The Galibier GrandTour jacket is an excellent option with a great performance and a quality to rival that from some of the top cycling brands around – and all at a very attractive price. This is a proper winter jacket, which is not only comfortable but also perfect for grim British winter weather, and really deserves a place in our best winter cycling jackets buyer's guide.
> Buy now: Galibier GrandTour Jacket for £82.34 from Galibier
Galibier has made a conscious decision to design two products together that are intended to work in conjunction with each other to fight off the worst days of a British winter: its GrandTour Jacket and GrandTour Foul Weather Gilet. This review focuses on the GrandTour Jacket, with the gilet's review coming soon.
I tested this combo during some especially foul winter weather – and I've yet to find weather cold and grim enough to outdo the pairing.
Immediately on receiving the jacket I was struck by the quality of the material and the cut – even more so when its modest price is taken into account. I've been blown away by the quality of the jacket, which is up there with those from the likes of Castelli and Rapha, but at a fraction of the price.
I tend to be pretty warm when I'm riding, but I found I was incredibly warm wearing this – no matter the weather.
Galibier says the jacket 'only requires a thin base layer next to the skin. These are new-generation fabrics, so we need to reconsider how we dress for conditions. This needs no extra layering in wind or rain.'
And Galibier is right. I'm someone who has spent a lot of time wearing cheap winter kit, and I'm in the habit of always wearing a thermal baselayer in winter. On my first ride I wore this and the Foul Weather Gilet – and regretted wearing multiple layers straightaway.
The way this jacket keeps the heat in is incredible. If you've never worn a high-quality winter jacket before you'll be blown away, but that's also true if you've used similar jackets from high-end competitors – it's that impressive.
I found I could wear this jacket on its own when it was around 15°C, and with a baselayer and accompanying gilet it's good to below zero, which is perfectly in line with Galibier's own recommendations.
One of the very few criticisms I have of the jacket is the size of the pockets. Yes, I've been able to fit a rolled-up rain jacket or the matching gilet into the middle pocket – but only just. I feel that winter jackets should have slightly larger pockets, to accommodate the extra layers or food you're likely to need on a long winter ride.
That said, I did appreciate the zipped chest pocket. This is handy for your mobile or keys, without the worry that it might fall out of a rear pocket during a hard effort or tackling a technical descent. It has the added bonus of keeping it in the driest area of your body when it's raining.
There's a pleasingly large reflective panel on the rear middle pocket and reflective stitching around the top of the pockets and the large rear logo, which is great for kit designed for the darker months of the year.
The tail is slightly dropped to give you extra coverage against road spray and helps to keep your backside as warm as the rest of your body. It's cut close to the body, so doesn't flap around, which can happen with some cheaper jackets.
This is aided by a silicone gripper.
While Galibier makes no claims about the jacket's water-repellent or water-resistant properties, I found the material does have a slight hydrophobic quality, with water beading on the surface of the material.
This means that during a slight shower, or when there's road spray, the jacket will keep you reasonably dry, another bonus for British riding conditions.
There is a small drawback to this – the slightly hydrophobic material makes it difficult to wipe away sweat, which is an issue I faced when I overdressed.
The jacket's overall high quality is backed up with an excellent zip that has a big tab, so even with the thickest winter gloves I was able to operate it easily.
Zipped all the way up, the neck goes reasonably high, but not too high, and as I wear a neck warmer and prefer a slightly lower neckline, this was perfect.
The cuffs were snug, which kept them in place well, with the long sleeves ensuring excellent coverage.
In my opinion, this is a very stylish jacket, with a snug but not overly tight cut. I like the burgundy colour and, given the number of compliments I had about the quality and look of the jacket, it wasn't only me who was impressed with its appearance.
There's no doubting that Galibier's GrandTour smashes it when it comes to value. The quality is up there with the likes of the Castelli Perfetto Ros 2 Jacket that Liam loved – but the Castelli comes in at a whopping £245.
And you may not be entirely surprised that the Rapha Classic Winter Jacket is even more wallet-emptyingly expensive at £340, but David was impressed, and the Rapha jacket does feature greater water resistance.
The Endura Pro Primaloft Jacket II splits the price difference between the Galibier and those two, coming in at £165, but Steve still found it warm, light, comfortable and packable.
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed wearing this jacket during some quite nasty winter weather. It kept me warm and comfortable whatever winter could throw at me – which has been quite a lot this time around, as you may remember. I also love the look of the jacket, which has helped to make it a firm favourite.
Great winter jacket, with good looks and an even better price
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Make and model: Galibier GrandTour Jacket
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 thermal, aero, foul weather jacket engineered for Winter/Spring training in all weathers.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Windproof anti-stick zip.
At least 2 metres of Pressure Weave fabric in each smooth garment.
Articulated, seam free collar to gently wrap around the neck in every cycling position
Rear pockets, with 3M reflective trim to increase visibility and Mesh drainage feature.
Silicone waist band to keep the jacket locked in place.
Double stitching throughout.
Reflective 3M shoulder highlights.
Phone/valuables chest pocket.
Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
Super-high-quality construction, with a great zip and top-notch fabrics.
Rate the jacket for performance:
It has a great cut and the jacket provided excellent winter-proofing on rides in all types of weather conditions.
Rate the jacket for durability:
No issues so far, though I feel that the smallish pockets could potentially become an issue further down the road.
Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
Galibier doesn't make any claims about waterproofing, so to have any degree of water resistance is great.
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
It's very easy to wear too many layers with this – and I found myself too warm on occasions.
Rate the jacket for fit:
A lovely snug fit with a great cut.
Rate the jacket for sizing:
Fits true to Galibier's size guide, with all parts of the jacket in proportion.
Rate the jacket for weight:
As a proper winter jacket it isn't that light, but that doesn't matter when it keeps you warm.
Rate the jacket for comfort:
No tightness anywhere, the fit was excellent, the jacket warm and comfortable. What's not to like?
Rate the jacket for value:
When compared to jackets from most of the big-name brands, the price is great.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I have had no issues with washing. It cleans up well and, after washing, it still has its slight water repellency.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
it performed excellently, it kept me lovely and warm during some very mixed winter rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
I loved the price and what you get for that modest outlay: technical material and excellent comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
I wish the pockets were slightly bigger.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The price is excellent – it's less than half the price of comparable jackets from Castelli, Rapha and the like.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Absolutely
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I loved using this jacket – it helped to make some rides in grim winter weather a lot more tolerable than they might have been.
Age: 22 Height: 174 Weight: 72
I usually ride: Canyon Aeroad My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Not exactly - the Redways are shared use paths.
Difference between "protect" and "inconvenience" here maybe?...
I was once marshalling a club 10 TT when a driver stopped to angrily complain that "you cyclists" were irresponsible for riding around without...
I may not agree with what they said but I will defend their right to - wait was it M73? Ah, screw them.
I use a cat ear. I'm profoundly deaf in the right hand side, and it helps with all round awarness with just the one ear.
Agree with this though would broaden it... regardless of the speed if uou can't get you tin can down the road without hitting a structure, you...
Doesn't even have to be dark... camera / phone flash is normally enough with Proviz stuff
You can't get a fridge along there!!
No doubt this new rule was heavily advocated for by Lawrence Stroll.