Stolen Goat's Climb & Conquer Winter Jacket is the company's warmest offering. It is made from Tempest Protect fabric and is specifically designed to keep you riding in the harshest conditions. It does this very well, and at a fair price for what you get. In my opinion, it looks pretty good too.
This isn't the first time we've had this jacket in for review at road.cc; our Jez really liked it the first time around, back in 2015. As it happens, Jez is a good mate, and I tapped him up to compare both versions. Other than price and design, we couldn't find any other changes. He gave the jacket 9/10 at the time and I rate the jacket equally high.
Like the Bodyline One Bib Shorts I reviewed recently, the Climb & Conquer Jacket is also made by Bioracer in Belgium, a company that knows a thing or two about manufacturing Cycling Garments That Work.
The Tempest Protect fabric that Bioracer has chosen for this jacket is windproof and waterproof, and impressively so for a jacket that is supposed to be a softshell. It is not a full-on waterproof; the YKK zip works well but isn't waterproof, and the seams aren't taped. Even so, if you do get caught in a downpour, this jacket will just go 'shrug'.
The trick with making a warm cycling garment is judging breathability. Warm by itself doesn't mean much if your sweat can't escape. Stolen Goat says that this is why the seams are not taped, to aid with breathability. As long as you wear this jacket in the conditions it was designed for, this works well.
Stolen Goat is pretty clear about this, using words like 'crisp wintry conditions' and 'arctic'. The Climb & Conquer jacket page on the Stolen Goat website has a handy temperature chart, which takes the weather into account. In summary: if it's dry, strictly 5°C and below. If it's changeable, the minimum temperature goes up a bit, and if it's raining then it works well as soon as the temperature goes into single digits.
In my experience this is about right; this jacket kept me comfortable on a lumpy 100km ride in thick fog with the temperature just above freezing, with just a short sleeve baselayer underneath. I remember descending at speed after getting sweaty going after it on a longish climb, and thinking to myself how little windchill I noticed. This is testament to the fabric, but also the detailing. The collar is snug without being too tight, the cuffs are long and tight enough to get your gloves over easily. Even though there isn't a stormflap for the zip, it's sewn in such a way that it prevents the wind getting through.
With Bioracer taking care of the functional bits, Stolen Goat is in charge of aesthetics. Its Climb & Conquer Jacket is available in nine different designs, from the understated Kuro Black through the nicely colourful and stylish Mekon we're reviewing here, to some braver colour schemes that are not for me. Something for everyone.
Stolen Goat has subtly designed in 'be seen' elements for riding in the dark; the back pockets are made from highly reflective pixel 100 fabric. It looks grey in normal conditions, but reflects lights in the dark.
There are the usual three back pockets, and a fourth zipped waterproof pocket with a little hole to route your headphone cable through if that's what you want to do.
In terms of fit, I'm 178cm and weigh 77kg. I am a medium in anything non-Italian, and according to Stolen Goat's size chart (with a 38in chest, a 34in waist and a 38in hip) I'm slap bang in the middle of the range for medium. A medium is what we got, and a medium fits me perfectly.
This is a performance fit: the body and the arms are snug enough to prevent flapping. If you like things a bit more relaxed, then Stolen Goat recommends sizing up. The cut around the back is judged well – even without a gripper hem the back stays put low enough to keep your lower back warm. If you're not into mudguards the jacket isn't cut low enough to keep road spray off your behind. Not an issue for me; I'm a big fan of mudguards.
When Jez reviewed this jacket five years ago it was £129. It is now £149. This is not a cheap jacket, but then again you are getting some serious performance.
Stu recently reviewed and liked Gore's C5 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo jacket, which is a bit more expensive at £169. Similar offerings from Castelli, Rapha and Le Col are more expensive, while dhb's Aeron Deep Winter Jacket has the same RRP but is not waterproof.
