Brutal racing, cobbles, wind and driving rain characterised Lars Boom’s epic win on stage five of the 2014 Tour de France. His garment of choice for these conditions? The Santini Reef Rain Jersey.
The Santini Reef Rain Jersey was developed alongside the Belkin team. In terms of protection, this lengthy development process has clearly been worthwhile.
Santini claims that the Reef Rain is designed to be worn over a long-sleeve winter jersey or short-sleeve jersey with arm-warmers. However, we were more than comfortable while wearing a light base layer and arm-warmers — even while riding in wind and rain, at the bottom of the jersey’s suggested 8-15ºC temperature range.
Its wet-weather protection is among the best that have been tested recently, and we stayed dry through lengthy rides in persistent rain — helped by the waterproof front zip, high collar, and sizeable bum flap. Reflective trim along the bottom and rear is a nice touch, making the Reef Rain a good choice for dark, miserable mornings.
We have only two complaints about the Santini: firstly, the fit could be improved, as the front of the jersey hung a little loose, especially when riding on the drops. This is probably to allow for bulkier layers underneath, but for a jersey with a claimed “aerodynamic fit” it’s disappointing.
Secondly there are only two rear pockets, which, though generously sized, don’t carry cargo in a balanced way; heavier items such as phones and wallets inevitably fall to one side, pulling down the rear of the jersey.
A great jersey that will give you confidence ahead of bad weather. A couple of flaws prevent the Reef from scoring full marks.