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The NVPA Storm Jacket offers great protection from the rain and wind alongside impressive breathability. It's not cheap, but as a jacket that'll get you through most of the winter and beyond it's an investment that'll pay for itself.
Made in Italy from a DWR (Durable Water-Repellent) fabric, the Storm copes very well in wet weather. NVPA (Neon Velo Performance Apparel) doesn't quote a specific waterproof rating, but I have worn it in steady rain for a couple of hours without any wetness getting through, and in light rain or drizzle the rain seems to bead forever.
Helping the fabric do its job are the fully taped seams throughout the inside of the jacket, including those running between the rear pockets.
That's right, pockets. Not always a given on a jacket, but much appreciated.
They won't keep your stuff dry as there are no flaps over the top or drainage holes, but for use on a dry, chilly and windy day they are ideal, removing the faff of having to get to your jersey pockets instead.
There is plenty of depth and width, so carrying large phones won't be an issue.
Combining breathability and waterproofing is always a fine line to tread, but the Storm does a decent job. Riding hard with the temperature above 15°C I found that I got a bit clammy; even with the full zip open I was still hot and sweating on my arms.
When this type of jacket is called for, though, temperatures aren't always quite as mild, and on cooler days, unless I was really hammering it on the climbs, the Storm does a decent job.
Early morning rides have seen it cope fine down to around 5°C with a short sleeve jersey and lightweight baselayer underneath.
For such a thin jacket it is a great windblocker, still packing down just enough to stash in a rear jersey pocket.
When it comes to the cut things are typical roadie: a dropped tail for coverage when in the saddle, and the front section where the zip joins sitting high to avoid bunching of the material when you are crouched over.
There is plenty of length in the sleeves, which are held in place by a small elastic cuff, and the collar is both very tall and fleece lined. This feels really soft against the skin while keeping the draughts out. There is a zip garage thrown in for good measure.
It's worth noting that this is a unisex jacket. NVPA recommends that men should buy the same size as they would a jersey, while women should drop down a size.
On the subject of sizing, NVPA states all of its clothing is 'Italian race fit'. That typically means it's a touch smaller than traditional sizing, so although I'm at the upper end for medium, the large I'm testing is the right choice. It still offers a close fit but there's a bit of extra room for layering up.
One thing that might put some of you off is that the Storm is only available in black. In gloomy conditions I tend to ride with lights even during the day, so I'm not fully against dark winter clothing, but I know many of you are and might want something brighter.
There are no reflective details either. The logo on the back is big and white but not reflective.
Priced at £240, it's up there at the top end, though it's £50 less than the MAAP Ascend Pro Rain Jacket at £290.
That got a mixed review from Steve as he felt it was very effective against the wind and rain but has no rear pockets and isn't that breathable.
At 240g the Pearl Izumi PRO AmFib Softshell is a bit heavier than the Storm – though not so much that you'd notice – but Simon was very impressed, saying, 'This jacket could sound the death knell for the traditional rain shell.' At £199.99 it's a £40 saving on the NVPA too.
Something to bear in mind, if you buy the Storm as a first order direct from NVPA's website, you can sign up for a 20% discount, giving a fair old chunk of cash off.
Overall, I highly rate the Storm for its performance. It's a great choice for wet weather riding, and the cut is perfect for the road bike. And although it's at the top end price-wise, it doesn't disappoint on the quality front, which helps to soften that.
Hugely impressive at fending off the weather, but it comes at a price – and only in black
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road.cc test report
Make and model: NVPA Storm Jacket
Size tested: Large
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?
NVPA says, "Using a Durable Water-Repellent (DWR), the unisex STORM®/Jacket offers essential protection from wind and rain. Styled with a simple NVPA® 'Inspired creative concept' design aesthetic using printed block colours combined with our signature race cut finish. The jacket features inner taped seams, three rear pockets, low-profile elasticated waist, branded zip guard and quick release YKK cam lock double zipper design and fabric NVPA®/Workwear zip pull. Designed for use in all climates and conditions that require protection from the elements."
I think NVPA has delivered a quality winter jacket that is impressively light.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Durable Water-Repellent (DWR) fabric.
Inner taped seams
Three rear pockets
YKK Vislon® Double Zip
NVPA®/Workwear fabric zip-pull
Branded full-length zip guard
Extended neck height with thermal lining
Made in Italy
NVPA's clothing comes up a little smaller than equivalent UK brands, but its sizing guide reflects this.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
NVPA gives a max wash temperature of 30 degrees, and following that I have had no issues.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Top notch waterproofing and windproofing.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Just a great all-round performance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Only available in black.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's up there with some of the most expensive we've tested, like the two I've mentioned in the review, but the performance is up there too.
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 performance and quality are hard to argue with, especially if you are willing to pay the price. I'd like to see some brighter colour options, though.
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!