Graphene is not the first thing you think of when it comes to buying new waterproofs, but in this case, it just might be.
A few months ago, Ping released their latest AW22 Apparel range to help golfers be prepared for the elements in a fashionable and functional manner. In doing so, they launched their first ever jacket featuring graphene - the Ping SensorDry 2.5 Graphene Jacket.
This innovation was a first for the equipment giant - I took to the course on a classic, Manchester winters day, battling cold temperatures, breezy winds and plenty of heavy showers to see whether Ping's R&D with graphene was worth it.
To start with, it's probably worth explaining what graphene is (at first, admittedly I didn't know what it was either...)
Ping define graphene as being comprised of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, it is also the lightest, strongest, and most conductive material ever discovered.
In context of the golfing world, this material is said to help absorb and retain warmth, regulating the body's temperature and aiding comfort during play.
Other features within the jacket are as follows:
- Fully seam-sealed
- Graphene print on the inside of the fabric, helps conduct and retain more body heat
- PFC free, water-resistant finish
- Brushed tricot to inner collar for additional warmth
- Adjustable shock cord hem
- Adjustable cuff tabs
- Two-way centre front zip
- Two front zip pockets
We have also reviewed the alternative Ping SensorDry Pro Half-Zip Jacket. See Dan's verdict here.
Ping SensorDry 2.5 Graphene Jacket Review
There's nothing too fancy about the looks of the SensorDry 2.5 Graphene Jacket, especially in the black colourway that I tried it in, there isn't anything to dislike - it's very Ping in that respect.
Small details on the jacket give it a lift in areas, for example - the usual Ping logo on the top right shoulder, some technical detailing on the lower back corner, a large Ping logo on the back of the collar, and a Ping SensorDry logo down the front zip.
On top of that, the inside lining of the jacket features some graphene-design lining that will only be visible if you are wearing the jacket with the zip not fully pulled up.
I wore the jacket in size medium, and found it to fit nicely. It was quite a tight, modern fit with very little excess material. The length of sleeves were if anything a little short - I'm glad I had long sleeved sweater on underneath. If you like a little extra space in your waterproofs - make sure to consider a size up than you would normally buy.
It does come available in one other colour - blue (again, very Ping) so there is very little choice here if you're looking for something a little more outlandish.
Performance-wise, I have to start with how lightweight the Ping SensorDry 2.5 Graphene Jacket is - this thing is crazy-light! Probably the lightest piece of golf outerwear I have reviewed was the Galvin Green Ashton Shakedry a few years ago - the SensorDry is not far off it. In terms of weight and versatility when it comes to packing it into your bag - it certainly won't take up much space!
The SensorDry differs to the likes of Galvin Green with how soft it was to touch in the hands, whether this was the graphene or not, it felt premium and was a nice alternative to the usual Gore-Tex materials we've come to expect.
Going back to the fit of the jacket, as I said I found it figure-hugging and therefore very comfortable in the context of a golf swing. It also features stretch properties, which again just allow that extra bit of movement needed to not feel restricted during the golf swing.
During testing I was caught by 2 or 3 showers on separate occasions and found the jacket to repel water very quickly. The jacket is waterproof up to 20,000mm as well as being fully seam-sealed so there's not much that will penetrate it. To say the jacket was so thin, made this even more impressive.
My slight reservations with the jacket were whether it would be warm enough on the coldest of days. As I have mentioned the jacket is so thin, and to be honest at times on the course I did get a little cold when stood waiting. Having said this, on a windy day, I did feel it to be very windproof. Again impressive given the thickness of material.
The quality in the finer details like zips, pockets and collars had all also been covered by Ping. An adjustable shock cord hem, and Velcro adjustable cuff tabs allow the golfer to customise the fit slight to their needs.
Finally, as some times is the case with seam-sealed zips, I found them a little stiff which is always an annoyance - like the FootJoy HydroTour Jacket Review, especially when the chances are that when wearing this jacket your hands will be cold - there's nothing worse than having to contend with a stiff zip!
Ping SensorDry 2.5 Graphene Jacket Verdict
Overall, this is a great jacket. It's great to see Ping pushing the boundaries of what can be done with golf clothing and doing it well and making genuine improvements year on year from the Ping SensorDry Pro Jacket.
I found some personal slight drawbacks in how warm the jacket would be in some cold temperatures, but given how thin it is, I believe you're probably aware of that trade off if you buy it. Taken into consideration, this is the perfect jacket for the slightly warmer, wet days in maybe spring and autumn.
It's expensive but given the prices of it's competition in the market, I think it's a bit of a steal.
Would I Use It?
Yes, this jacket is the perfect item to have folded up in your bag ready to slip on for any unexpected downpour!
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Ping SensorDry Pro Jacket Review
FootJoy ThermoSeries AW22 Apparel Review