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The Altura All Roads Lightweight Jacket is a comfortable and good looking jacket, though it doesn't stand up to persistent or heavier rain as well as you might hope.
The jacket has a casual fit – Altura actually refers to it as a 'hoodie' – and is usable both on and off the bike. It works whether you're riding an audax, settling down to camp during a bikepacking trip, or riding down to Tesco because your baby has run out of nappies.
I'll be honest, with my current life situation I am definitely more likely to be found in the latter than either of the former, but I used it on a few longer rides too and it was quite refreshing to have something that isn't designed to be totally aero for those longer and more sedate rides.
As well as keeping me warm, the jacket's DWR (durable water repellent) treatment was fine for the majority of the time, but there were a couple of rides in heavier rain that I noticed some water ingress, particularly around the chest area. It doesn't quite live up to the 'excellent protection' Altura claims, though it's not bad in lighter showers. It's not a jacket I'd choose if I knew I was going to be riding in heavy or prolonged periods of rain – I'd go with something a little more heavy duty.
Breathability is fairly good; it's not the kind of thing you'd be wanting to chuck on if the rain begins to fall as you're climbing Mont Ventoux, but for commuting or more leisurely Sunday rides it's more than adequate.
One element of the jacket that works well is the design at the wrist, where an inner cuff of softer material wraps close to the skin and stops draughts getting in.
Packing down the jacket for storage is a cinch – it packs into its rear pocket, making it easy to stow in a bar bag or jersey pocket.
As this is a more casual jacket it includes some 'non-bike' elements that I found useful, such as the hood and zippable front pockets.
The hood isn't something I'd use while riding but is very useful if you step out in the rain after a ride, while the pockets are great for chucking in your phone or wallet when walking around. It's a good jacket for pulling on after riding, whether at a cafe stop or at lunchtime if used for commuting.
Altura has also included some subtle reflective elements such as the small logo on the chest and a band of dots around the forearm on both arms. These won't make you stand out like a torch but do offer a little extra visibility in low-light conditions.
We haven't looked at a huge number of casual but packable jackets like this on road.cc – Shaun liked the casual styling of the B'Twin Men's City Cycling Rain Jacket at the same price, but to my mind it lacks the off-the-bike appeal of the Altura, weighs more and isn't as packable. It doesn't sound like it outdoes the Altura on waterproofing or breathability either.
The ETC Snug Cycling Hoodie offers a similarly casual look but again it's a heavier option and lacks breathability according to Steve's test, though it's a fiver cheaper.
Overall, the All Roads Lightweight Jacket packs down small and is practical both on and off the bike. Waterproofing and breathability aren't quite as 'excellent' as Altura suggests in the blurb – but for something to chuck on after a ride or during a commute it works fine, and looks good.
Decent option for casual rides, commuting or wearing off the bike, though the waterproofing could be better
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura All Roads Lightweight Jacket
Size tested: Large
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?
Altura says, "A casual, lightweight hoodie offering protection from the elements
"The Altura All Roads Men's Lightweight Cycling Jacket is an easy to wear casual style jacket. It's lightweight and easy to take along for the ride when packed down into its own back pocket. The durable water-resistant coating, wind resistant properties and adjustable hood offer excellent protection from the elements when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Reflective print in key areas will help to keep you visible to others when the light is poor but are subtle enough to keep you looking great off the bike too. It has contemporary styling and excellent breathability which also make this an ideal lightweight outer shell for running, walking or hiking."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Altura lists these features:
- Durable water-resistant finish
- Adjustable hood with bonded peak
- Bonded zip guard
- Two zipped pockets
- Reflective print in key areas
- Relaxed fit
Seems well made, with strong stitching and robust zips.
For low-intensity riding and casual wear off the bike it's more than adequate, though the waterproofing doesn't quite live up to expectations.
Nothing to suggest it won't last.
Altura says, "The durable water-resistant coating, wind resistant properties and adjustable hood offer excellent protection from the elements when the weather takes a turn for the worse." It's fine for light rain or short showers, but in prolonged periods of rain or heavy showers I noticed some water ingress.
Fairly good; not the best at higher intensities, but that's not what it's designed for.
It is a casual fit, comfortable to wear both on and off the bike.
The large sized up as expected.
It's light – something you can chuck in a jersey pocket or a frame bag without much fuss.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
You can wash it at 30 degrees without issue, although the waterproofing is a coating, so over time this will reduce.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does a good job on the whole, just comes unstuck in heavier rain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The multi-use – being able to chuck this on on my way out the door whether I was jumping on a bike or grabbing lunch in the office.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The water repellency could be better for dealing with heavier, more persistent rain.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
We haven't looked at a huge number of jackets like this on road.cc but it's the same price as the BTwin Men's City Cycling Rain Jacket which isn't as packable and lacks the off the bike appeal. The ETC Snug Cycling Hoodie has a similarly casual look and is £5 less, but lacks breathability.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes – for commuting.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes – for commuting.
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is a decent option for use on and off the bike, though the waterproofing could be better. Overall, it's quite good.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 10-20 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,
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.