The Resolute Bay Reflective Cycling Jacket is impressive. It's a high-quality design, offering superb protection against the weather, excellent breathability, and some strong cyclist-specific features, and the fit works really well both on and off the bike.
- Pros: Great waterproofing, excellent windproofing and breathability
- Cons: Not cheapest, side zips could be positioned better
One thing that tends to plague commuter cycling jackets is that they're either too cycling-specific or not cycling-specific enough. The Reflective Cycling jacket aims to balance the two – and succeeds.
As with all foul weather jackets, waterproofing is one of the most important elements, and the Resolute Bay has stood up to all of the rain that the British spring has thrown at it. I tested it on some torrentially rainy rides and it performed admirably, not letting in a drop. The only slight downside was that when wearing it with the hood down (if you have a helmet on), you can get water caught in the hood.
This waterproofing is down to a good choice of material, with a membrane and DWR (durable water repellent) surface treatment, and the YKK aqua-guard front zip, which – as the name suggests – stops any water getting in.
Windproofing is another key area and luckily (or not) I did a lot of the testing during Storm Gareth – I didn't need to test it on a descent, I could do it just by walking out the front door! It keeps the wind out really well, and with the Velcro cuffs you can create a strong barrier around gloves or your wrist, which helps to keep out all the elements.
Breathability is also impressive, helped by some extra venting that Resolute Bay has included. On the back there's an opening with a large flap, which allows heat to escape while still maintaining waterproofing, and on each side there's a zip down the rib cage which can be undone to provide more air to pass through if needed. These are useful, but the zips themselves are a little fiddly to undo on the go as they start high up – especially when wearing full finger gloves. However, this is a minor issue compared to the benefit that they bring through added breathability.
Most of the cycling-specific elements are fairly subtle, so off the bike the jacket doesn't shout 'cycling'. For instance, although the back is slightly dropped it isn't enough to make it look odd when not riding. Similarly, having a hood makes it look more like a regular jacket – although it's detachable so you can remove it while riding. It is simple to remove, too: just four poppers. And it has an adjustable popper either side of the front of the hood which allows it to be tightened and loosened.
The jacket also has an impressive amount of storage: two hand pockets, a large pocket across the back, and a small chest pocket inside the zip.
The back pocket is more than enough space for most items you could want on a ride.
The chest pocket is good for keys and a wallet or something similar in size. I didn't find it large enough for my iPhone 8, but a smaller phone may fit.
One of the most impressive elements of the jacket, which should come as no surprise given the name, is its reflectivity. Its reflective elements shine like a light in the dark, but are surprisingly subtle during the day. Throughout the jacket there are thin lines of reflective material, which when lit up look like a neon pinstriped suit, but during the day, although they are noticeable, they look like stylising rather than a safety feature.
If you want something more subtle, the jacket is also available in grey or black.
RRP on the jacket is £200, which is definitely steep, but it is a high quality garment and not outrageous. Its closest competitor is probably the Rapha Hooded Rain jacket, which is £30 more.
Overall, I was really impressed with this jacket. It looks great, it keeps out all the elements, and it works as well off the bike as on it. There is no doubt that it's expensive, and the zips on the side are a little fiddly, but these are minor issues in what is a great jacket.
Excellent commuter jacket that is genuinely as good off the bike as on it
To read the original review on the road.cc website click here