The Altura Grid Parka Women's Cycling Jacket combines urban utility and style to make a garment that's enjoyable to wear whether you're on the bike or not. The only thing to be wary of is if you have a large phone, as it won't fit in the chest pocket and can feel uncomfortable against your leg when riding if you zip the jacket up.
The technical qualities and construction of the jacket are, however, second to none, and make riding or walking in typically frozen and wet British weather at this time of year less of a chore and more of an enjoyable experience.
If this doesn't quite fit the bill, or you want something sportier, check out our guide to the best winter cycling jackets.
The jacket is aimed at urban riders, commuters and e-scooter riders, but I actually think Altura has undersold it a little bit. Yes, it is designed to be primarily used on the bike or scooter, with the long hem at the back and underarm vents, but it's also really good for being worn off the bike, too.
I had the pleasure of testing this jacket in November and early December, which was primarily wet and cold – the perfect testing ground for this type of outerwear. It's rated to 10k waterproofing and 10k breathability, as well as having a durable water repellent (DWR) coating and taped seams. So in theory it should last a reasonable amount of time in the rain – and in my experiences, it did, putting up a good defence in several 45-minute to an hour showers.
I won't say I was always the perfect temperature inside the jacket, but that's largely my own fault for not quite mastering the layers in changeable weather. On its own, the Parka Waterproof Jacket did what it was designed to – kept me dry, and looked pretty good while doing so, if I do say so myself.
I rode mostly e-bikes when testing this jacket, but did put a bit of effort in as is necessary to ride anywhere in a two-mile radius of Calderdale thanks to the random 20% inclines. There was only one instance where I felt the need to use the underarm zips, and that was during a particularly steep climb, and with a 7kg dog on my back. With this in mind, I think it would make a pretty good two or three-season jacket.
Style and fit
The style is that of its name, a parka jacket. It does have small Vera Stanhope vibes but that's not a jibe, more of an observation. It's now fondly referred to in my house as the 'Vera' jacket.
The length of the jacket is complementary not only to the style but for riding, too. It keeps water, grit and all the lovely stuff British roads throw at us this time of year off your back. It even has reflective patches on the rear for some extra visibility, but there isn't a great deal of reflective patches and that's something I'd like to see more of in a commuter jacket.
I liked that there's a choice of zip and/or buttons for closure. One problem I did face was that when I placed my phone in one of the hand pockets, and zipped up the coat, it meant the phone was banging about on my leg with every pedal stroke. This is alleviated if you only button part of the coat up, but it's worth noting if it's cold and you want to use the zip.
My phone (a Google Pixel 6 for size reference) won't fit in the zipped chest pocket, so I would suggest it's more of a key or card storage pocket.
The hood is adjustable, although a little finicky to secure. It's clear to see waterproofing has been a big aim for this jacket, and that's very much appreciated. However, the flap that covers the top button to get you really toasty in the hood is quite hard to access, particularly if you are wearing gloves. Once it's secure, though, it works well and is far easier to undo.
At £155 it's not cheap, but compared with others out there it's not terribly expensive, either. I think that if you're after a single jacket that you can use on the bike as well as in your daily life, then this is a very good option. It's got a bit of style, and it's not obviously a performance cycling jacket, which for some commuters or urban riders is a big appeal.
Comparing it with others around this price point, there's the Gore Lupra Jacket that Emma tested, which costs £179.99. It's of similar design, although more oriented towards packability as well as performance.
Further up in the price scale we've got the Specialized/Fjallraven Women's Raven Anorak, which Lara found to be excellent but with limited water resistance. It costs £265.
> Read more road.cc reviews of women’s cycling jackets here
If you're not looking to spend much there's Decathlon's 500 Women's Waterproof Urban Cycling Jacket for £64.99, which also seems to offer a bit more visibility than the others.
