The Rivelo Newington Reversible Jacket is a decent commuter jacket that offers good protection against the elements and a lot of storage, but the suggestion that it can be reversed for casual situations seems slightly wide of the mark; it's very definitely a cycling jacket, whichever way round you wear it.
- Pros: Decent weatherproofing, loads of storage, good visibility features
- Cons: 'Casual' side still looks pretty 'cycling', breathability not as good as others
So, you need a jacket for riding into work, but you also need a jacket to wear while at work which doesn't make you look like you've just got off your bike. Rather than relying on two jackets, one for on the bike, one for off, Rivelo has attempted to solve the problem with its Newington Reversible Jacket which is brightly coloured on one side, and darker and more subtle looking on the other (in this case, navy).
There's nothing complicated about reversing it – it's literally just a case of turning it inside out and flipping the zip tab to the outside once reversed, even with the zip garage.
On the 'cycling' side, the material is relatively lightweight, much like a regular lightweight cycling-specific jacket. The other is a kind of thick mesh material, which acts as webbing when on the inside, and the casual side outer. It's quite an interesting design because the mesh definitely gives another layer of protection against the elements when on the inside, so by virtue of simply being reversible the jacket offers better protection than most lightweight options.
I used this several times in the wind and rain and it kept out most of it. In really heavy downpours some water got through the untaped seams and zip, but for showers it's more than adequate. Wind resistance is also good, and the cuffs create a decent barrier against the elements at the wrist, and with the webbing adding a little extra padding it kept out the worst of cold bites. The jacket itself isn't brilliant at insulating, it's more of an external shell than an insulation layer.
The fit is somewhere between casual and performance, with a little bit of excess but not enough to consider it a totally casual cut. It also has a dropped back for riding and includes an extension for this too, with a piece of reflective material that can be unzipped to give more visibility or weather protection.
I'd say it's definitely designed for on-the-bike use, with the dropped hem a real giveaway, and that does mean that – other than the more subtle colour – it doesn't look particularly 'casual' off the bike. It does work well on the bike, though.
One element I particularly like is the amount of storage in the rear pocket, which runs across the bottom of the back and is accessible regardless of which side you have reversed. It's pretty cavernous, swallowing everything I needed for a multi-hour ride easily, including a pump and puncture repair kit, and I even picked up a couple of beers on my way home and stuck them in.
There's a fair amount of reflective piping and print detailing used throughout, which when combined with the reflective hem panel means it should be almost impossible to miss you on the roads. The orange colour that I reviewed (it's also available in cobalt blue/black) was also particularly useful in this regard; I even had one person lean out of their window and shout that I was almost as orange as Donald Trump.
Breathability is okay but not as good as others I have used. You don't exactly boil when wearing it, but there is a bit of heat build-up, despite laser-cut holes in the underarm. I guess it's not surprising given the separate mesh and outer layers.
An RRP of £120 seems about right for a well-made commuting jacket. It is comparable to the Altura Nightvision Thunderstorm reviewed by Dave Atkinson, which comes in at £129.99, and the Sweet Protection Crossfire that I reviewed a couple of months ago, which is also £129.99. It is £10 less but not quite as waterproof as either, but it does have the reversible element.
Overall, I liked this jacket for its high-visibility elements, the protection it offers, and the fit on the bike. Perhaps to be genuinely reversible for off-the-bike use the fit could be a little more towards the casual, but as something to be worn on the bike it works well.
A really good jacket on the bike, keeping you protected from all but the worst conditions, but the reverse could be more casual
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Rivelo Newington Reversible Jacket
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the jacket is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It's designed to be worn on the bike, then reversed and used as a casual coat off it.
Rivelo says, "Be seen or be understated, the choice is yours! This versatile reversible water resistant jacket is the ideal commuting companion – be seen on the road on your way to work, and then reverse to the other side for travelling to a lunchtime meeting or seeing friends after work. With a large stash pocket that's accessible from both sides, and a fold-away reflective fabric hem panel, being safe & seen has never been so stylish!"
As a jacket on the bike it works well, keeping out almost everything thrown at it. Off the bike, because of its specific bike fit it doesn't really look like a casual jacket. Aside from this, it does everything it needs to.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Rivelo lists these features:
Windproof & water resistant fabric with a breathable and lightweight reverse side
Fully reversible with DWR finish
Foldaway reflective fabric hem panel - zips into hem neatly when not required
Large zipped stash pocket that's accessible from both sides
Laser cut holes in underarm panel for added breathability
Reflective piping & print details for added low light visibility
Dropped hem at rear to protect from road spray
YKK full length zip with zip garage & guard for protection
Webbing zip pullers for easy opening
Angled collar, lined in soft microfiber fabric, for comfort and weather protection
Articulated sleeve panelling, for an 'on-the-bike' fit
Soft gros grain ribbon back neck hanging loop
Stretch panels at cuffs for a secure fit
No scratchy labels - care label is sewn flat inside pocket
Well made with a good choice of material for the outer and strong stitching throughout.
It performed well throughout the review period, keeping all but the worst of the weather out, and it was comfortable to wear.
Seems well made and likely to last.
Waterproofing is good, although the untaped seams and zip did allow some water to get in during the worst weather.
Breathability is okay, but the additional webbing needed because of the reversibility means it tends to trap a little more heat than some jackets.
This is a difficult one to score. On the bike the fit is great, and the dropped hem is particularly useful. Off the bike, it still looks like a cycling jacket.
The medium I reviewed fitted exactly as I would expect it to.
Slightly heavier than most offering the same level of protection, simply because it has the additional reversible layer.
The weather protection helps with this, but it also has some nice features like a zip garage and extendable dropped hem to add protection.
It's pretty much on the money for what I would expect for a well-made commuter jacket.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Pretty simple, just stick it in a 30 degree wash then line dry.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Mixed bag – as a pure cycling jacket it performs well, but as a casual jacket it looks a little too cycling-specific.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The visibility it offers – bright colour and tons of reflective material (should) make you hard to be missed.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The reversible element doesn't really change it from a cycling jacket to a casual one.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It is comparable to the Altura Nightvision Thunderstorm Jacket which comes in at £129.99 and the Sweet Protection Crossfire Jacket, which is also £129.99. It is £10 less, but isn't quite as waterproof as either, though it is reversible.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes – but not for casual use.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes – but only for on the bike.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a jacket that performs really well on the bike, and if that was all it was aimed at it'd score 8; but one of the key elements is that it can be reversed and used casually, which I don't think it does that well.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.