, you might never have uttered the words "I wish my sleeves were removable". But now they can be, and it actually turns out to be useful.
The first questions that needed pursuit were obvious- does the jacket or vest look weird? Is it hard to convert between the "modes"? And does the new feature effect the basic functions? Luckily, the answer to the first two questions is a definite no, and the last one a pretty resounding no as well. The jacket looks like… well, a jacket, available in a few colors (ours was black), and offers a reflective strip near the well-made zipper, and another on the back. We liked the elastic around the wrists for warmth, and the three zippered pockets, plus the draw-string waist.
As a vest, it also looks like a normal hiking vest, adding a bit of wind protection and a nice layer against rain or moisture. Made from polyurethane and nylon, they call it a 2.5 layer fabric, and though the magic of a half-layer is a bit of a mystery, it felt good and held up well to sun and sudden downpours alike.
The real twist here is the pull-off sleeves, accomplished through magnets. We were initially worried that pulling it on might somehow detach the sleeves, but no worries- it's impressively designed, and uses a bunch of magnets that are cleverly hidden and work pretty much automatically. Tug on the sleeves hard enough and an entire back panel comes away with the sleeves (it's one piece). Re-attaching is also easy, though we did notice the back lower magnets didn't always connect without a little nudging. Adding the magnets does add a bit of weight- we didn't care, but super-serious, fraction-of-an-ounce-conscious bicyclists might.
At $110, it's not inexpensive, but will have everyone around you asking questions when you suddenly transform. Nifty! Maybe the next edition will have a hood as well, the only thing missing from making this our favorite new lightweight rainy day outerwear.