Siima are an interesting company. When I got a press release from the at the end of last year, talking about their inexpensive kit, I have to say that I was surprised. Not to receive a press release - that goes with the territory - or, indeed at the cost. No, there was something about the approach that made me take notice. So I asked them for a review product, never really expecting them to agree, and a short time later a jacket in my size turned up.
Let's start at the beginning. Siima is run by a fellow called Giorgos, and the company is based in Nicosia, Cyprus. They manage to keep their prices low by not having any retail outlets. In fact, there are no middle-men involved at all, you just contact the company and they ship the jacket straight to your door. You can use PayPal or do a bank transfer, give your measurements and about a week later you've got a jacket.
But why would you do that?
Fair question, and one I was quite keen to investigate. And the answer is quite simple. Because, for the money, these are bloody good jackets. Actually I'll go a bit further than that. These are bloody good jackets for twice the money.
The basic price is just €75.00. Yes, seventy five Euros. That's around sixty quid. Add postage to the UK and you're looking at seventy pounds. Seventy pounds? Got to be rubbish, right?
You get a jacket which is well made, stylish in a spartan sort of way, has a removable thermal lining, doesn't leak and has CE armour in the shoulders, elbows and back. It feels solidly enough put together that I'd trust it not to fall apart on impact and it has enough pockets, inside and out, to be quite practical too.
I've worn it and it's far, far better than it has any right to be for the price. It's not a big brand name, but it doesn't have a big brand price either. It's possible that a big brand jacket is better, though I'm far from certain of that. If that branded jacket is better, it definitely isn't even twice as good, let alone the eight times or so that the price would suggest. And while I don't expect to see committed riders flocking to buy it in their droves, it is exactly the sort of thing that riders just starting out, occasional commuters or even canny types who recognise a bargain should be going for. So pass this on to people you know like that, because it would be a shame for an opportunity like this to go unclaimed...