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A winter jacket conundrum

Steve236Steve236 Posts: 212
edited September 2013 in Road buying advice
I'm weighing up some winter jacket options but can't decide. I got through last winter no problem with a base layer, a dhb momentum jersey and a vest/gillet. But that was avoiding rain altogether. As I'm planning to not let a bit of rain stop me this winter I'm thinking of some wet weather protection. I've been looking at the gore oxygen gt as as a full in waterproof or the xenon softshell and the castelli espresso due as softshell alternatives (being a sweaty type, I worry about boil in the bag with the oxygen). Ideally, the jacket would be warm, as water resistant as possible but importantly, as breathable as possible. Doesn't need to be pack able.

Any views on these from owners of any or all of them out there?
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Posts

  • In Winter I generally use base layers with heavier ss jerseys (sportwool type) and arm warmers with a separate rain jacket. I've had the breathable waterproof jackets but found they weren't either.
  • I bought a Castelli Mortirolo Due jacket last year which was the perfect fit, wind proof, and really warm in temps as low as zero degrees. I had an accident while riding and the paramedics cut it off (only used 3-4times) and gutted dont begin to come close!

    I will be buying the same jacket this year and can recommend it 100%.
    It is expensive but hopefully the next one will last me longer.
  • LegendLustLegendLust Posts: 1,022
    The Rapha Softshell is a superb bit of kit as well - windproof, warm and pretty water resistant. It will get wet but if you get the base layers right you'll stay warm anyway. I've hardly had mine off during the last seven winters
  • I'm with you, membrane jackets are just not breathable enough. My take on this is to just get wet, but be warm when doing so. This means a polypro base, a brushed polyester midlayer (like super-roubaix fabric) and , if I must, a windstopper gilet that actually cuts out most rain - at least to your core. If it is really cold and wet, or a very long ride, I'll throw in a synthetic insulated vest (can't find a bike specific one) for when I stop or if I get too wet and cool.

    There's waterresistant jerseys these days that do not depend upon a membrane but I imagin e thta the proofing wouldn't last more than a few washes.
  • FatTedFatTed Posts: 1,205
    Castelli Espresso Due, perhaps a bit warm for you?
  • FatTed wrote:
    Castelli Espresso Due, perhaps a bit warm for you?

    Thinking about it, you're probably right. As long as the wind chill is kept off, I probably generate enough heat not to need a heavy duty, fleecy winter job. Is the Mortirolo just a less well insulated version of the Espresso then? Of course there's the Gabba. Some say its not really warm enough for full on winter but maybe for those who don't feel the cold so much it would be ok (must admit though, I'm not a big fan of the huge branding on the front of the Gabba).
  • I think the difference between the 2 castelli jackets is as you say. Mortirolo probably has slightly less padding/bulk. When I used mine last winter though, it was totally wind proof and only needed a thin base layer under it. No jersey required. Even then, I had to open the zip vents on the front which work very well.
    Im sure they're both very good though.
  • I think the difference between the 2 castelli jackets is as you say. Mortirolo probably has slightly less padding/bulk. When I used mine last winter though, it was totally wind proof and only needed a thin base layer under it. No jersey required. Even then, I had to open the zip vents on the front which work very well.
    Im sure they're both very good though.

    Thanks. And how was it in the rain? (that is assuming you wore it in the rain before it was cut off you! I imagine that hurt more than any injuries you had!)
  • Only used it in light rain once and the water just ran off of it. Not sure how it would cope in an extended downpour but I dont ride in those conditions anyway.

    Mick
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    Anything that's properly waterproof won't be breathable enough for anything but z2 riding. Last winter I used a combination of an Assos Habu (amazingly breathable softshell but only good down to about 7c with a decent baselayer) and a Bonka (warm down to 0c but not as breathable as the Habu so had to lower zip to regulate temp on climbs). Both with just a packable waterproof shell for emergencies. If I knew it was going to rain most/all of the ride I'd either stay indoors or use an Assos Strumprinz as the outer shell (it's not really packable though), it's the most breathable waterproof jacket I've used (although it's not 100% waterproof all over) but still it's a compromise. Getting wet isn't a problem, you can end a summer ride soaked through with sweat, it's staying warm when wet is the key and that's where good wind-proofing is a must.
  • nferrar wrote:
    If I knew it was going to rain most/all of the ride I'd either stay indoors or use an Assos Strumprinz as the outer shell
    **** me that's an expensive jacket! I'm all for spending out on top quality stuff when I can but I can't stretch to that. If I go down the waterproof option over layers depending on the temperature, does anyone have any experience of the the Gore Oxygen GT AS or any other jacket that performs very well?
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    been hugely impressed with my L/S Gabba recently. Its fairly thin and obviously fits like a jersey really, but its absolutely 100% windproof so offers good warmth and with some warmer base layers I suspect will be great well down into single figures. I rode yesterday for a hard 50 miler in an av temp of 9 degs and those serious cold winds and rain and with only a s/s summer weight merino baselayer I was perfectly happy and the rain stayed off me as well.

