A good jacket needs to offer protection from the elements but also deal with body heat and perspiration. Producing products that are not only protective but also breathable has been the key challenge facing garment manufacturers.
Having done some research I opted for a winter soft-shell jacket for this winter - Not the best protection when it comes to out-and-out downpours, but okay in a bit of drizzle, good against wind, warm and also breathable. For most of us the cost of this type of garments is prohibitive - take a look on any of the websites or browse in your local bike shop - it's easy to fork out £150 - £200 or more - especially for name 'brands' with big marketing and advertising budgets. But if you're prepared to forego the cycle snobbery and consider the supermarket discounters I think you could be pleasantly surprised.
I purchased a 'Men's Performance Cycling Jacket' from Aldi last September. It features Storm Guard wind and rain protection, thermal fleece panels for moisture transfer and warmth, 3 back pockets, one with a zip, it has a 'PerEffect' insert for quick drying and moisture transport, 'glow in the dark' reflective panels for safety and it all folds away neatly into its own pocket for storage. It looks and feels pretty good too. Having ridden with it every day for the past few months I am mightily impressed. The only downside has been some of the stitching on leading edges of the rear pockets has come away - easily fixed though. Best part - it was less than £30!!! - I can safely say this has been one of my 'best-buys' in terms of cycling wear.
We're moving swiftly towards spring now so this jacket will soon be packed away until Autumn - but I'll definitely get another one if the chance arises.
|Aldi - Men's performance Cycling Jacket - does the job - great price!|