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The Pro Vision Piccolo Rain Jacket is a lightweight option that will pack down very small, offers decent windproofing and doesn't do a bad job at being breathable. As for being a 'rain' jacket, though: it has all the water resistance of a sieve.
A rain jacket that doesn't keep the water out... not ideal, and to be honest a bit disappointing as other than that I really like the Piccolo. Pro Vision's description of the jacket says that it is 'Waterproof, wind proof and breathes well.' I'll give it the last two (more about that in a minute), but this thing isn't even showerproof.
Pro Vision doesn't give a hydrostatic head waterproof rating and there are no taped seams anywhere. It's a single layer construction too, so no membranes or anything.
The last line of defence I was hoping for was maybe a decent durable water repellent (DWR) coating, but that seems to have been neglected also.
Even light rain penetrates straight through to the layers beneath. Water doesn't bead off or anything before the fabric becomes overwhelmed, like some jackets – there is no protection whatsoever.
Now, that's a shame because stay away from the rain and this is actually quite a good jacket.
First up, the cut for the main torso is slightly more generous than most, allowing you to wear it with other layers underneath, or making you feel less restricted if you are of a larger build.
The length and close fit of the sleeves, though, and the overall length of the jacket, are more standard, meaning there isn't any extra fabric flapping around.
The very tall neck does a great job of stopping cold draughts entering, and when it comes to stopping the wind the Piccolo does well at providing a barrier, though there are no sections of various technical fabrics here for blocking the wind while others let the heat out, like mesh under the armpits for instance.
Breathability is okay. Riding hard in anything above single figures Celsius will see it start to sweat a bit, but if you are riding at a steady pace you should remain reasonably dry up to about 13°C depending on what you are wearing beneath. I'm basing this on a summer jersey and lightweight mesh baselayer.
At 105g this is a light jacket, and it scrunches up small, making it ideal for stuffing in your back pocket if you know things might get chilly, or for bunging on at the café stop.
There are a range of colours available, including fluoro yellow and grey alongside this white offering. I was worried that the white was going to get dirty really quickly, which it does, but it doesn't mark or stain after being washed.
Priced at £40, if we forget about the waterproofing for a minute, it's not a bad price for an emergency jacket that'll keep the wind at bay.
The quality is good, and the fabric feels robust. I wore a rucksack for quite a lot of rides and that has left no lasting marks or wear on the back or shoulders of the Piccolo.
The Altura Airstream is £49.99. It does come with a small amount of water resistance and has a few extra design treats like mesh sections for breathability.
Decathlon sells the Ultralight Packable Showerproof Jacket for £44.99 and it looks very similar to the Piccolo. But its waterproofing rating is 2,000mm which is why Decathlon has said that it will protect you from scattered showers.
I quite like the Piccolo as a windproof emergency jacket. I've used it on many chilly rides, and I like the fit. The trouble is, this is supposed to be a rain jacket and it fails miserably at that. If I was shopping for a lightweight waterproof and bought the Piccolo I'd be receiving something that really is 'not as described' and it'd be returned.
Windproof and packable 'rain' jacket that lacks any water resistance
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pro Vision Piccolo Rain 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?
Pro Vision says, "The new Pro Vision Piccolo rain jacket is a new product for this winter. It features a new light weight material with a M jacket weighing 100gm.Manufacured in fluorescent for great visibility. This jacket is also water proof, wind proof and breaths well and most importantly it packs down smaller than any jacket we have previously produced."
It's a good emergency jacket in the dry, but by no sense of the word is it waterproof.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
According to Pro Vision:
Sizes - XS to XXL
Away from the wet this is a capable jacket, but it's a rain jacket so it doesn't do its job.
Slightly more generous around the torso than most, so if you want a close race cut probably best to drop a size.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washing brought the jacket back to bright white each time.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a rain jacket that doesn't stop the water coming in.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Generous fit and the high neck.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Its lack of water resistance.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's cheaper than most. Two closely priced competitors are the Altura and Van Rysel I mention in the review, but they both deliver some water resistance.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes, in the dry.
Would you consider buying the jacket? No
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
As an emergency windproof the Piccolo has a lot going for it, which is why I find the lack of any water resistance so annoying. If it doesn't form an acceptable barrier against water you can't call it a 'Rain Jacket' or describe it as waterproof!
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!