The Assos Mille GT Winter Jacket Evo is pretty much the only jacket you'll need through the winter, for all but the most bitter days. It keeps the rain out, the wind out, and also lets excess body heat out. All from a jacket that feels less bulky than many jerseys, let alone jackets!
At £225, the Mille GT needs to be very good, as there is some very good competition out there. It is, though. Really, really good.
First of all, I couldn't get over how lightweight it is. The fabrics and overall construction of the jacket don't feel like they will offer the protection claimed, but they do. Like many jackets, the Mille GT uses different materials placed strategically depending on where they are on the body and whether they are in the firing line of the elements.
The front panels use Assos' NEOS Medium, which is a three-layer softshell with a PU bonded membrane offering waterproofing (10,000mm rating) and 100% windproofing.
Over the six weeks or so that I've been using the Mille GT, the weather has thrown a bit of everything into the mix – cold and dry days, storms with torrential rain, milder sunny days, and even a fair old dumping of snow – so it's certainly had its work cut out.
First up, the windproofing is impressive. In the build-up to Christmas here in the south-west we had a long spell of dry weather with the northerly wind keeping temperatures to around 3°C. With a long-sleeved baselayer (the Endura Engineered) underneath, the Mille GT coped easily with these temperatures and lower, with a few rides early in the morning when it just below freezing. The NEOS Medium material just blocks out all of the wind, even when descending fast brings added windchill.
It was the same in the rain. I was doing two-hour rides in heavy rain and coming home relatively dry. There were no real signs of water getting through, so it was mostly perspiration. That's not to say the Assos isn't breathable, though. I ride pretty hard throughout the winter and I run warmer than some, so I always suffer with a certain amount of dampness when I remove a jacket.
The Mille GT uses NEOS Light fabric on the tops of the arms and the upper back, where you don't need such extreme weatherproofing; it offers higher levels of breathability than the NEOS Medium (27,000 gr/m2/24hr compared to 14,000). Also helping is the use of the lighter weight fleece-backed RX fabric under the arms and on your back.
When climbing or generally working hard, I never felt like I was overheating or sweating excessively, and I certainly never felt cold on a descent straight after a furious ascent.
Temperature-wise, I'd say I was comfortable with a long-sleeve baselayer on up until about 12°C, and with a mesh short-sleeve layer on up to around 15°C.
When it comes to the cut, the Mille GT is close fitting but not overly so. It's what Assos calls regularFit – when in the saddle you don't get lots of flappy bits of material or any bunching up.
Assos has quite a detailed size guide on its website which allows you to put in your details, from which it recommends which size and also how it is going to fit at the chest and the waist. I've got the medium here, and it is a touch on the close side around the chest; that tallies with Assos' size guide when I've entered my details, recommending a large. From that, I'd say follow the sizing on the site, as it's realistic.
The rear section is dropped a noticeable amount compared to the front for good overall coverage, and thanks to plenty of length in the sleeves there'll be no skin exposed even when in the drops.
The neck is also quite tall, so you get coverage there too, and there is a zip garage to stop any irritation.
At the rear are three sizeable pockets, although I would like to see a zipped one as well for valuables, as I like to know my debit card, keys and so on are still going to be there when I get home.
Assos' Triple Ramp pocket design means they have a flexible fabric panel sewn inside them that can be pulled over the top of the pocket contents to stop things flying about. It's not as good as a zip, but it helps.
The quality is very high throughout. All of the stitching joining the various fabrics together is neat and tidy, and it also feels resistant to being pulled if you snag the jacket on something.
So, the price… £225. Looking back through the jackets we've reviewed recently, the cost doesn't actually look quite as extreme as it first did to me. For instance, the Rapha Men's Classic Winter Gore-Tex jacket is £270, and that doesn't even have the waterproofing capabilities of the Assos.
And the Le Col Pro Rain jacket costs £240; as the name suggests, it's designed to keep the rain out rather than offering the insulation levels of the Mille GT.
One jacket I was impressed with recently, though, is the Gore C5 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo. It's water resistant rather than waterproof, but it still performed well in the rain, and everything else was great – plus it's a relative snip at £169.99.
Overall, the Mille GT is a very impressive jacket, especially when you take into account just how lightweight it is. It performs in all weather conditions. Yes, it's a fair old chunk of cash, but it's not the most expensive jacket out there.
Impressive performance against whatever the weather throws at you
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Assos Mille GT Winter Jacket Evo
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?
Assos says, "We engineered the Winter EVO for the committed rider who prefers to ride outdoors year-round, with strategically placed textiles optimized not only for protection and comfort in cold winter conditions, but also for the forward body position on the road bike."
The Mille GT copes very well with wind, rain and snow while delivering a performance fit.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
The front panel is constructed using our NEOS Medium, which is a 3L softshell with PU bonded membrane. Highly breathable, waterproof, insulating, and 100% windproof, this flexible house-developed textile ensures your core stays fully protected. The tops of the arms and upper back are made with NEOS Light, which scales back insulation in favor of boosted breathability and lower weight. And to keep you from overheating as your effort levels rise, the underarms and back use our fleece-backed RX material.
The single front panel is merged with raglan cut sleeves, with a stitch line that continues up to the collar for a full range of motion in the saddle. The classic, regularFit is trim, while still accommodating additional layers.
Triple Ramp Pockets: Flexible fabric panels sewn into each of the three pockets create 'lids' for your cargo, covering the contents for added security and stability.
2W waistWave: Stitch construction on the waist preserves the natural stretch of the front panel's textile, absent of elastic material.
Reflective Accents: Placed on both sides of the center pocket for added visibility in low-light conditions.
Composition: 46%PA 35%PL 19%EA
Assos' interactive sizing guide works well, so it's worth checking on there before buying.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I followed Assos' instructions and had no issues whatsoever.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It copes very well in bad weather.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
An impressive balance of windproofing and breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
No valuables pocket.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's not cheap, but it's far from the most expensive jacket we've tested as its price is eclipsed by the likes of the Rapha and Le Col options mentioned in the review. Others come close on performance for a lot less, though, like the Gore Infinium Thermo.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Not at full rrp.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A very capable lightweight jacket that does an excellent job of keeping the elements out while providing a close fit for a performance ride style. It is a big amount of cash, though, when there are some very good jackets out there that offer similar levels of performance for a lot less cash. That said, some cost more... Overall, I'd say it's very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!