Bontrager RXL Convertible Softshell Jacket review

A comfortable jacket that would benefit from being slightly warmer, this is a good winter layer that can act as a gilet once the sleeves are removed

winter cycling jackets
Cycling Weekly Verdict

A versatile jacket that can also act as a gilet, but lacking in warmth when the temperature seriously drops.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Three colours available

  • +

    Removable sleeves

  • +

    Three large pockets

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not the warmest

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If high-vis yellow isn’t for you, then the good news is that the Bontrager RXL Convertible Softshell Jacket is also available in either black or red. Admittedly though, the Bontrager RXL isn’t 100 per cent yellow, as it has a large black, rear panel and red detailing that we grew to quite like.

Comfort-wise, Bontrager has hit the nail on the head. At £119.99 this jacket is almost at the top of our price ceiling, but it still fits like a much more expensive item, sitting snug to the body in all the right places while never feeling constrictive.

However, the excellent fit wasn’t necessarily matched by the jacket’s warmth. The Bontrager certainly wouldn’t be our first choice of jacket once the temperature drops below five degrees, certainly without good quality thermal layers underneath. The Profila Softshell fabric did keep us dry in the rain though, despite only claiming to be water-resistant rather than waterproof.

The ‘Convertible’ in the name refers to the Bontrager RXL’s party piece: the removable sleeves. These are easy to remove using the two zippers on either side, and should be easy enough to stow away thanks to the three large rear pockets.

So even if the Bontrager RXL sits at the top of our price range, at least you won’t

have to spend money on a separate gilet. HR


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