Odlo Primaloft jacket review

A very warm jacket let down by its details

Odlo primaloft jacket
For
  • +

    Exceptionally warm

  • +

    Breathable

  • +

    Decent fit

Against
  • -

    Very loose cuffs let cold air in

  • -

    Lack of storage space

There’s a lot to like about the Odlo Primaloft jacket. As you’d expect from a Swedish company with its roots in cross-country skiing, this winter cycling jacket is exceptionally warm while offering pretty decent breathability too. However, it is let down by a poor fit on the arms and a lack of storage space.

>>> Seven tips to get your bike ready for winter (video)

I’ll start with the highlight of this jacket: it’s warmth. The Primaloft insulation in this jacket might give it a slightly odd puffer jacket look (similar to the Sportful R&D jacket that we first tested last winter), but my goodness does it keep you warm. The outer fabric is completely windproof, and all that insulation is enough to keep you riding through the very coldest days the British winter usually offers up.

 

Watch: How to dress for winter riding

 

The breathability of the Odlo Primaloft jacket is also more than half-decent. A sizeable rear panel is made from a thinner Roubaix fabric, which offers less insulation, allowing excess moisture and heat to escape, preventing you from overheating when putting in hard efforts. This fabric is also used strategically in other areas, with the extra stretch used to make sure that this jacket fits well.

>>> Buyer's guide to winter cycling jackets

However, much of this good work is undermined by the extremely loose fit on the sleeves. This is so bad that even when I pulled them over the top of bulky winter gloves there was still quite a big gap, which let cold air billow up the sleeves.

The other big problem with the Odlo Primaloft jacket is the lack of storage. There is only one small zipped pocket at the rear which is just about big enough for phone and an energy bar or two, but not much more. Odlo says that this is because it expects people to be wearing a jersey underneath the jacket in which to carry anything else they need.

>>> Pro rider tips for winter riding

This might seem to make sense, but if this is going to be your only winter jacket, then you could well be wearing it with just a baselayer underneath when it’s not completely freezing, in which case you’re not going to be able to carry many provisions.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.