This is a top-quality winter jacket, offering a great fit, whilst being super warm but still very breathable. It also has some more unique qualities, such as the brilliant double sleeve design which works very well with gloves. It is, however, very expensive, which could make its purchase hard to justify against the competition.
Clever double sleeve design
No zipped pocket
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Tucked away in the mountains of Switzerland, Assos know a thing or two about demanding conditions and the necessary clothing. Intended to be the “ultimate solution for the harshest winter conditions”, this jacket is the big brother to the Assos Mille GT winter jacket (opens in new tab) we’ve been previously impressed by.
If you're wondering what else we've been impressed by when it comes to the best winter cycling jackets (opens in new tab) then it's worth heading over to the buyer's guide for all our handpicked favourites.
In fact the same goes for the rest of winter cycling clothing (opens in new tab) and knowing what to wear and when is always worth a re-visit.
The outer and inner layers of this jacket are distinct fabrics which have some degree of movement independent of each other. This, together with the impressive stretchiness, is a major contributing factor to the excellent fit. In no places does it feel baggy or restrictively tight.
Perhaps the best consequence of the two layer construction is that you are no longer faced with the age-old conundrum: Do the cuffs of your gloves go over your sleeves or do your sleeves go over the cuffs of your gloves? With this jacket, you can put the cuffs over the inner fabric, preventing drafts shooting up your arms, but have the outer fabric go over the top, stopping any rain from dripping down into your gloves.
But beyond just being cleverly paired, the fabrics are outstanding in their own right. The RX inner is luxuriously soft to the touch and provides instant warmth. On the outside, various NEOS fabrics are used dependant on the location, with hardier materials employed in the more exposed locations such as on the arms.
The breathability is outstanding, rated at 27,000 g/m2/24H, while the waterproofing is more than capable of fending off showers, being rated to a water column of at least 10,000mm. Although, for a heavy and sustained downpour, you would be better off going for a dedicated hard-shell.
The three rear pockets are generously sized with flaps at the top functioning as “lids” and intended to keep the contents of your pockets safe and secure. With regards to reflective detailing, there are two strips that run the height of the rear pockets.
Such is the warmth of this jacket I felt no need for a even one of the best base layers (opens in new tab)—even when riding at a relaxed pace in temperatures bordering on sub-zero. On longer rides, the jacket remained comfortable with no seams causing niggles and it never felt restrictive in any way.
Putting in some harder efforts, I was boardering on overheating. Fortunately, the zip is easy to operate—even with cumbersome winter gloves—and the ensuing flood of cold air kept me comfortable.
The flaps on the rear pockets did allay any worries of my phone auto-ejecting on rough terrain, but, as a consequence, it did make extracting the phone rather more difficult. Although I had more confidence in my keys staying put than with ordinary pockets, the inclusion of a zipped pocket would have provided me with greater peace of mind.
Although the Mille GT Ultraz Winter Jacket Evo is unquestionably expensive, this level of price tag isn’t unprecedented, with Castelli’s Double Espresso winter jacket also retailing for £290. However, there are more affordable jackets out there which offer comparable performance, such as Santini’s Vega Extreme (opens in new tab) (£239) and Sportful’s Fiandre Cabrio (opens in new tab) (£210), both of which were awarded 9/10 in their reviews.
In Assos' defence, it's kit is renowned for lasting for years - so purchasing a solid winter item from the range is generally considered a good investment, even if the initial outlay is a big one.
View deal at Wiggle for £290 (opens in new tab)
View deal at Wiggle US for $337.50 (opens in new tab)
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After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back.
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