Before I owned some K-Dry garments, I had a lightweight wet weather top by another brand. This thing had numerous ‘features’ – mesh panels, hidden pockets, taped seams and that many zips here there and everywhere I resembled a punk from the 70s whenever I wore it. And despite all these ‘technical’ features, I still got wet. The fabric didn’t breathe too well, which is why it probably had all these zips that revealed hidden mesh panels for temperature regulation. And the biggest problem was that the rain got in eventually. Let’s just say I haven’t worn it that much.
A lot of artists and designers adhere to the ‘less is more’ mantra. Their aim is simplicity, to arrive at a beautifully aesthetic and functioning design, stripped of any unnecessary embellishments, to achieve something that is pure. The forward thinking Bauhaus School for instance taught that ‘form follows function’ – products should work well for the intended purpose, only then can any embellishment take place.
So it is with the Parentini K-Dry range.
This range of lightweight gilets and long sleeved tops have one purpose. To keep the wind and rain off you in case of emergency. Made using Parentini’s exclusive K-Dry material, the fabric is lightweight, breathes well and keeps the rain off. They don’t feature any ‘extras’ – there are no extra zips or panels because the fabric does it’s job so well and there are no pockets as these garments are intended to slip over an existing jersey. They are minimal in design – what is needed for the task in hand is there and nothing else.
This isn’t to say that no thought has been put into the K-Dry range. Far from it. Like a Saville Row tailor, a lot of skill and design has gone into the cut of the garment, so that the fabric fits close, to aid transportation of sweat, and so that no excess fabric flaps in the wind. They feature a high collar with a lovely soft fleecy inner fabric, that feels cosy next to your neck. This neck is also snug, so no cold wind can get down into your chest. It also features a longer back, keeping your nether regions dry from wheel spray.
The K-Dry’s ‘less is more’ ethos also extends to the aesthetics. Pared back, the garments are smart and elegant, featuring nice little red piping details, that help the shape and cut of the garment stand out.
And because the K-Dry would be slipped on when you are hit with a shower, the two versions feature high viz flouro, to aid visibility in the obvious dark conditions.
I’ve been using my long sleeved version in these conditions a lot these last few weeks. In fact, I don’t mind if it rains. My black version is flattering, making me look smart and more importantly – slimmer! Typical British summers mean the K-Dry is a staple summer wardrobe item. It rolls up small, so can be whisked on quickly. It’s a snug fit, but is so comfortable. The slightly rubberised feel to the outer fabric does a great job of keeping the rain off. The fabric’s great quality is apparent when you wash it for the first time (carefully though – K-Dry must not be washed with softeners or any strong detergents). Taking it out of the washing machine, you notice that the inside of the fabric feels very dry, yet the outer still has water clinging to it. This is exactly the same on the bike. I got caught out in a shower riding the other day. I had about 6 miles left, so slipped the K-Dry on. I arrived home with the outer covered in rain. The inside was bone dry.
You see, simple trumps complicated every time.