Le Col’s racing jacket ticks all the boxes for harder riding in cool, damp weather
Any brand worth its salt will have a Gabba-style water repellent jacket in its line-up and the Le Col Pro jacket is Le Col’s take on the ubiquitous outer garment.
It does the job well. Made from a mix of WindTex and Schoeller fabrics, it’s comfortable in that difficult temperature range between 5C and 15C, when worn with a good technical baselayer. Most of the jacket is made of a thin water resistant material that lets just enough airflow through to be breathable, without adding so much insulation that you boil. Arms can feel the cold more than the torso in colder weather, so the rear of the arms is made of a heavier fleece for added insulation.
I’ve never thought stealth colours a good idea in poor weather conditions, when you need maximum visibility. With its bright orange colour, the Le Col Pro jacket is never going to have this problem. To add even more visibility, there are sewn in shiny reflective roundels at the shoulders and another reflective strip on the centre rear pocket.
The pockets themselves are deep and capacious with bottom gussets made of mesh to add even more room and to let water run out in a downpour. There’s a fourth zipped valuables pocket.
The fit is typically racing and quite close. I sized up to large and there was plenty of room and length in the body. There’s a slight drop to the tail, a good waist gripper, stretchy double layer cuffs and a high, close, fleece-lined collar, all of which keep draughts out and comfort levels up.
The type of garment exemplified by the Le Col Pro jacket, and the riding it’s designed for, always represent a bit of a compromise: too waterproof and it will get sweaty when riding hard; too breathable and it will just wet out once it starts to rain. Different makers take different tacks on this. In the case of the Le Col Pro jacket, it’s pretty water repellent but the fabric can get a bit damp on the inside surface.
At £220, the Le Col Pro jacket is pricey, but not out of range for this style of technical garment. It’s currently discounted in Le Col’s winter sale though, making it rather more affordable.
The Le Col Pro jacket provides good protection for faster rides in cool and damp conditions. The cut is really good and the bright colour and good reflective details mean that road presence will never be an issue.