The semi-fitted women's specific Altura Women's Flite 2 Waterproof jacket is a great wind and waterproof garment and with its high-vis colour ways and reflective detailing makes for a great commuting option.
Not the most packable
Does tend to hold moisture inside
Unless it's the height of summer, no ride is ever truly predicable weather wise, so owning a stowable waterproof and windproof jacket is a must-have item for any cyclist's wardrobe. The Altura Women's Flite 2 Waterproof jacket, a robust water and wind proofing offering, could be just the ideal riding partner for you.
The Flite 2 jacket is made out of Altura Shield, a proprietary fabric that Altura says has been engineered to repel water and provide wind protection while still offering high levels of breathability. This waterproof fabric is complemented by taped seams to prevent water seeping through the fabric joins.
The Altura Women's Flite 2 Waterproof jacket comes in two colour options: high-vis pink or yellow. Both are visible in low light conditions, but the fabric, also being what Altura calls Darkproof, uses retroreflective technology which works like good old-fashioned bike reflectors or cat's eyes in the road, providing extra visibility. This reflectivity is boosted further by strategically located reflective details on the arms and back of the jacket.
The women's-specific jacket is semi-fitted and is finished with simple elasticated cuffs and waist. Up top, Altura has inserted a soft, Lycra-backed high collar for a comfortable finish around the neck, while at the back a single zipped large pocket is also included. This also acts as the pouch for the Altura Women's Flite 2 Waterproof jacket to pack down into.
From the outset it's important to impress that the Altura Women's Flite 2 Waterproof jacket is an over layer and ideally over long sleeves as there isn't much warmth to be gained from it, but conversely it will keep you warm once you are already layered up. I chose to wear it from the outset of the ride in drizzly conditions. I loved that the colour really made me stand out on the road on a miserable dull day, giving me a sense of safety.
As for 'semi-fitted', think a tailored rather than an athletic cut, making it a good option for riders who are wanting water and windproofing without the skin-tight aesthetic.
Wearing over a thermal baselayer and midweight jersey on a slow ride (14mph average), I found it did a good job at keeping out the weather, both wind and rain. At times I did work up a bit of a sweat, and it did keep an element of the sweat inside, making me slightly damp at the end of the ride. It wasn't a deal breaker, but worth remembering if you are thinking of just donning it over office clothing for the ride into work.
Even with its packable credentials, be prepared for a bit of a battle to make it so. The Altura Shield fabric and taped seams don't squish down easily and it's not really possible to get it shoved in to a cycling jersey back pocket unless you pack it into its own integral pocket – which has been designed to be long and narrow to fit in cycling jersey back pockets.
It does mean that firstly the pocket is hard to use for anything else as it's barely hand width wide and very deep, so impossible to retrieve anything from it on the move (not really an issue if teaming with a jersey with standard pockets underneath) and secondly getting the jacket into the pocket does take some wrestling. That said, with the finished item weighing in at just 154g, it's still a reasonably lightweight jacket for its water and windproofing abilities.
As with most pieces of cycling apparel, there are a thousands of options for rainwear on the market with price tags both higher and lower. But if you are looking for a great commuting option, with great water and windproofing, reasonable breathability and excellent visibility colour and details the Altura Women's Flite 2 Waterproof jacket is a really good buy and you won't be disappointed.
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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.
Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas.
She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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