Promising water resistance, wind proofing and thermal capabilities, can the B'Twin 900 Women's Warm cycling jacket keep you toasty warm this winter for less than fifty quid?
When it comes to winter cycling clothing, you can easily be rinsed of over £150 in the quest of staying warm on a bike, an unrealistic option for many on a modest budget. So when the B’Twin 900 Women’s Warm cycling jacket landed on our desk with the price tag of just £49.99, we were keen to put it through it paces.
Made from 100% Polyester, the B’Twin 900 Women’s Warm cycling jacket claims to provide warmth, wind proofing and water resistance. B’Twin say that it’s managed to do all this and keep a good level of breathability thanks to the inclusion of a sweat wicking mesh panel at the lower back, which allows the transfer of water vapour to the rear pockets. The rest of the jacket’s inner is a fleece Roubaix like fabric, which is very soft to the touch and should offer good thermal insulation.
Outside, the B’Twin 900 Women’s Warm cycling jacket has a DWR (Durable water repellent) coating, which should allow water to bead off and the jacket to dry swiftly.
At the back of the B’Twin 900 Women’s Warm cycling jacket there are three open pockets and one water repellent zip secure one, while at the bottom a high viz elasticated siliconed backed band acts as the waist gripper.
At the top end of the 900 jacket, a double collar is teamed with a removable neck warmer shaped to cover the lower face, with laser cut breathing holes.
The first thing worth noting is that sizing on the B’Twin 900 Women’s Warm cycling jacket comes up big, as a UK size 10, I found myself sizing down to an UK size 8 to get a snug fit, and make the most of the thermal properties (which rely on trapping air for insulation).
With the right size the torso of the jacket fitted really well, with the removable neck warmer a great detail for such an affordable jacket. The forearm could do with shaving a couple of centimetres of the fabric off to get a better fit, and in an ideal world the arm to glove junction could do with a better transition, either tighter fitting to fit under the glove wrist, or longer to go over just to make it a bit easier to prevent draft gaps.
The weight was also noticeable, at 430g (for the UK sized 8), around 100 grams heavier than a more expensive counterpart. But with the extra weight comes great warmth and weather protection and when out riding the jacket performed brilliantly. Riding pretty slowly at around 5degrees and not once did I feel either over or under dressed – a hard task to balance, that even more expensive high end brands can struggle with.
I somehow managed to miss the morning deluge, but with so much surface water, the jacket got a pretty good coating and i’m pleased to say I stayed totally dry on the inside. It’s also worth pointing out how well the jacket washed, there was a huge amount of muck and mud over the jacket, but shoving in a 30deg wash and the white sections are still just as box fresh pearly.
The water resistant pocket was perfect for keeping car keys and phones dry and functioning, with even a cable output port for headphones. With the B’Twin 900 Women’s Warm cycling jacket measuring 69cm from top of the collar to bottom of the waist band, and the top of the pockets measuring 28 cm above that, it did make reaching in to fish items out on the move somewhat of a challenge. If B’Twin could locate these a couple of centimetres lower on the jacket’s next iteration, it would make them perfect.
In a word, impressive. I’m constantly impressed with the quality and thought that goes in to B’Twin cost effective products. There are a couple of minor niggles, but to be honest, it’s a fair compromise and because we know it’s constantly upping its game, I like to push them, but in all honesty, it’s not far off a champagne finish for a lemonade budget.
As with so many products coming out of the B'Twin house, I genuinely applaud the design team for once again demonstrating that it is possible to deliver quality items that punch well above their weight and the thermal, water resistant and windproof B'Twin 900 Women's Warm cycling jacket is no exception to the rule.