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Primal Fusion Thermal Cycling Jacket



Warm and comfortable jacket with the comfort and fit of a jersey

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Primal Fusion Thermal jacket is a good choice for cold winter days, with fit and comfort that is more akin to a heavyweight jersey. It makes a good outer layer over a chunky baselayer or paired with a windproof shell for blustery days.

The jacket gets its insulation from a combination of Strata and Traverso fabrics, mid-weight brushed materials with enough stretch to ensure the race-cut fit isn't too restrictive on the bike. Though it's called a jacket, the softness of the fabric and the close fit suggest it's really more akin to a heavyweight jersey.

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Primal Wear says the Fusion is good enough for temperatures down to 0°C, and I certainly found it lived up to that claim. With a heavyweight baselayer underneath it provides a good level of warmth, and I also found the fabric reasonably breathable when bashing up hills or in higher temperatures.

Primal Fusion Thermal Cycling Jacket - riding.jpg

While providing decent insulation for cold temperatures, the Fusion doesn't offer the same level of wind-resistance that it's possible to choose in a similarly priced jacket or jersey. You can add a windproof gilet for added protection when you know you might be fighting a stiff headwind, but that's an additional cost when you've already spent close to £100.

> Check out our guide to the best winter cycling jackets here

The jacket features three large rear pockets and the waist is lined with a sticky silicone gripper hem tape. Even with fully loaded pockets the jacket retains its shape well and the back doesn't sag. It's comfortable for long winter rides and the race fit places an emphasis on fast riding in a reasonably aggressive bike position.

Primal Fusion Thermal Cycling Jacket - back.jpg

It's an understated design, and is only available in this one black colour option. Visibility is boosted with the addition of lots of reflective piping, which will help it appeal to commuting cyclists, though it's not really aimed at that market as such. Some colour options for those who don't like black might be a nice thing to see.


Warm and comfortable jacket with the comfort and fit of a jersey

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Make and model: Primal Fusion Thermal Cycling Jacket

Size tested: Medium, Black

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?

Primal says: "Developed and tested in the harsh and unpredictable conditions of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Primal Cycling Jackets are functional, comfortable and versatile. Using high-performance fabrics that not only fight the cold, but ventilate and wick moisture, Primal Outerwear keeps riders on the roads and trails in any season.

"The Primal Fusion jacket sports a rigorously tested design that combines technical fabrics with meticulous design to provide a comfortable, durable solution to facing the elements.

"The jacket is constructed using 'Strata' thermal fabric, giving this jacket exceptional weather-resistant properties. The mechanically brushed back of the design keeps the rider warm in cool temperatures, while still promoting cool air to flow in and out to prevent overheating. The fabric also incorporates a 4-way stretch, granting a wide range of flexibility for maximum comfort.

"The jacket also fuses a tightly fitting, Race cut and three rear cargo pockets, to craft a competitive yet practical design."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Key Features:

Primal Fusion jacket

Race fit

Silicone waist gripper

Reflective piping

3 rear cargo pockets

Strata material

Technical Specifications:

Colour: Black

Cut: Race fit

Technical details: Silicone waist gripper, race fit, 3 rear cargo pockets, reflective piping, Strata material

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:

Good for keeping the cold at bay with the fit and comfort of a jersey, but not fantastic in the wind.

Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

Despite being called a jacket, it really has the fit and comfort of a heavyweight jersey.

Rate the product for value:

It's a good jacket, but there is a lot of choice out there, including jackets with added wind-resistance.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Provides decent warmth down to zero degrees with a good fit and comfort.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Fit, comfort and warmth.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Lack of wind-resistance compared with other jackets at this price, and a few colour options wouldn't go amiss.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe

Use this box to explain your score

A good jacket, with jersey comfort and fit, for keeping warm on cold rides, but when it's really windy I'd reach for a jacket with more wind protection.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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