Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
John_S
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Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby John_S » 11 Sep 2019, 1:41pm

Hello All,

Could anyone recommend to me a breathable waterproof jacket which comes in a bright colour and has reflective material on? I’m hoping that I’m not searching for some kind of unicorn jacket that doesn’t exist.

When it comes to the attributes of the jacket I don’t know if I’m asking too much because obviously I’d want the jacket to keep rain off me but the emphasis would probably be on the breathable part.

At the moment, despite commuting all year around in all weather I don’t have a waterproof jacket and I just put on a gilet if it’s raining. I have had a waterproof jacket albeit a long time ago albeit I can’t remember what it was. I also have a windproof jacket but I don’t use it and nor did I like the waterproof jacket that I did have because both my waterproof jacket and my windproof jacket have the boil in a bag effect and I just cook and overheat in the leaving me both uncomfortable and soaking wet anyway from my own sweat. I think that I seem to get pretty hot on the bike and so breathability is an absolute key attribute for me.

Therefore on my commute which is about 12 miles each way if it’s raining I just wear a gilet to keep some of the worst off and increase my visibility (because it’s a bright colour with reflective bands across the chest and back) and I live with getting wet. I’m lucky in that I have a shower to use when I get to work and so I have a hot shower after commuting each way and so the getting wet bit doesn’t actually bother me that much on my short commute.

However, when I get the chance in-between family life, I’m starting to do more audax rides and whilst I don’t mind getting wet on a short commute with a hot shower at the end getting wet through on an all day audax ride is not such a great thing.

As a result I wonder if someone can recommend to me a rain jacket that has the following qualities in addition to the obvious one of being waterproof:-

• Is very breathable. This is an absolute must for me because if it’s a boil in the bag jacket I just won’t use it and it will end up as an unused waste of money. It seems that whichever manufacturers they all make lots of great statements about how breathable their jackets are but I wonder how many of these claims are really true?;

• Is in a bright colour. If it’s hammering down with rain it’s likely that the lighting conditions won’t be great and I want to be seen on the road and so I’d like something in a bright colour such as a yellow or orange. I don’t want a dark jacket in anything like black, navy, dark green etc.

• Is reflective. With respect to some of the rides that I’ll do there’s a good chance that at least some portion of the rides will be in the dark (and if the jacket I get is truly breathable I might also use it on wet winter commutes) and so I want it to have a decent amount of reflective material on.


Thanks in advance for any advice & tips that anyone can give and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that such a jacket actually exists.

John

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julk
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby julk » 11 Sep 2019, 10:06pm

I have found the nearest thing to what you describe is a Paramo jacket.
eg this one in yellow...
https://www.foothills.uk.com/paramo-mens-quito-jacket-7684-p.asp

Jamesh
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby Jamesh » 11 Sep 2019, 11:24pm

I think for a sportive you want something light and.packable

Something like this

https://road.cc/content/review/46972-endura-pakajak

Not very breathable but with vents?

Cheers James


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NUKe
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby NUKe » 12 Sep 2019, 11:17am

if you are wanting something comfortable then either Corrine Denis or Altura Night vision. these tend to have a lining

https://www.corinnedennis.co.uk/jackets ... ng-jackets

if packabilty is what you need a race cap is thin and light and depending on what you pay will be how breathable it is. 300 pund for the best 30 pound for boil in the bag.
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John_S
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby John_S » 12 Sep 2019, 1:42pm

Hi julk, Jamesh, Mike & NUKe,

Many thanks for your replies and suggestions and I'll take a good look at all of the options mentioned!

My extremely quick thoughts based just on a quick instant look at the ideas are as follows but I need to take a closer look and read/research more about the options because it's not that easy to asses a jacket online when you can't try it in person and of course it's impossible to try a jacket in real world riding conditions to find out whether it really is breathable and waterproof.

The Paramo Men's Quito Jacket - the colour of the yellow hi vis one is good but it says that the jacket weighs 500g and to me I worry that this might be a bit thick/ heavyweight and it could lead to me overheating. It also has a hood and when cycling I wouldn't use a hood and I think that this might perhaps get in the way and be annoying.

Thinking more about the jacket that I'm after I don't really want anything too big and heavy that adds bulk or insulation I just want it to keep the rain off and be breathable. When I go out riding in winter if it's dry I'm perfectly warm enough using the baselayers and long sleeve jerseys that I have. My only issue is that if I do a long ride and it rains then I have nothing waterproof to stop me from getting wet through.

I know that there are supposed waterproof jerseys out there such as the Castelli Perfetto or the Stolen Goat Orkaan jersey but I don't really need to replace my current long sleeve jerseys because I'm perfectly happy with them. Also as I understand it (although I could be wrong) the Perfetto and Orkaan aren't made from true waterproof materials but the fabric is treated with water repellent coating, such as DWR, to help water bead off but eventually with enough washing that coating will be washed off although I appreciate that you can spray the jersey again.

What I want it a lightweight breathable waterproof jacket that I can carry with me and put on over my existing cycle clothing only when it rains so that it keeps the water off and breaths so I don't boil in the bag.

