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The Albion All Road Pertex Shield Rain Jacket is excellent, with great waterproofing and high breathability, very low weight and good packability. It's let down ever so slightly – for taller folk, at least – by having slightly shorter sleeves than expected. It's not the fastest-drying fabric either when it starts to wet out.
For more options, check out our guide to the best waterproof cycling jackets.
For road riding, gravel riding and bikepacking, the Albion is ideal. At the risk of repeating myself, it's not only light, it's also quite packable, and the wet weather performance is also great, but it's the breathability that really stands out.
The three-layer fabric has a PFC-free membrane (without the toxic chemicals used to make waterproof clothing) sandwiched between a soft inner and outer, and a C0 Durable Water Repellency (also free from per fluorocarbons) to shed water on the face fabric. Fully taped seams feature throughout, and the material has a bit of stretch to it.
Albion claims a fabric performance of 20,000mm for waterproofing, and 20,000g/m2/day for breathability. According to the literature, that puts it just beneath the most-breathable Gore-Tex fabric, Gore-Tex Pro, which is 28,000mm for waterproofing and 25,000g/m2/day, but above Paclite or Performance.
Somewhat bothersome, Gore doesn't state the performance of its Gore-Tex Shakedry Race fabric, though anecdotally I've seen other testers claim a waterproofing and breathability rating of 27,000mm and 27,000g/m2/day. I've owned a Shakedry jacket, and I found it unsurpassed as far as waterproofing and breathability goes.
As I said earlier, though, the Albion jacket still shines as far as breathability is concerned. I wore it at a Glorious Gravel event around the Salisbury Plains back in May. It was around 18°C, a bit wet and windy, and occasionally sunny, but I kept it on most of the day because the weather was so changeable, and had no issues with overheating. On some of the longer uphills, I would simply vent the jacket using the lower zip (more on that in a minute).
As far as waterproofing goes, it's very good – the membrane will keep you dry even in an hour's worth of a deluge (tested on my commute to the office, naturally). Unsurprisingly, the DWR eventually loses out, and I did notice the fabric wetting out eventually in some areas – most notably on the cuffs, where they see the most impact. It's not got the face-fabric performance of the Shakedry membrane, nor does it dry out as quickly.
It's worth noting that Shakedry is unique in that it's a two-layer fabric with the membrane on the outside, whereas the Albion All Road Pertex Shield is a more traditional, but still very technical, three-layer fabric.
The advantage of the three-layer system is that it doesn't have that worrying fragility; it feels nicer on the inside, and it's not crunchy loud while you're riding.
Three-layer jackets are usually heavier than their two-layer counterparts, but the Albion came in at 200g on the road.cc scales for an XL, which is seriously impressive – especially given the much less substantial Gore Shakedry Race weighed 174g in a large (an XL Albion is about the same as L in Gore) when we tested it. The Albion isn't quite as packable, but will still scrunch down to just a bit bigger than the size of a tennis ball. I managed to fit it inside my frame bag easily, along with food and a bunch of other tools and spares.
Something I've not seen anywhere before on a rain jacket is Albion's Triple Zip system – it's rather unusual. On the main zip it's a conventional up and down zipper, nice and chunky, but to the side you've another two smaller zips in line with each other.
The upper one is the shorter of the two, giving you access to a small Napoleon pocket, which just about fits a modern iPhone…
…while the lower one is the longer one, which when pulled up from the bottom gives you loads of ventilation.
The idea here is that rather than trying to operate two pullers on a single zip, they operate independently of each other. Though it feels like an overly fussy design on the outset, after a while of trying it I soon came to appreciate it. It allows you to either vent or fully open the jacket depending on your requirements.
Given the often changeable nature of the weather in the UK, Albion has cleverly added a simple but useful feature at the cuff area: quick-release Velcro. Combined with a pull tab, the cuff diameter can be quickly opened to help you in getting the jacket on and off (especially useful for watch wearers). Though the cuffs are on the slim side, the stretchy fabric allows them to accommodate a wider variety of wrists.
At the rear of the hem is a silicone gripper to keep the jacket in place, and rather than an adjustable hem, Albion has chosen to go with an accordion stretch panel around the back, presumably to keep weight low (no doubt offsetting the extra weight of the Triple Zip system). Getting the right fit is crucial, then, because you don't want it to be too loose around the waist.
On that subject, I tend to find that Albion products made in Italy are a bit longer than those made in China. This jacket is the latter, and I found that the sleeves come up both a bit shorter and slightly larger than I had expected. I have very long and slim arms, it's worth noting.
