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Altura's Grid Men's Parka Waterproof Jacket works well for cycling – but is just as effective when you're off the bike. It stands up well to wind and rain, with decent breathability as long as you aren't working too hard. It's not cheap, but it is extremely well made, and it looks smart enough for you to wear it when you haven't got a bike in sight.
At £155 the Parka isn't a cheap jacket just for chucking on for when you're whizzing around on the bike in an urban environment, but I'd happily pay that price because it just so versatile. It's been the coat that I have grabbed for anything that I have needed to do over the last few months, whether cycling or not.
If a parka-style top just isn't you, or if you're looking for something a little sportier, check out our guide to the best winter cycling jackets.
For instance, I've used it on long family walks at the weekend. This Parka is warm, windproof and impressively waterproof – so it's ideal to chuck on with the wellies before heading out in the rain and mud. It's been a staple on the mile-each-way school run too, and it's smart enough to be worn out casually or to the office.
Crucially, however, it performs just as well when you're riding.
I'm currently testing e-bikes for our sister site ebiketips, riding everything from urban hybrids to fatbikes and small-wheeled folders – and the Parka has been spot on.
The long tail keeps you well covered, and the two-way zip allows you to unzip it from the bottom as well as the top, so you aren't restricted when pedalling.
Both the tail and the arms have reflective details.
The sleeves are cut at an angle so that they are longer on the tops of your arms than the bottoms to suit your hand position on the handlebar, and their length is ideal even when you're riding in a stretched-out position.
The polyester fabric has had a DWR (durable water repellent) coating and taped seams, which gives a rating of 10k. This is pretty impressive in theory and I found it worked well in practice too. I've done a few rides to the office in the rain and plenty of wet school runs with no bother from water ingress.
If it does get dirty from road spray you can easily give the Parka a wipe off, thanks to the beading nature of the DWR finish.
A flap with poppers that covers the front zip also helps to keep the rain out, and the parka has a tall neck and a hood.
Breathability is quoted as 10k as well, and for the style of coat it's not too bad. If you do have to get a lick on it can get clammy quite quickly, and while it did have vents, these are placed on the underside of the biceps rather than under the armpit itself, which I feel would have been better for breathability.
The low pockets each side are at hand height when you're walking. They're roomy enough for most things and can be zipped up, though they feel weird if they're full when you're pedalling, as they sit on top of your thighs.
There's also a zipped chest pocket that was easily big enough for my phone, a Google Pixel 6, cards and house keys. Oddly, when Rebecca tested – and also really liked – the women's Grid Parka recently, she found she couldn't fit her phone in the chest pocket. Her phone? A Google Pixel 6.
Altura describes the fit as relaxed and I'd go along with that. The large was easily spacious enough for me to wear a jumper underneath with a bit of room to spare. There is a bit of a shape to the cut as well, which helps it to look good when you're wearing it off the bike.
The £155 price is not cheap, but it is finished to a very high level, and I feel the price reflects this quality.
Vulpine's Men's Regents Mac costs £260 by way of comparison.
Gore's Lupra jacket isn't quite the same design, but it is a jacket designed for all kinds of riding while having the look of something that can be ridden by the non-cyclist. Emma was a big fan of the women's version, and it costs £179.99.
Altura itself also makes another casual-cum-cycling jacket, the Grid Field that Simon reviewed, and he liked it for all the same reasons I appreciated the Parka. It has more pockets but lacks the Parka's hood.
Considering its design, I'd say the Parka works very well on the bike. Its length isn't a hindrance and as far as waterproofing and breathability goes, it performs well.
The price isn't cheap, but it is a very versatile coat, so you'll get your money's worth away from the bike too.
A smart-looking waterproof jacket designed for cycling but that is just as practical off the bike
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Grid Men's Parka Waterproof 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: "The Altura Grid Parka Men's Cycling Jacket encompasses the technical qualities of our waterproof cycling jackets in a longer length, fashion led style for added protection from the elements and provides an urban vibe to your cycling wardrobe, ideal for commuting via bike or scooter. The waterproof and breathable fabric has a 10k/10k rating, fully taped seams and DWR coating that will keep the rain out whilst the air venting via the pit zips provides maximum air flow and keep you comfortable on your journey. There is an adjustable hood and plenty of storage for personal belongings with two hand pockets and a zipped chest pocket."
It's a highly versatile jacket that stands up well to the weather.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Waterproof and breathable fabric with 10k/10k rating and taped seams
DWR coating to repel water
Air venting via pit zips
Zipped chest pocket and hand pockets
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It has been washed a few times without issue, although most of the time you can just wipe it clean with a cloth.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Waterproof and fits well for life on the bike in an urban environment.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Waterproofing works well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
It can get a little hot when you are working hard.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For the versatility I'd say it is well priced, with some similar opposition costing a lot 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
A well-made jacket that is smart enough to be worn to the office, but has enough cycling tweaks to make it work well on the bike.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!