Finding the perfect cycling jacket has been an ongoing dilemma in my life. Let’s call it a mission. I’ve ridden in the Castelli Alpha ROS and the Rapha winter jacket (which are frequently rated the best). I can now say that they absolutely do not hold a candle to this jacket. This is LITERALLY magic. I’ve worn it in a light rain and stayed dry and cool, I’ve worn it in frigid conditions with a jersey underneath and been toasty, I’ve worn it in cold rain with a thermal jersey underneath and been dry AND toasty. Heck, I’ve even worn it in light wind and never overheated. I loved it so much I got it in every color available. The rear pocket is a dream. Far too many jackets pile jersey-style pockets on the rear of the jacket which seems absolutely pointless to me. I already have three small pockets on my jersey. The pocket here is large enough to stash a baselayer or vest or whatever I need. It’s easy to access should I put my phone back there and need to snap an emergency selfie. To put it mildly: this jacket is beyond perfect. And better than anything it’s not covered in hideous logos and awful reflective plastic.
Firstly, I really love this jacket and would definitely recommend it. The build quality is top notch and I love how breathable it is but yet does a really nice job on the decent sun blocking out the wind. It’s perfect for changing conditions. The only downside for me is that it does not have rear pockets. With a jacket like this I would love to just use it with a short sleeve or long sleeve base layer but this is really not possible since nearly all base layers don’t have pockets and the jacket doesn’t have pockets I have no wear to store my extra gear. As a result I need to wear one of my long sleeve jerseys with a pocket which in certain situations is just not as efficient as having a simple base layer. Even with this slight limitation, this is still my go to gear!
Hi Dan, Take a look at the side seam near the back of the jacket on the right side. There's a hidden zippered pocket! Stow your valuables and wear just a base layer, Ornot.
I've worn this jacket three times now and got caught in the rain twice; last weekend put it through the wringer in a 70-mile ride in 40 degree weather with on-and-off freezing rain, wind, and one heavy downpour. I was suspicious at first, because it really does look like the fabric wets out (gets a lot darker and wet-looking) but NO, after five hours I was totally dry underneath, just a little damp from sweat. Wore it with nothing but an Icebreaker merino longsleeve underneath and was toasty warm the whole ride. I was debating between this and a Gore ShakeDry jacket but I'm glad I went for this. I'll definitely wear this on dry, cold days. I'm a woman, so the sizing isn't going to be perfect, but the Small is roomy enough for a LS jersey underneath. I'm usually an XS in men's stuff at 5'7" 135lbs w/wide shoulders. The sleeves are definitely long, and I'm going to have to get the waist tailored in. I dig the two-way zip, but wish the back pocket zip pull was just a little more hefty. Trying to grab it with gloves on is close to impossible. It would be great to see a women's version in lighter colors too! Also just curious how quickly the material would get damaged if you wear a backpack or bag over the top?
Glad this is working for you! We're working on a 2020 women's version. Also, the fabric is quite durable. We've been wearing the same jackets for 3 seasons now and have even taken a few tumbles in them. A backpack should be ok, assuming that you're not a bike messenger.