Elsewhere, the overall fit is pretty much the same. That is, slim in the body, with a close but not race cut. Good for me with a small waist, but others might find it a bit tight around the midsection.
For safety, there's a single reflective Albion logo at the rear which admittedly isn't loads, though the two colour choices – a bright blue and orange – certainly help you stand out during the day. The usual Albion logo features on the left arm.
Albion typically offers good quality kit for the money, and the All Road Pertex Shield Rain Jacket is just such a case. Sure, you won't get the value for money of something like the Galibier Tourmalet 4, which is over £110 less, but if you want that higher level of performance then prices quickly ramp up.
For £15 less than the Albion, the Pactimo Men's Torrent Stretch Waterproof Cape we tested last year received a road.cc Recommends for a very similar performance (though good luck finding it in stock anywhere). It's lighter and appears to excel everywhere else, with a much higher level of breathability.
At the upper end, you've got the aforementioned Gore Wear Race Gore-Tex Shakedry Jacket, which in many respects is better than the Albion jacket, although I don't think it's as nice to wear, nor is it as hardy. It's £105 more, too, and sadly, soon you won't be able to buy a Gore jacket with the Shakedry fabric.
Albion's ability to produce high-performance garments continues with its All Road Pertex Shield Rain. If you want a jacket that offers great all-round performance, notably top breathability, waterproofing and packability, then you could do a lot worse.
A top-quality waterproof jacket that excels in many areas, with just some very minor shortcomings in respect of the fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Albion Men's All Road Pertex Shield Rain Jacket
Size tested: XL
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?
Albion says, "Waterproof, windproof and packable for riding in bad weather."
It's a great jacket for those seeking packable protection in changeable weather.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Engineered fit for on-bike use
Pertex® Shield 3-layer fabric featuring a PFC-free membrane and a C0 Durable Water Repellency (DWR)
Fabric performance - water column 20,000mm, moisture vapour transmission rate 20,000g/m2/day
Fully taped seams
Triple Zip - two zips side by side allow a single slider with an oversized puller to be used on the main zip for ease of use and engagement in foul weather, with a second zip inserted next to the main zip allowing the jacket to be opened from the bottom for venting and access to rear pockets, as well as housing the zip puller for a chest pocket.
Oversized main zip puller and grabbable tab at the base of the zip for quick orientation and ease of use in foul weather
Quick seal and release cuffs, designed for ease of use getting the jacket on and off, that can also double as vents for additional temperature regulation
'Forever Chemical free' - this product uses no flurocarbons in either the membrane or the DWR
Zippable front chest pocket with puller
Highly packable - fits easily into a rear jersey pocket or the rear pocket on our ABR1 pocket shorts
Weight 184 grams (size M)
Bonded internal rear gripper
Reflective Albion linear logo at rear
Internal neck hang loop
As I've come to expect from Albion, it's really well made.
Excellent waterproofing, breathability and packability.
Can take some abuse – I've snagged it on my frame bag zip a few times with no issues.
A 20,000mm water column rating with the membrane means it'll probably give you about an hour of protection from constant rain before the fabric starts to wet out in places.
Again, the membrane offers a 20,000mm moisture vapour transmission rate. It's not the highest we've seen, but it seems to be quite effective.
Slim, but not tight – there's room for a couple of layers under there.
Overall very good, apart from the sleeves coming up slightly short (for longer arms) and being a little on the bigger side. For reference, I wear an XL in Albion, whereas I would wear a large in Gore.
Very light for a three-layer jacket.
It's soft and feels great to wear – there's no crunchy, uncomfortable fabric here.
It's expensive, but Albion gives you a lot of jacket for your money.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
In the wash at 30 degrees, no issues.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Works really well for long days where the weather is hit and miss – it's easy to pack, light and offers great breathability and wet weather performance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Good breathability, and the option to vent easily.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Sleeves are on the shorter side.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's on the upper end of the spectrum, but a way off the kind of money you'd pay for a Gore Race ShakeDry jacket. Pactimo's Men's Torrent Stretch Waterproof Cape offers similar performance, for just slightly less. The Galibier Tourmalet 4 Jacket is much cheaper than any other, but you still get a lot of bang for your buck here.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Maybe
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's excellent. Another great product from Albion that offers top performance without the mind-bending price tag of other garments such as the Gore Shakedry range. The All Road jacket offers great performance across the board, and serves as the ideal jacket for taking on rides where space (not to mention weight) is at a premium.
About the tester
I usually ride: Condor Italia RC custom build My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,