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review

Galibier Liberté Insulated Packable Jacket

9
£82.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Warm, packable layer that is perfect for riding in cold weather, at a great price
Light & warm
Great value
More waterproof than you'd expect
Insulation made from recycled materials
No loop for coat hook hanging
Weight: 
274g
Contact: 
road.cc Recommends

This product has been selected to feature in road.cc recommends. That means it's not just scored well, but we think it stands out as special. Go to road.cc recommends

At road.cc 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 Galibier Liberté Insulated Packable Jacket is an excellent lightweight layer with Primaloft-like insulation and a water-repellent finish. And at £82, it's comparatively inexpensive.

For more bad weather options, check out our guide to the best winter cycling jackets.

> Buy now: Galibier Liberté Insulated Packable Jacket for £82 from Galibier

The Liberté is made from a 100% nylon DWR-treated main fabric, insulated with 40 grams of 100% recycled polyester. Using recycled polyester rather than down makes sense for a packable layer on a bike, as it still works when it gets wet. It's also cheaper and easier to wash than down.

That 40g of insulation has in my opinion been judged just right; it's not so much that it doesn't pack down small enough, but it's enough to be the right kind of warm for riding.

This jacket is perfect for when temperatures are at or below zero degrees, with just a short sleeve jersey or baselayer underneath. Which of the two you wear underneath will probably be determined by what sort of bike ride you're on.

2023 Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable Jacket - back.jpg

I've used it for zipping into town with just a T-shirt underneath in zero-ish temperatures. I live on top of a hill, so nipping down into town adds quite a lot of windchill, but it was plenty warm enough. Likewise, I've used it in the same sort of temperatures on longer rides on the road bike, and again it's been plenty warm enough.

2023 Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable Jacket - logo.jpg

If you're doing any kind of working on the bike, though, you're going to want to keep this jacket for freezing temperatures only.

Waterproofing

You wouldn't expect much in the way of waterproofing from a jacket like this, but this one is better than most. It stood up admirably to constant heavy drizzle/light rain on a just-under-an-hour ride in near zero degrees (according to my admittedly not very accurate Karoo temperature reading). With just a short-sleeve jersey underneath, it kept me warm, and it was only towards the end of the ride that I started noticing any kind of moisture starting to make its way through.

2023 Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable Jacket - collar.jpg

If you're going out in actual rain, a proper waterproof on top will work better. It would need to be quite cold out, though, to stop you overheating.

Pockets

The jacket has two zipped front pockets and nothing at the back. For short rides, nipping into town, that sort of thing, your keys and your phone can go in those front pockets, no problem.

2023 Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable Jacket - pocket.jpg

If you're on an actual ride for riding's sake, you're not going to want your phone in there, but the lack of rear pockets is easily solved by wearing something underneath that has rear pockets.

In the hood

This jacket comes with a removable under-the-helmet type hood. This zips to the inside of the collar, and the zip lives inside a zipped pocket along the collar. You can store the hood zipped-on inside this pocket, or you can remove the hood and zip the pocket closed to stop zip-type irritation. The hood garage zip is a hidden type zip.

2023 Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable Jacket - hood zipped away.jpg

The hood itself is bare bones: no peak, no stiffener in the rim, and no drawcord adjustment. It all feels a bit loose if you put it on without a helmet; the hood can be blown off by the least bit of wind. With a helmet on over the top, though, it all makes sense. The lid keeps it on your head, and the helmet straps act as the drawcords.

2023 Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable Jacket - hood.jpg

I don't have much hair on top, and when it gets to the sort of temperatures that this jacket is best in, I normally wear two skullcaps under my helmet. This hood by itself is easily warm enough.

2023 Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable Jacket - hood back.jpg

I like this hood arrangement.

Packability & weight

The jacket comes with a stuffsack. Without going crazy squashing it, the compressed stuffsack is an 11cm diameter cylinder around 13cm tall.

2023 Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable Jacket - pouch.jpg

On my scales, the jacket with hood in the stuffsack weighs 275g (1g more than the office scales). Without the hood it's 244g, and if you want to go total weightweenie, you can shave another 10g off by not taking the stuffsack.

For me, the warmth-cost-packability balance has been judged perfectly; you can get jackets that pack down smaller for the same level of warmth, but you'd be paying a lot more. I could see this jacket being a stalwart member of my core bikepacking kit where it would be perfect for those last few miles from the pub to a suitable sleeping spot, or for getting going in the morning when you're not warmed up yet.

Fit and sizing

Although you can wear this jacket for non-cycling activities, it does have a cycling-specific cut: the back is dropped and the sleeves are long enough to cover your wrists in the drops.