Looking at the Endura Pakajak I'm sure that it would keep rain off but having owned similar jackets in the past they're just not breathable enough for me when I'm walking let alone cycling and I end up boiling in the bag and getting just as wet from sweat as I do from the rain which is a worse feeling.

The Refuge jacket looks a great bit of kit but I think for me this jacket does look a bit thick, heavy and bulky and might make me overheat over the top of my other cycle clothing and I don't think that I'd want the hood.

Following the message from NUKe I'm not really after a thermal fleece lining. I'm after what NUKe has suggested second which is packability but I'm scared about having to spend £300 to get this. Spending £30 to boil in the bag is to me totally pointless and a waste of both money and materials because I wouldn't end up using it. Perhaps I'll have to stick to getting rained on but I'll keep searching for something breathable that doesn't cost £300 or even if it's close to that in price is available somewhere in a sale at a big discount.

Whilst being on the hunt for a waterproof jacket I know that there are lots out there which is great because as cyclists there's lots of us who all want different things in terms of say either keeping us cool or hot, being different colours to suit different tastes etc. But whilst on this search in my head I sort of think that there must be enough of a cycling market who would want the following attributes from a waterproof jacket to make it worthwhile a company making it:-

* Is waterproof (the basic first requirement);
* Is breathable (because I don't want to be cooked with the boil in the bag experience and end up just as wet on the inside but from sweat and not the rain all whilst feeling uncomfortably hot);
* Is in easily visible in a colour which catches the attention of other road users and has reflective bits which catch the attention of other road users when it's dark.

When I started looking for a waterproof jacket I thought that the above criteria would appeal to enough people to mean that companies would provide such a product to the market but I'm finding the search harder and harder without one clear & obvious choice so far and so clearly my initial understanding of the cycle clothing market is completely wrong.

Thanks for help and suggestions which are much appreciated!

John

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deliquium
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby deliquium » 12 Sep 2019, 2:20pm

John_S wrote:Hi julk, Jamesh, Mike & NUKe,

The Paramo Men's Quito Jacket - the colour of the yellow hi vis one is good but it says that the jacket weighs 500g and to me I worry that this might be a bit thick/ heavyweight and it could lead to me overheating. It also has a hood and when cycling I wouldn't use a hood and I think that this might perhaps get in the way and be annoying.

John


A few years ago I tried on a Paramo Quito jacket when I was looking for a new cycling waterproof jacket.

I found it heavy and I didn't like the hood (preferring to wear a plain cotton cycling cap in the rain and a tight collared jacket). But the deal breaker for me was the SMALL being way way too big and baggy/flappy. I'm a slim bellied 37" chest. The sleeves were also rather uneccessarily voluminous in my opinion.

My personal OPINION, was it was more of an outdoor rambling jacket, rather then a dedicated cycling jacket.

I'm sure it would suit a great deal other folks though - these things are SO personal. - Any jacket really must be tried on and evaluated for fit and comfort before spending a lot of money!

Currently I have 2 x 2013 Gore Bike Wear Goretex Paclite jackets, which are very light. I expect jackets have become even lighter in the meantime. I have tried various other more modern Gore Bike Wear jackets as they come up in regular sales - none have suited as well as the 2013 version for varying reasons.

Basically it's a very very difficult personal choice.

PS I don't believe or can see how a waterproof jacket can ever be 'breathable' when the outer layer becomes wetted out? Makers make great claims for water repellant coatings these days - but they seem to rely on frequent re=applications (expensivley), if on rides every day like I do.
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roubaixtuesday
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby roubaixtuesday » 12 Sep 2019, 2:31pm

On breathability, even in principle, no jacket is breathable in the rain (they depend on a humidity gradient to dispel water). And in rain for any length of time you end up wet from sweat regardless of how

In my experience, underarm vents are *far* more important than the fabric the jacket is made of from a comfort/sweat perspective.

I don’t have a personal recommendation, as my own choices are much further limited by being built like an orang-utan so having sleeve length as the overriding consideration.

That said, the best jacket I ever had was from Decathlon, which I’ve just checked and they don’t sell any more. Their current ones would be worth checking out. I had an Altura Nightvision before that, which seems to still tick your boxes. https://www.evanscycles.com/altura-nigh ... t-EV341543

So my recommendation would be:

- Look for vents first
- Colour and reflectives is next
- A high quality shell with taped seams.

I currently have a Gore paclite which has gorilla length arms and is nice and light, but lacks the vents, so I boil at bit, even though it’s well regarded from a breathability pov. It also has a pointless and annoying hood.

slowster
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby slowster » 12 Sep 2019, 2:47pm

If the highest levels of breathability are the overriding requirement, either buy a black Goretex Shakedry jacket now, or wait maybe another few years until Gore crack the problem of making the fabric in colours.

As for high visibility, Showers Pass make a couple of jackets with reflective fabric this one with some reflective fabric and this one which is mostly reflective fabric. I think the reflective fabric is less breathable than the fabric used on the rest of jackets, but the design, and especially the zipped ventilation, may be as important as the actual fabric when assessing the overall breathability of the jacket. Showers Pass usually offer a discount in the Black Friday sales.

