- High neck and good arm length
- Good cuffs
- Constricting fit
- High back
Price as reviewed:
Having already established a range of jerseys and shorts, the Albion Rain Jacket sees the London brand break into new, water resistant territory.
It features a fully taped seam and the jacket body has three layers of waterproof and wind resistant construction. To touch, the jacket feels lightweight and doesn’t feel bulky or heavy in your hands. In fact, one of its best features is its packability, and it easily fits into a rear pocket.
While it doesn’t feel bulky when worn it does feel a bit constricting. That’s due to the jacket’s more race ready fit; it has a short front and a dropped rear end – although I still found the tail sit quite high on the lower back, reducing its protection. I also found it to be tight across the shoulders, quite similar to the Albion jersey I’ve also tested.
The fit on the arms, however, is spot on which is quite a challenge when you have arms as long as mine. The tight cuffs prevent them from sliding up and opening a gap between the sleeves and my gloves – the most frustrating of on bike wardrobe malfunctions.
Alongside the cuffs, the jacket has plenty of neat touches including an extended neck that, when partnered with a neck roll or buff works nicely to keep you warm. The jacket also uses a two-way zip that makes it much easier to access your jersey’s rear pockets and doesn’t require you to completely unzip the jacket.
I wore the Albion Rain Jacket daily over the recent festive break when I tried to cover as many kilometres as I could in the bleak Leicestershire winter. It wasn’t quite howling rain (thank goodness) but the roads were wet and consistently covered in muck and other countryside debris.
The jacket provided good protection from road spray and muck and the light showers I rode through beaded nicely off the jacket’s surface. I spent the majority of my rides in the jacket, never stopping to take it off, however, the aforementioned constrictive fit didn’t make it the most comfortable for long rides or prolonged use. It also did get quite sweaty underneath the jacket but that’s to be expected when using a water resistant jacket as a insulating layer rather than just a protective one.
The jacket costs £195, which is a lot of money, especially when brands are beginning to offer Gore-Tex Shakedry technology – which offers superior water resistance – for a little over £200. I tested the frankly dazzling orange colour which I really liked but if it’s not your bag the jacket is also available in blue, charcoal and military olive.
The Albion Rain Jacket is perhaps better suited to on and off protection than prolonged wearing. However, it's nicely protective, beading water and winter muck and has a good looking design with a good overall, albeit racing orientated, fit.