2023 Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable Jacket - cuff.jpg

It's figure hugging rather than tight, with enough space to fit a long sleeve jersey underneath, and it's small enough to fit under your not-super-tight waterproof.

2023 Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable Jacket - back 2.jpg

At 178cm and 78kg, I'm almost always a medium, and, as the sizing chart suggested, the medium we have on test is the right size for me.

Galibier also publishes some handy extra measurements including shoulder width and the length of the front zip to help you decide, which is a nice touch.

2023 Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable Jacket - hem.jpg

Note, this is a unisex jacket; a specific women's cut is not available.

Value

It's not often I find myself writing this, but the Liberté is a bargain at £82, comparable with much more expensive jackets.

Endura's GV500 Insulated Jacket, for example, which off.road.cc reviewed in 2022, is now £159.99, and Albion's Insulated Jacket 3.0 is even more at £165 (though there doesn't seem to be a men's version available at the moment).

Looking outside of cycling-specific kit, my go-to brand for good value adventure kit, Alpkit, has a similar looking Primaloft insulated jacket, the Heiko, which has an rrp of £129.99, though it's currently reduced to £99.99.

Conclusion

The Liberté is another winner from Galibier. It's packable, warm, light and minimal without compromising functionality, with a great, practical fit for cycling and a price tag that doesn't make me cry out 'how much?!?'.

Verdict

Warm, packable layer that is perfect for riding in cold weather, at a great price

road.cc test report

Make and model: Galibier Liberte Insulated Packable 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?

Galibier says:

"A truly versatile jacket, developed for the most adventurous rides. Designed to be warm and lightweight, our unisex insulated, packable jacket is the perfect pairing for your off-road adventures and everyday living. Light enough to take on any ride to shield from chilly morning starts, or to wear all day and night on your biggest adventures.

The Liberté compresses into a compact stuff sack, making it easy to store and always at hand. The ergonomic fit provides freedom of movement on the bike while remaining comfortable for off-bike activities. You can wear it as an outer layer over a fleece, directly over a base layer, or as a mid-layer under a jacket when it's freezing and wet.

Constructed from super-lightweight, nylon fabric, it is specifically fitted for the riding position, with longer arms, dropped tail and reflective details for increased visibility. The YKK 2-Way zip adds versatility and comfort.

The 100% recycled, 40gsm insulation helps retain body heat on colder days whilst the PFC-free DWR coating sheds light rain and road spray. For added versatility, it features the close-fitting, removable hood, while the high chin will help keep the chill out."

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

Galibier lists these details:

Fabrics:

Main: 100% SuperLite 37gram Nylon DWR

Insulation: 100% recycled polyester (40gsm)- lightweight insulation replicates the structure of down in a continuous synthetic insulation material, offering the warmth and packability of down but with the warm-when-wet performance of synthetic insulation.

Function :

Removable, 'Under-the-helmet' insulated hood

Two zipped hand pockets

Strategic down and synthetic insulation mapping

Lightweight and durable shell with DWR water repellent treatment

Articulated fit for improved dexterity and mobility on and off bike

Packs extremely small into its integrated stuff sack

Weight with stuff sack: 285 grams (size medium)

Longer sleeve length for the riding position

Recycled reflective zip tap on 2-Way Vislon YKK zip.

Colour:

Deep Teal Exterior with Violet internal.

Wind Resistant

The fabric blocks wind from penetrating the garment, greatly reducing the effects of wind chill.

Packable

Designed to pack away into its own supplied stuff -sac.

Recycled Materials

Part made from recycling plastic bottles into polyester, reducing carbon emissions and landfill waste.

Anti-Odour

Fabric patches included to reduce odour in key areas

Water Repellent

A durable water repellent finish provides protection from light moisture to keep you drier for longer. The PFC-free DWR finish does not contain perfluorinated chemicals.

Insulating

This advanced insulating layer offers outstanding warmth and is suitable for a range of activities. Our products use the latest technologies to ensure superior insulating properties for the wearer

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for value:
 
8/10

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

You can wash this jacket at 30 degrees, preferably with something like Nikwax Tech Wash.

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

It's kept me warm on cold days both on longer rides and for nipping into town.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

The cut, the weight vs warmth ratio and the fact that it doesn't cost the earth.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

No loop for hanging it on a coat hook.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's quite a bit cheaper than other insulated jackets, see the full review for details.

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

I have really enjoyed using this jacket. It's warm, packable and feels right next to the skin. It's minimal without compromising on functionality and the price is right. An excellent product.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 1.78m  Weight: 77kg

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

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1 comments

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Freddy56 | 2 months ago
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Got it from Santa this year and love it. It has made it for the kit bag for Badlands.

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