A good rain jacket is a cycling essential. Even if you only cycle in the summer months there is always the chance of getting caught in a rain shower. Vulpine's rain jacket is both practical and stylish- the kind of garment that you would feel comfortable wearing both on and off the bike.
Vulpine's clothing is the best of both worlds- stylish (i.e. looks like normal clothes) and also performs the technical function of cycling clothing. Think, being able to go from bike to work or bike to meeting friends for drinks and not having to change clothes or worry that your clothes shout 'cycling geek.' This design brief can also be seen in the other products I have reviewed - the socks, rain trousers and polo tops.
I tested this jacket in some horrendous conditions. On one of the days the rain was relentless and being blown horizontally into my face, but this jacket kept me dry. The waterproof and windproof qualities performed brilliantly. I did not get wet and I did not feel cold. The jacket is also breathable, so I did not feel uncomfortable when working up a sweat on uphill climbs.
For many road cyclists a rain jacket that is as light as possible and can be folded into a tiny bundle when it isn't raining will be a priority. Although this jacket is not the lightest that you can get, I thought it could be folded up to a small enough size to easily shove in a backpack without it taking up too much room. If you need a jacket that can be folded up even smaller than that then this may not be your first choice.
Quality and style
This jacket feels like a quality product. It feels like something built to last. It feels up to the job of protecting you from rain and wind. There is a lot more weight in it than the lightweight jackets that road cyclists may prefer, but that's what makes it feel like a jacket that you can wear both on and off the bike. I felt comfortable wearing this out and about, whereas I feel a bit more self-conscious when wearing one of those jackets that are specifically for cycling, particularly the ones with high visibility colours.
Is charcoal too dark?
I reviewed the charcoal version of the jacket, but it also comes in an orange colour if you prefer something that stands out more. All cyclists have their views about the effectiveness of high visibility colours. Personally, I was happy with the charcoal colour as I am not the biggest fan of high viz. The jacket does have some reflective elements for being seen by traffic.
One of my favourite things about this jacket is that it has two pockets. I cannot tell you enough how brilliant it is to have somewhere to put all those commuting essentials like keys, wallet, phone etc. The cycling jackets that I have owned in the past don't have much in the way of pockets as they are designed more for their function than practical features. Plus, the pockets of this jacket have a fleece lining on one side, which is a wonderful feeling if you are using them to keep your hands warm. The inclusion of the pockets is another feature that makes this jacket fit that design brief of working well on and off the bike.
The neatest feature on this jacket is the splash guard. It is tucked out of sight by means of magnets and you can easily pull it out to give your backside extra protection from spray and mud. The splash guard also has reflective details on it, so that it can be deployed to increase your visibility.
This jacket currently retails for £100. This is good value when you consider that the jacket has a dual function of providing practical cycling clothing and a stylish garment that can be worn after you park up your bike. The waterproof qualities are excellent and the build quality means that this will last for years.
Read my reviews of other Vulpine products
Merion wool socks
Henley and polo tops