Forum home Road cycling forum Road buying advice

Suitable jacket for the Alps

matt-hmatt-h Posts: 847
edited August 2014 in Road buying advice
im off to the Alps at the end of August but have been advised to get a decent jacket due to weather changes and the cold descents.
What do people recommend? I really don't want anything thats going to flap so was considering the Sportful No Rain Stretch jacket.



  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,019
    All you need is one of those light waterproof coats, mostly for the wind on the descents. If the weather is bad, you can wear all the clothes you want and you'l still be freezing, so no point in getting a heavy jacket that you need to carry around.
    I have a yellow DHB thing that goes in the back pocket and it's perfect
    left the forum March 2023
  • matt-hmatt-h Posts: 847
    Ok Ugo thats great.
    Problem i have found is that the cheaper jackets are not race cut and flap.
    I dont have to carry it. We have a service vehicle

  • shmoostershmooster Posts: 335
    Gore windstopper maybe if you're less bothered about weight/size, but like Ugo I just carry a very small lightweight jacket which I keep permanently strapped under my stem so I don't forget it. Also get a pair of Audrey Hepburn like arm warmers, they're very light but make a big difference on a wet descent.
  • gabriel959gabriel959 Posts: 4,227
    I used one of these when I went to the Pyrenees ... -20-jacket

    Paid £90 for it.
    Commuting / Winter rides - Jamis Renegade Expert
    Pootling / Offroad - All-City Macho Man Disc
    Fast rides Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,337
    The day I spent on Alpe D'Huez it was freezing (-3c) at 4:30am and 33c by early afternoon.

    I wore a base layer, arm & leg warmers, a SS jersey, long-finger gloves with a lobster finger cover built-in, and a gilet (for descending) first thing in the morning.

    As the day went on, I got rid of the warmers and base layer and swapped the gloves for mitts. I kept the gilet for descents.

    There was at least one accident on the first descent where a woman lost the feeling in her fingers and couldn't brake and there were people receiving (medical) help for the effects of cold. Later in the day their were people suffering from dehydration and exhaustion getting IV drips.

    Fortunately there was no rain but windproof is definitely the way to go. If you have support, maybe something like a Gabba jersey (with or without arm warmers) would be great to have. Layering, though, is most flexible and adaptable.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,019
    In all cases, nothing works as well as a newspaper under the jersey
    left the forum March 2023
  • cc78cc78 Posts: 599
    At the moment I always carry arm warmers and a gilet... I picked up this lightweight windbreaker from Decathlon a couple of months ago and it is great, packs up really small (I can fit it and the arm warmers in the same jersey pocket) ... 03725.html

    if it looks like raining (which unfortunately it does a lot here at the moment) then I also take a jacket; I have the older version of this Mavic Sprint H20 ... -prod89544

    Knee warmers are handy if it looks like a rubbish day, and shoe covers. I sometimes also carry a pair of long-fingered thin gloves that I put on over my mitts to keep hands warm on a descent.

    As above a Gabba jersey may be useful but I've never worn one so wouldn't like to comment.
  • cc78cc78 Posts: 599
    don't forget a cap as well, ideal for keeping the rain out your eyes when descending
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    In all cases, nothing works as well as a newspaper under the jersey

    If all you want to do is pretend you're a pro.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I was descending the Stelvio when they had snow there in May. I just had a £10 Aldi packable jacket over my Castelli Nano Arms and Gabba jacket. Worked fine. Flapping isnt an issue.

    Gloves are good and maybe a buff too. Both of those - you can stuff down your top if needed.
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    Any old shell will do, i use a cheapo DHB clear race jacket. Always take gloves and it's best to layer up rather than wear single heavier items because you can remove or add them as it warms up/gets colder
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 8,682
    If you have a support car then I'd just stick arm and leg warmers, warm gloves and any lightweight jacket in a bag in the car. Pretty much like the advice above really. I know it can get very cold even in August but equally I've been to the Alps three times for a week each time and never once needed anything other than a short sleeved race jersey, mitts and shorts.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,431
    robbo2011 wrote:
    Any old shell will do, i use a cheapo DHB clear race jacket. Always take gloves and it's best to layer up rather than wear single heavier items because you can remove or add them as it warms up/gets colder

    Those cheapo DHB clear race jackets are great. Mine has performed just as well as it's very similar Assos predecessor. It's wind proof, light rainproof and has a fairly slim cut although you do get a bit of flapping on the arms. I often take a gilet and arm warmers as well. Sometimes gloves and leg warmers. You can get really chilled on descents, even in summer.
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    I use this....

    It can be converted between a jacket and gilet by way of a zip that runs around the back of the jacket... ... -doppio-20

    If weight/bulk is an issue then something like this.... ... ain-jacket

    15% off with code AP201312
  • matt-hmatt-h Posts: 847
    Thanks so much guys.
    Great to also get some advice from those that live or have ridden the Alps.

    Very disappointed no-one has insisted i buy a Rapha Pro Race Cape - they do look nice even if the price is out of my reach

  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    Buy a Rapha Race Cape. And take scissors. When it gets too hot you can snip off the arms at the cutting point.

    And take some arm warmers for when, after you've cut them off, it gets cold again.
    My blog: (kit reviews and other musings)
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • northpolenorthpole Posts: 1,499
    All of the above plus, if there's space available, I'd be tempted to throw a heavy-ish goretex jacket in the back of the support vehicle and hope never to need call on its service. My standard kit in the dolomites comprised mesh base layer, short sleeve jersey, arm warmers, gillet, mits and a rain jacket in the back pocket. We only got rained on once and I would have preferred to have had neoprene overshoes and a pair of gloves!

Sign In or Register to comment.