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
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Resolute Bay Reflective Cycling 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?
A high-quality commuting jacket designed to keep out the worst of the elements both on and off the bike.
Resolute Bay says, "The LS2 reflective cycling jacket is perfect for your daily commutes. It's discrete integrated reflective stripes are woven into the fabric so you can wear this jacket both on and off the bike.
"Don't worry about the rain, we have you covered! the main fabric has a DWR coating + an internally bound waterproof membrane.
"There is also tons of ventilation on this reflective jacket so you wont get to hot. Not only is the fabric highly breathable, we have also added under arm zips and a large back vent to get rid of excess moisture."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Resolute Bay lists these features:
Adjustable toggle collar to keep the rain out
YKK aqua-guard front zip
Micro fleece on the back-neck collar
Bonded locker loop
x2 concealed side pockets
x1 concealed back pocket
x1 Internal chest pocket
Large back vent for additional breathability
Articulated shoulder + arms for a comfortable ride
Velcro cuff straps
Dropped back hem
Adjustable hem toggles
31% Nylon / 69% PA
Breathability = 8,000g/m2/24hrs
Waterproofness = 10,000mm
10K/10K internal membrane
External DWR coating
Reflective Thread = 3M Scotchlite
Very well made with every seam taped to keep out wind and water.
Excellent performance thanks to the choice of material, great breathability and fit.
Good fabric choice and strong stitching mean it is likely to last for a long time.
Resolute Bay claims a 10,000mm rating, and given the number of torrential showers I wore this in without a drip getting through, it works.
A rating of 8,000g/m2/24hrs, enhanced by the ability to unzip the side panels and the opening on the back; it's fantastically breathable.
I know of very few jackets that fit as well on the bike as off it, but this manages it.
The medium I tested fitted exactly as I would expect.
This is not designed to be a lightweight jacket, but at the same time it doesn't weight you down.
Some nice features like the Velcro cuffs and the fleece-lined collar really help to make this a comfortable jacket.
This is not a cheap jacket, but the quality goes some way to justifying the price.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to care for. I washed it at 30 degrees without issue, but you could even go up to 40 degrees.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. It keeps all the elements out, works well on and off the bike, and has an impressive level of breathability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The fit – there are very few commuter jackets that work this well on and off the bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The side vent zips could be easier to use.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The closest comparison would be the Rapha hooded rain jacket, which comes in £30 more.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This jacket performs really well both on and off the bike. I felt comfortable wearing it in torrential rain on the way to work or on a weekend ride, but also wore it down to the pub several times. It may cost a fair amount, but the quality and performance go a long way to justifying it. It's excellent.
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.