Polaris Windshear jacket review

A nice warm winter jacket but lacks breathability

Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Polaris Windshear jacket is a very warm winter jacket especially when you consider the price tag, although this warmth does come at the expense of breathability

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Impressively warm

  • +

    Nice details

  • +

    Decent value

  • +

    Plenty of storage

  • +

    Reflective details

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not very breathable

  • -

    Fit could be better

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If you’re looking to stay warm over the winter without breaking the bank then the Polaris Windshear jacket looks like an attractive option.

This jacket has a pretty typical design for a windproof winter jacket. The front panel is made from a windproof fabric (all of the bit in blue), while the side are rear panels are made from a thermastretch fabric that provides insulation while also being stretchy enough to give a half decent fit. The inside of the jacket is made from a brushed fleece for added comfort and insulation.

These are the fundermentals that make up the best best winter cycling jackets, so it's worth visiting our buyers guide for our currently recommendations. 

Polaris Windshear jacket rear

The rear panel of the Polaris Windshear jacket offers plenty of stretch, but not much breathability

All of this means that the Polaris Windshear jacket is impressively warm. The windproof front panel does an excellent job of keeping you protected from that cold north-easterly, and there’s enough insulation to keep you warm down to about freezing if you’ve got a jersey and half-decent baselayer underneath.

>>> Buyer's guide to the best winter jackets

Other little details on the Polaris Windshear jacket help to contribute to this warmth. There’s a nice high neck to stop the wind blowing down your front, and there are loops to put your thumbs through at the end of the sleeves, meaning you can pull gloves on over the top and prevent cold air making its way up your sleeves.

How to dress for winter riding

However although there’s no doubting the fact that this jacket is impressively warm (especially giving the price) it does fall a little short in other areas.

Most notably, the Polaris Windshear jacket is far from the most breathable jacket out there. This is fine if you’re commuting or just taking it easy on your long steady winter miles, but if you’re putting in any extended efforts then you’ll quickly find yourself overheating and sweating profusely.

>>> Seven tips to get your bike ready for winter

The fit also leaves a little to be desired. If you’re after a slim-fitting winter jacket, then this is not it. There is quite a bit of excess material on the body when you’re leant over on the drops, but at least this will give you a bit of room for an extra slice of cake at the cafe stop. Strangely I found that there wasn’t enough material on the arms, and when using the thumb loops the sleeves tended to stretch.

>>> 15 reasons why cycling in the winter is great

What is hard to fault is the amount of storage on offer. There are four rear pockets: two open, one zipped for valubles, and one closed using Velcro, which mean that there’s plenty of space for all the essentials that you’ll need to take on those long, cold winter rides.

Finally for riding and commuting in the dark, there’s a good smattering of reflective details across the back, arms, and shoulders, which should hopefully keep you more visible at night.

For more details visit the Polaris website (opens in new tab).

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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 pr