Le Col Pro Jacket II review – a premium product but with the execution to match
Coming in at the upper end of the price bracket, the performance is as good as you would expect
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A very comfortable, race fitting, and fantastically weatherproofed jacket that offers enough ventilation for changing conditions. The price is high, but so is the performance level.
Great wind and water proofing
Can be worn over a base layer
Race fit should be more aero
Arms and torso are a good length
Great for colder conditions
Zip feels a bit chunky when zipped all the way up
It is expensive
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Le Col is a British cycle clothing brand founded by former professional rider Yanto Barker and made in Italy. They have graced the UK scene partnering with the likes of Ribble and One Pro Cycling previously, whilst currently being partnered with top teams such as Le Col-Wahoo and now Bora-Hansgrohe.
The British brand offers a range of stylish and highly functional kit and clothing for any cycling occasions, be it keeping cool indoors on the turbo, comfortable on long training rides or sportives, or being aerodynamic as possible in a fast-paced race environment.
The Le Col Pro Jacket II is the brand's race-fitting option for heading out deep into winter and has proven itself to rank among the best winter cycling jackets.
Le Col Pro Jacket II: construction
The Le Col Pro Jacket II is reassuringly substantial for a winter jacket and combines breathable side panelling with its more heavy duty wind/water proofing fabrics on the front and back.
The Polartec and Neoshell fabrics used offer great protection against the elements. Wind chill isn’t noticeable at all and – in an unscientific experiment of pouring water over my arm while wearing it – are waterproof rather than merely water resistant. Dynamic air exchange technology is implemented to allow good airflow and excess heat transfer across the jacket.
In a size small, the arm and body length are perfect on my 190cm frame. The cuffs of the sleeves are stretchy so that they don’t leave any looseness to allow cold air up your arms.
There are reflective panels on the back middle pocket and in the form of the Le Col logo on the back. There are also two large reflective strips on the arms which face forward and are ideal for indicating. The pockets themselves are deep and also not too high, so that they are easily accessible. The presence of a waterproof zip pocket is ideal as well for storing things you don’t want to rust or get wet.
I am a fan of the Merlot colour and also the Cobalt that they offer, I’ve never been so keen on black for winter weather kit, even with high vis detailing. A bright yellow or orange colour would also be nice, such as the colours available in the Le Col Pro Rain and Wind jackets.
Le Col Pro Jacket II: the ride
My first ride in this jacket was a dry but cold day, about four degrees with not much wind. The cuffs of the sleeves are great as they are tight enough so that the wind doesn’t go up them if there’s a gap between the sleeve end and your gloves. Even so, it's not it too tight nor restrictive. There's good length to the sleeves too - I'm 190cm tall and the size small was long enough in the arms.
The pockets on the rear are the right height that you can easily grab stuff out of them, and substantial enough to put extra kit, food, phone and repairs kit with room to spare. The waterproof zip pocket was also ideal for putting in a multi tool, money, and a headphone case – all things I didn’t want to get wet and fortunately remained dry throughout my rides.
The jacket feels warm straight away, even with just a sleeveless base layer underneath. When zipped up fully, it does feel quite substantial around the neck, I definitely preferred it a little unzipped for comfort. As it turned out, when pressing on at a solid Z2 pace, I also needed to unzip a bit so as not to get too warm.
Overall, it was very comfortable over first ride, fit and temperature wise. I’d say even 0°C / 32°F with a more substantial base layer this would feel warm enough. It is also wind and waterproof, as was noticeable by how much colder the air felt as soon as I unzipped it even a little bit. Getting caught in showers, the jacket also let the water bead off effectively, and even when the rain hammered down, it didn’t penetrate the outer layers.
The fit of the jacket is definitely more race fit, but there was still a little bit of bunching up on the front when tucked over. The length at the back is more than ideal, though, and it doesn’t rise up. I think the jacket is likely too warm to race in for most occasions. But for getting the efforts in over the winter this jacket is great. It is breathable enough for the efforts and then warm enough so you don’t get cold during the cool down periods.
Le Col Pro Jacket II: value and conclusion
At $275.00 / £260.00 the Le Col Pro Jacket II is at the expensive end of the scale. The best comparable items are likely the Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 at $279.99 / £245.00 and the Rapha Pro Team Winter Jacket ($240.00 / £175.00) or Winter ($270.00 / £195.00) jackets. We also found the Endura Windchill Jacket II ($159.99 / £95.00) to be a great budget option but it lacks a waterproof pocket. The Assos Ultraz Winter Jacket Evo ($369.00 / £290.00) is more expensive but the windproof/waterproof Santini Vega Multi ($245.00 / £220.00) undercuts it as well.
The Le Col jacket is clearly a pricey option, however it does remedy some of the flaws we found with several of the cheaper jackets. If stretchy cuffs, a waterproof pocket, a good fit, and great weather protection and insulation are what you want, then this does the job brilliantly. But there are cheaper alternatives.
A very effective winter jacket that offers great protection against the elements while keeping you warm and toasty. The fit is great and ideal for fast paced training, with the jacket offering reasonable ventilation for excess heat. It’s nice that along with reflective strips on the back, there are also reflective patches on the arms which face forward, ideal for approaching junctions and indicating in foul or dark weather conditions.
The only downfalls are the zip feeling a bit chunky against the neck when zipped all the way up, and the price being high compared to direct competitors. However the performance of the jacket is so great that this might be enough to sway people to make the investment.
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Andy is a Sport & Exercise Scientist, fully qualified and experienced cycling coach, personal trainer and gym instructor. He spent 3 years on the road riding for a UCI cycling team and 7 years as a BC Elite rider.
After graduating in 2020 with first-class honours in his Sport & Exercise Sciences BSc, he continued to pursue his interest in research in the field of sport science alongside setting up his coaching business, ATP Performance, and working for USA-based firm, Wahoo Sports Science. He balanced this with racing at international level, competing in prestigious events such as the Tour of Britain and the Volta a Portugal.
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