Overall, the Altura Grid Parka is pretty impressive, on and off the bike. It's well designed, functional, and with a few tweaks could be a top-tier jacket for urban riders and beyond.
Impressive option for on and off-the-bike activities, with a good degree of performance
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Make and model: Altura Grid Women's Parka Waterproof 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?
Altura says: 'A LONGER LENGTH PARKER STYLE CYCLING SHELL FOR MAXIMUM PROTECTION FROM THE ELEMENTS DURING THE COMMUTE
The Altura Grid Parka Women'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 an urban vibe, ideal for commuting on a bike or e-scooter. The waterproof and breathable fabric has a 10k / 10k rating, fully taped seams and DWR coating that will keep the rain out whilst air venting via the pit zips will allow you to maximise the 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.'
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
Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
Rate the jacket for performance:
Performed well throughout November/early December Yorkshire weather. From rain showers to freezing temperatures, it kept me dry and reasonably warm (paired with a good baselayer and top/jersey). I do feel like it could be a three-season jacket with the venting and light weight, but probably not suitable for the absolute depths of winter.
Rate the jacket for durability:
Survived puppy shark teeth so can't fault it there. Everything feels well made and no wear or tear to report during the test period.
Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
Lasted well in several 45-minute to an hour showers.
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
I liked the underarm vents but they didn't feel entirely necessary given the temperatures.
Rate the jacket for fit:
The jacket fits nicely and is reasonably flattering. The length is good while riding, and protects you from splashes if you don't have mudguards.
Rate the jacket for sizing:
I'd say the sizing is pretty good. I tested the size 8 and found it to be just slightly baggy, but I think that's to accommodate layers underneath (which is appreciated in cold conditions). Anyone smaller though might find it too baggy and 8 is the smallest size.
Rate the jacket for weight:
Nice and light, even when wet.
Rate the jacket for comfort:
Feels comfortable when riding or off the bike. The only thing I have a gripe with is the pockets – what is likely considered a regular sized phone these days fits fine in the hand pockets, but then it feels really awkward when you're riding and the coat is zipped up. If the chest pocket was a bit bigger I think that would be better for putting your phone in so it doesn't constrict your riding without having to only use the buttons to fasten it.
Rate the jacket for value:
At £155 the technical features go some way to sway the value in this jacket's favour. Looking at similar jackets, it works out cheaper than the very similar looking Gore Lupra Jacket, which is slightly shorter and has pockets higher up on the sides.
Compared with the rather expensive 7mesh Skypilot Jacket, it's an absolute steal.
It's also got adaptability for on and off-the-bike activities on its side.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to care for, no issues after a 30 degree wash as advised.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The jacket performed really well on and off the bike. I mainly used it riding urban e-bikes around the village and neighbouring areas, as well as walking outside or playing with the dog. It never felt too hot, and I liked the underarm zippers although I didn't need to use them much given the time of year and the temperature.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The style and waterproofing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Lack of colour choice, and the fact that my phone didn't fit in the chest pocket and instead sat uncomfortably on my thigh while riding when the jacket was zipped up.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Gore Lupra Jacket that Emma tested recently is £25 more, but is more bike-focused than the Altura.
Compared to something more casual but with bike capabilities, the Specialized/Fjallraven Women's Raven Anorak costs significantly more at £265 and only had limited water resistance.
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
The technical qualities are top notch and it's a jacket that's actually quite versatile. It's marketed as an urban or commuter riding jacket, and while it does have a niggle or two as a cycling jacket specifically, as a jacket you can wear on and off the bike I think it really hits the mark.
Age: 29 Height: 5'5 Weight: 55kg
I usually ride: Bianchi Oltre XR1 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Gravel
He was several lengths ahead of the next rider, never mind anyone else! https://twitter.com/giroditalia/status/1662867544691097604
To his credit, he did champion Motown back in the day.
. 'global attitude adjustment'. . That's right. Start with the small stuff, then move on to bigger things. . Good luck. .
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