Adidas doesn't claim that its Pluvius Jacket is waterproof, but maybe it should, as this is one of the best jackets I've ever used for keeping the rain out. It's just a shame it only comes in black.
The Pluvius is a two-layer jacket. The polyester outer is coated with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish, which you can tell by how well the water beads off in light rain, while the inner polyurethane membrane is designed to remove body heat and moisture through tiny holes not big enough to let water in from the outside.
Fully heat-welded seams add to the water resistance along with the taped zip. This only really leaves the neck hole as access for rain to get in, but thanks to a close-fitting collar with a raised elastic rear buffer, that really isn't an issue.
A close fit is the theme carried through the Pluvius. It's a racer's jacket and thanks to that contoured cut you really could get away with wearing it under race conditions.
The material is four-way stretch, which is a bit of a misnomer as most things that will stretch will do so in all directions, but you can really feel the movement in this fabric. In its normal state, as I've mentioned, the jacket gives a close fit but it's not figure hugging like Lycra. When you start to move, though, you can feel the material move with you, remaining snug against your skin when you're bent into a racing tuck, giving you a little added aerodynamic boost. As soon as you relax, the fabric just pings straight back into position.
The tail is dropped, giving some rear end coverage, with the front being the right length not to cause bunching when you're on the bike.
The arms seem in proportion too, though these are given some flexibility by the inclusion of Lycra cuffs which extend out of the main sleeves. Great for stopping cold winds whipping up through the arms too.
Sizing is typically British, I'd say, as in go with your normal size – unlike the Italian sizing of Castelli et al where you have to jump up a size or two.
Waterproof jackets can tend to be a little on the warm side. It's tricky to get the balance of resistance and breathability spot on. The Pluvius uses a multitude of vents, under the arms and across the back. The armpit ones are zipped so you can open and close them to find the correct balance, while the rear is a mesh-lined flap that covers a good two-thirds of the panel, although it's stitched in the middle to prevent a parachute effect.
Aimed at autumn and spring riding conditions, the Pluvius sits nicely in that temperature range. From around 5-15°C things are comfortable, but any higher and things can get a bit clammy. If you do get a little warm in the saddle, though, the Pluvius packs down to pocket sized with ease, it's not one of those that requires a degree in origami.
There are a couple of small niggles, though. For a jacket that is likely to be worn on grey, wet, overcast days I would have preferred a brighter colour than black; it doesn't have to be overly bright, just something to stand out against the background basically.
For riding in the dark the colour isn't such an issue, but the lack of reflectivity could be. There are some token shiny bits, but with a branding that uses three long stripes it seems a missed opportunity to get some more on there.
On the whole I think the Pluvius is a very good jacket in terms of fit, comfort and, above all, performance. It really is a wardrobe staple, one you'll get loads of use out of if you spend a lot of time on the bike year-round. Though the price of £125 isn't stupidly expensive, it's not exactly cheap either, but there is a whole lot of value for money here, and you'll wear it loads. Even if you don't, I guarantee it'll be tucked in your back pocket.
Excellent waterproofing, fit and comfort makes for a top race-level jacket, but could be brighter for those grey days
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Adidas Pluvius jacket
Tell us what the product 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?
Adidas says: "The Pluvius moves wet weather cycling protection beyond loose cuts of the past and into a slim jersey-like fit."
The jacket does certainly feel more like a long-sleeved jersey than a more traditional rain jacket, and the tight fit means it can be worn in a race without sacrificing performance.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
*Full zip with low stand-up collar
*Welded ventilation zips under arms, back venting
*Seam-sealed for full weather protection
*Four-way stretch fabric
*100% polyester interlock
*Sizes - XS - 2XL
Rate the product for quality of construction:
A really smartly made piece of kit justifying its price tag.
Rate the product for performance:
I was seriously shocked with how well it kept the water out.
Rate the product for durability:
Can't see any issues with longevity. The materials feel tough and durable.
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Lightweight enough to be considered performance kit.
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
An impressive close-fitting jacket that moves with you thanks to the stretch in the material.
Rate the product for value:
A good mix of breathability and wet weather performance helps justify the price, and it compares well with the likes of Castelli's Gabba.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Phenomenal wet weather performance for such a lightweight jacket.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sweaty above 15°C and black only.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
A commute in seriously heavy rain pretty much summed up the Pluvius testing. Water was running down the road three inches deep, my feet were soaked and water was running off my cap peak, but I felt warm under the Adidas. I put that down to good insulating, but after arriving at work I was surprised to find that I was bone dry, something I really wasn't expecting from such a lightweight jacket. The only downside for me is the fact that a jacket designed to be worn on wet, overcast days is only available in black.
Age: 37 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Mason Definition
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
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