If youre even half as into the game as the average Canadian golfer, its pretty much impossible to ignore all the tech talk thats been going on in recent years, from oversized drivers to square grooves to five-layered balls and everything in between.
But regular visitors to the Gearhead blog will know were strong proponents of the argument that what you wear is just as important as what you hit – especially when it comes to inclement weather. Plus, it is spring, after all.
Comfort, performance, freedom of movement, and even confidence on the course are all factors to consider when choosing a rain jacket. Making the decision to invest in a good rainsuit, if you havent done so already, means that when the time comes to use it – and it will – youll consider it among the most important pieces of gear in your bag.
The Sunice Ultimate Jacket V2, the flagship garment in the Quebec-based apparel makers Hurricane line (the others, categorized by the degree of protection they offer, are Tornado, Typhoon and Storm), is one of those items thats impossible to justify when its hanging on the rack in the shop (the MSRP is a forehead-slapping $500 US, thanks to the fact its Gore-Tex), but really nice to have when you need it.
An impressive 25 per cent lighter than last years already-whisper-thin Ultimate, the V2 barely weighs anything, either in your bag or on your back. Its also fitted with an additional 20 per cent of stretch material, including a stretch lining and a panel of flexible material across the entire back of the jacket, to ensure maximum freedom of movement.
Other jackets with good freedom of movement, such as past models from Zero Restriction, have instead opted for more generous fits and shoulder pleats to prevent binding – effective, but bulky. The V2, on the other hand, is a trim fit; theres not a lot of room inside for bulky layers.
In fact, between the wispy character of the fabric and the relatively slender cut, the V2 fits and feels more like a windshirt than a full-blown rain jacket. But thats OK; its warm, windproof and waterproof enough that you wont need many layers underneath it. Choose a lightweight, high-tech fabric for your inner layers and youll be comfy in just about any conditions.
As for freedom of movement, the Sunice performs as advertised. It has adjustable Velcro cuffs along with elastic inner cuffs to thoroughly lash the sleeves to your wrists, plus a rain channel to steer runoff away from your hands; the jackets slightly longer length and adjustable elastic hem ensures theres no unsightly belly flab exposed at the top of your swing, although a bit of a tux-tail in the rear might have been preferable to making the whole jacket longer.
The main waterproof zipper disappears automatically and almost instantly behind a Velcro flap, while the pockets “ two belly, one breast – are waterproofed and recessed, with tabs that can be locked down, if you decide you cant stand to have them flapping around. Other thoughtful flourishes include a ball-cleaning cloth on an elastic lanyard in the left pocket, and a neoprene liner on the collar to keep chin chafing to a minimum when wearing the jacket fully zipped.
The Gore-Tex fabric is soft to the touch and quiet through the full motion of the swing, and yet carries a lifetime waterproof guarantee. Theres also an elastic cinch system in the back, accessible via the pockets, to customize the jackets fit through the midsection. The matching Ultimate V2 pants include most of the same features, plus a thoughtful club cleaner on the inside pant cuff.
The Ultimate V2 practically disappears when you put it on. Considering that most rain jackets, even some of the best on the market, struggle to be inobtrusive, its quite a feat of engineering to make one as almost invisible as Sunice has managed to do.
Interestingly, the same philosophy seems to infuse the approach to the jackets looks; the Ultimate V2 comes in only two colours, black and royal blue, and in both cases the graphics and flash are kept to a bare minimum. Others in the Hurricane series boast a little more flair, but when it comes to the Ultimate, Sunice is all business. Its a good match for serious golfers who feel the same way.