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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby Vorpal » 12 Sep 2019, 3:31pm

I have never been able to stay dry in the rain. I either get wet from the outside or wet from the inside. I have settled for 'wet, but comfortable temperature' :lol: :lol:

I have a thin, light boil-in-the-bag type North Face waterproof (TK Maxx!) that does a good job if I'm not working too hard, and it's easy to carry. I also have a softshell (goretex-like material) Scandinavian Explorer 'waterproof' that is almost waterproof, and rather warmer. It's good for rain + colder temperatures, and with a couple of layers of merino under, even for below zero.

I also have a Carradice cape that does the best job of dry & ventilated (and it's warmer than you might think!) but it's 820 grams and doesn't exactly pack small, so I mostly use it for utility cycling about town, and for walking when I have something like a rucksack to keep dry underneath it.

All of them have some things that they do well & some that they don't, so it's nice to be able to select what's best for the purpose/trip.
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Caledonia64
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby Caledonia64 » 12 Sep 2019, 3:41pm

Vorpal wrote:
I also have a Carradice cape that does the best job of dry & ventilated (and it's warmer than you might think!) but it's 820 grams and doesn't exactly pack small, so I mostly use it for utility cycling about town, and for walking when I have something like a rucksack to keep dry underneath it.



Never managed to get Capes to work in Aberdeenshire, even in the town.

I have a Vaude Air Jacket III in pistachio or some such, I got for £40 (male xxxl which is fine around the chest but not cut for a woman round the hips still it fits).

It iis waterproof but not sure yet how breathable.

I have a breathable walking jacket (Berghaus - canna mind the model) in bright red so not really visible: it has needed reproofed after 3 years. But is bombproof though obviously not a cycling jacket in cut.
I gave a way an Altura jacket that being a male sizing (for the chest) did not ever quite fit riight and wasn't much used (I gave it away when not cycling at all really). So I have bought for my big trip and the autumn a Vaude Lierne Jacket in Pear (bright green) but women's specific in the very rare size I need (it is hard to get sizes for average/larger women). It was 1/4 of usual price on Amazon beiing an older version. The sizing was the deciding factor along with the reliiability of the brand name.

The best visible one was one I bought in a hypermarket in Normandy in France in the 80s... breathable too and packable: my friends called me a walking migraiine with iit on. It lost its proofing after about 20 years even trying with Graingers to reproof again.

roubaixtuesday
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby roubaixtuesday » 12 Sep 2019, 4:09pm

slowster wrote:If the highest levels of breathability are the overriding requirement, either buy a black Goretex Shakedry jacket now, or wait maybe another few years until Gore crack the problem of making the fabric in colours.

As for high visibility, Showers Pass make a couple of jackets with reflective fabric this one with some reflective fabric and this one which is mostly reflective fabric. I think the reflective fabric is less breathable than the fabric used on the rest of jackets, but the design, and especially the zipped ventilation, may be as important as the actual fabric when assessing the overall breathability of the jacket. Showers Pass usually offer a discount in the Black Friday sales.


The showers pass kit looks excellent. Any idea where one might try them on?

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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby PH » 12 Sep 2019, 4:30pm

roubaixtuesday wrote:
The showers pass kit looks excellent. Any idea where one might try them on?

I don’t, unless you’re near Spa who stock some. The UK distributor is somewhere in the north east and very easy to deal with, they do a prepaid return service to remove some of the risk, you might also be able to negotiate a discount to match Spa’s 10%.
I have an Elite jacket, a bit too bulky to carry but excellent in every other regard, I’ve never had anything that vents as well, so well that I can often keep it on after it’s stopped raining.

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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby PH » 12 Sep 2019, 4:52pm

John_S wrote:
What I want it a lightweight breathable waterproof jacket that I can carry with me and put on over my existing cycle clothing only when it rains so that it keeps the water off and breaths so I don't boil in the bag
John

The first stage of me getting comfortable riding in the rain was to stop adding a layer unless the temperature drops significantly, which often isn’t the case when it starts to rain. I’m now in the habit of replacing a layer instead and it works much better for me. The other factor is choosing base layers that are not uncomfortable when wet, it’s a bit hit and miss finding them, but I have a Howies that can be wet for hours without me noticing until I take it off, sadly no longer made or I’d have another.

slowster
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a breathable, brightly coloured & reflective waterproof jacket?

Postby slowster » 12 Sep 2019, 5:37pm

PH wrote:The UK distributor is somewhere in the north east and very easy to deal with, they do a prepaid return service to remove some of the risk, you might also be able to negotiate a discount to match Spa’s 10%.

If you sign up to Showers Pass emails, you get 10% of your first order. However, if you are prepared to wait until the end of November, the Black Friday discount in the past has been 25%.

PH wrote: The other factor is choosing base layers that are not uncomfortable when wet, it’s a bit hit and miss finding them

I always found the old Helly Hansen Lifa base layers (the ones which earned the nickname 'Smelly Helly') to be good in that respect, and Brynje Super Thermo mesh is, I think, even better.