    Best of all is the breathability - I've done some hard rides in it and unlike all my other stuff I'm just NOT getting sweaty inside. 2 long side zip vents help but even with those done up its superb - really is a step change rom anything else I've got.

    Its pricey but I reckon the value in cost per use will be minimal by the end of this winter alone.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • I was looking at the gore red contest as jacket. Anygood? I tend to sweat profusely and its either this, an altura night vision evo or my altura night vision fleece jacket and a waterproof I got off wiggle over the top.
  • luv2rideluv2ride Posts: 2,367
    I was looking for the same holy grail last autumn. Tried the Sportful Survival Goretex Active shell jacket but was between sizes. Tried a medium Gore Oxygen GT AS jacket and that was just too small (I'm 5'8 with 37.5" chest). Ended up with a Mavic H20 goretex paclite (previous C+ test winner). Nice jacket but think my expectations of breathability were too high, despite the range of venting options.

    Most of last winter I used a Mavic Echappee softshell jacket and its been brilliant - great fit, great ventilation (zipped arm vents and mesh inserts under the arm pits), very windproof and shrugs off showers. Deals with 85% of autumn/winter riding. Carried an Altura pocket Rocket in case of proper rain. Only use the H20 when forecast is for sustained rain...
    Titus Silk Road Ti rigid 29er - Scott Solace 10 disc - Kinesis Crosslight Pro6 disc - Scott CR1 SL - Pinnacle Arkose X 650b - Pinnacle Arkose singlespeed - Specialized Singlecross...& an Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray 4 string...
  • meursaultmeursault Posts: 1,433
    I'm thinking of either this

    http://www.prendas.co.uk/details.asp?ID=3302

    2013-08-29-santini-taka-gore-windstopper-cassiopeia-blue-lightweight-jacket.jpg

    or this

    http://www.prendas.co.uk/details.asp?ID=3232

    20121011-santini-waterproof-rain-jacket-grey.jpg

    Prices and reviews look good, only downside appears to be stock levels if you are a medium.
    Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

    Voltaire
  • Steve236 wrote:
    nferrar wrote:
    If I knew it was going to rain most/all of the ride I'd either stay indoors or use an Assos Strumprinz as the outer shell
    **** me that's an expensive jacket! I'm all for spending out on top quality stuff when I can but I can't stretch to that. If I go down the waterproof option over layers depending on the temperature, does anyone have any experience of the the Gore Oxygen GT AS or any other jacket that performs very well?

    I don't have the Oxygen, but have a Gore Bike Wear Contest AS. it doesn't breathe particularly well so i use it for commutes, really really cold mornings (below -2celcius) or heavy rain.
  • I was looking at the gore red contest as jacket. Anygood? I tend to sweat profusely and its either this, an altura night vision evo or my altura night vision fleece jacket and a waterproof I got off wiggle over the top.

    I have the contest. i sweat profusely. i don't wear the contest except when it's below -2c, short rides (below 40 minutes), heavily raining + cold or when I feel like getting dehydration. It's very thin, though and warm for its weight - def cuts the wind. I've used it x-country skiing a couple of times but again it has to be pretty cold before you could get away with it I actually think it might be better as a walking garment. It has no real ventialtion but lined sleeves, which is handy. It is cut quite small, go up a size is my advice, even if you're slim.

    really, for me, all these garments are emergency jackets or strictly for commuting. No way could you train for a couple of hours in these things without sweating to death. I reckon a gilet (with windstopper front only) for training and a jacket scrunched up in the jersey for rain/commuting/emergencies. All this talk of very breathable is just marketing BS... if it has a membrane you're going to get wet on the inside unless it is very dry and cold outside.