In conclusion, Stolen Goat's Climb & Conquer Winter Jacket is exceptionally good at keeping you warm when it gets really cold. It keeps out an impressive amount of rain for a non-fullblown waterproof too. I think the price is fair for what you get, and it looks good to boot. I think it's near perfect, so if you're looking for a jacket with these features, this one should be high on your list.
Stylish windproof and waterproof jacket for when it gets really cold
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Stolen Goat Men's Mekon Climb & Conquer Winter 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?
Stolen Goat says:
The Stolen Goat Climb & Conquer Winter Jacket is made from Tempest Protect, an insulating windproof & waterproof fabric that keeps you warm and dry in the harshest conditions, giving you the confidence to ride through the winter months. Designed for when temperatures head below 8 degrees.
In even the most arctic conditions you can pair this jacket with no more than a base layer underneath. Perfect for crisp wintry conditions, the garment features waterproof fabric but with untaped seams allowing for greater breathability.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Stolen Goat provides these details:
Water repellent and windproof outer layer. Designed for biting cold days this jacket will keep you warm and dry in whatever conditions mother nature throws at you. The Tempest Protect fabric is both wind & waterproof, fuelling you with the confidence to keep pedalling, on or off road, when nature is fighting back.
Soft brushed lining. The soft fleece-like Roubaix lining makes this jacket extremely comfortable and thermally insulated. Perfect when paired with a long-sleeve base layer..
Covered zip. A fully hidden and covered zip helps protect against wind and cold penetration, a key benefit on those lengthy descents or the coldest of ride temperatures.
Pixel100 detailing. The pockets panel on the back employ highly reflective pixel 100 fabric. Subtle grey to the naked eye, it packs a punch in deteriorating light, by reflecting a light source like car headlamps. A perfect addition should you want to increase your visibility at night without compromising the look of the jacket.
Full length YKK cam-lock zipper. You only notice a zip if it's bad. We exclusively use zips from YKK, the global leader in zip technology. These open and close easily with one hand and lock in place when pushed down.
Neckline zip protector. No matter how great the zip is, if it rubs against your neck all day long, it's annoying! A zip garage at the neck of every Climb & Conquer jacket prevents contact with the skin.
Water resistant, zipped 4th pocket. The fourth water resistant stash pocket protects vulnerable items like phones, credit cards and keys. It's zipped to prevent anything falling out over rough terrain.
Headphone cable hole. Should you wish to route a headphone cable through the pockets there is a special hole to do so.
Performance fit. This jacket is in keeping with the fit of our Bodyline jerseys, minimising flapping. If you are looking for a more relaxed fit, please size up.
Jez's is five years old, and still looking good. I can say with confidence that this is a durable jacket.
Stolen Goat claims "water repellent" rather than waterproof. Though the fabric is waterproof, the zip isn't and the seams aren't taped. Having said that, it keeps out an awful lot of weather for a not-full-blown waterproof.
Fits beautifully. The arms are long enough without bunching up, and the collar is snug without being too tight, as is the fit in the body.
I'm a medium in pretty much everything that is non-Italian sizing, and the medium in this jacket fits me just right.
It feels really nice to wear.
When Jez reviewed it five years ago, it was £129. It is now £149. Comparable jackets from the likes of dhb, Castelli, Le Col and Rapha are either in the same ballpark or more expensive. This is not a cheap jacket, but in my opinion you definitely get what you are paying for.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The washing instructions say hand wash at 30 degrees. I think life's too short so I just stick it in the washing machine with all my other stuff at 40 degrees on a normal cycle and it still looks as good as new.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The fit, the weather protection, and how it looks. Everything, in other words.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Nothing to report here.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Very much so.
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Stolen Goat's Climb & Conquer Winter Jacket is exceptionally good at keeping you warm when it gets really cold. It keeps out an impressive amount of rain for a non-full-blown waterproof too. I think the price is fair for what you get, and it looks good to boot.
About the tester
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Ribble Endurance SL disc
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Zwift