When the weather’s un­pre­dictable, a bike jacket that stuffs into your jersey and can with­stand a shower is es­sen­tial. Jack Sexty and He­len Web­ster test 10

220 Triathlon Magazine - - Contents -

As tem­per­a­tures drop with the ap­proach of au­tumn, keep the chills at bay with a bike jacket. We test 10 for men and women

Apack­able bike jacket is of­ten con­sid­ered an es­sen­tial emer­gency item that’ll see you through a shower, but not weather a storm; but thanks to the lat­est in light­weight, breath­able wa­ter­proof­ing tech­nol­ogy, all that is chang­ing.

Gore are at the fore­front of this, with their Gore-Tex Shakedry tech­nol­ogy (ap­pear­ing on one of the jack­ets on test here) be­ing treated into the weave of the fab­ric so an ad­di­tional durable wa­ter re­pel­lent (DWR) coat­ing isn’t needed. This also cuts down on the weight of the gar­ment, and makes it more breath­able be­cause there are less lay­ers.

If you’re look­ing to buy a pack­able jacket, think about what you want: if it’s wa­ter­proof­ing, then you want a jacket with taped seams to stop wa­ter ingress. If you pri­ori­tise com­fort, then more seams will lead to a bet­ter fit, but this means more en­try points for wa­ter. Some brands will com­bine taped seams with more stretchy fab­rics to give the best of both, a fea­ture of high-end pack­able jack­ets with tech such as Gore-Tex. Also, be aware that DWR coat­ings will lose their ef­fec­tive­ness af­ter a few washes, which means wa­ter will no longer bead off the sur­face. But you can buy DWR sprays to re­store the wa­ter re­pelling prop­er­ties of your jacket.

The range of op­tions on test here rep­re­sent ev­ery­thing from the big bud­get and cut­ting edge for se­ri­ous weather pro­tec­tion on longer rides, to the sim­ple and af­ford­able for a Sun­day spin where the weather might turn volatile.

How we tested

When it comes to our great Bri­tish weather, one thing you can al­ways count on is rain, and there was lots of it through­out our test pe­riod. All of the jack­ets here were tested on both com­mutes and train­ing rides, so each was stashed in a jersey pocket and called on mid-ride. We looked at weather pro­tec­tion, breatha­bil­ity, fit, value, com­fort and aes­thet­ics to de­cide on our over­all win­ners.

col­lar A high neck­line is de­sir­able in weath­er­proof cloth­ing to stop the rain and wind from get­ting in. cuffs It’s key that th­ese are tight, as you don’t want the sleeves dis­tract­ing from your han­dle­bar grip.

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