    My new fave outside garment is a marmot driclime. Greta on the MTB too but is too civilian for road riding.

    good luck with finding a jacket - go windstopper front only is my advice.
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    +1.

    With a lot of these jackets, any decent effort and you'll sweat to death and then cool down because you are drenched in sweat. In winter, I ride in non waterproof gear with windproof front panels and carry a light shell for descents and emergencies. Works pretty well, although if it's raining heavily, I stay indoors and and ride on the turbo.
  • FatTedFatTed Posts: 1,205
    If you follow Robbo's advice then the Rapha ProTeam Jacket is perfect
    http://www.rapha.cc/pro-team-jacket
    (Not bad advice) I stay inside if its wet.
    The Rapha winter jersey does not have windproof arms
    Endura have one as well
    http://www.endura.co.uk/Product.aspx?de ... rod_id=584
    I prefer the Rapha (more breathable) although have the original Endura, the Mk 3 may be better
  • Steve236Steve236 Posts: 212
    edited September 2013
    Lots of replies! Many thanks. As winter clothes threads seem 10-a-penny at the moment I suppose its shows that the combination of our all-over-the-place UK winters and the huge choice of brands and jacket-types out there makes for a very tricky decision.

    For the record, I'm no nearer an answer. Currently thinking I'll avoid a waterproof like the Oxygen and go softshell so considering the Rapha Pro Team or Softshell, the Gore Xenon SO, a Castelli Mortirolo, Sportful Fiandre No Rain...
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I have a Gore Phantom for anything but torrential rain from autumn through to spring. Love the fact the sleeves zip off to produce a gilet.

    I have a Gore Path Paclite jacket for proper rain. Reasonably breathable at my sedate pace.

    Bought them both at Wiggle sale prices; just over £70 each :D
  • dwanesdwanes Posts: 954
    Ive just recieved a Sugoi Men's RS Zero Jacket from amazon and I am very impressed with it.
    It has a very good quality thick material (very much a Jacket, not a jersey) with good zips and a good 'Race' fit.
    It looks better than it does in the photos.
    Should be ideal for the cold of winter.
    When I ordered it last weekend the price was at a very low £77 for a medium in Black, well below the RRP for this jacket.
    They still have some at £87, dependent on size/colour, which is still a good price for such a quality jacket.
  • Last year I used an Assos Bonka. The year before a Castelli Espresso. Before that alternated between Gore Tool, Xenon and Cosmo.

    The Assos was the best. Very warm indeed. But not awfully comfy. The others had good and bad points.

    This year I'm going to be using this. Fit is superb. No idea how warm it will be yet but has a good level of rain protection as well.
    http://www.madisongenesis.co.uk/shop/ma ... mal-jacket
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    You spend all that money on the Bonka and only use it for one season? That is, ahem, bonkers.
  • Didn't lose a penny ;)
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • Last year I used an Assos Bonka. The year before a Castelli Espresso. Before that alternated between Gore Tool, Xenon and Cosmo.

    The Assos was the best. Very warm indeed. But not awfully comfy. The others had good and bad points.

    This year I'm going to be using this. Fit is superb. No idea how warm it will be yet but has a good level of rain protection as well.
    http://www.madisongenesis.co.uk/shop/ma ... mal-jacket


    Jesus christ are these freebies?
    Winter Road - 2014 Boardman Sport
    MTB - 2012 Canyon Nerve XC 7
    Summer Road - 2012 Cannondale Supersix 105 Liquigas Colours
  • Yes
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    When its raining & cold I always go for my Mavic H20 - really good. Otherwise layers and an emergency outer layer is fine.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • passout wrote:
    When its raining & cold I always go for my Mavic H20 - really good. Otherwise layers and an emergency outer layer is fine.
    H20 hmmm. Thanks for the suggestion Passout. Which version? - counted about 6 on their website.
  • Winter clothing options are so bloody complex, quite how we get our head around it I have no idea.

    I've always been a fan of Specialized clothing/shoes etc so when I needed something for when the mercury drops below about 5C, they were my first port of call.

    http://www.cyclestore.co.uk/productDeta ... ctID=56848

    All last winter this Roubaix Winter Partial Jacket worked a treat. I pretty much wear it as a jersey with only a base layer underneath and this has worked all the way down to about -3 or so without an issue. Lower than that and you possibly need to add a mid layer of some sort.

    Overall though it has been fantastic.
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