The Pinnacle Competition jacket is a robust garment suited for commuting in miserable weather. Compromises have, however, been made. Weatherproofing has come at the cost of breathability; the jacket may well have you turning up at work in quite a sweaty state.
Very weatherproof, will keep you warm and dry
Can be shaken dry and folded up small for easy storage at work
Complete lack of breathability
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Designed for the safety conscious commuter, the Pinnacle Competition jacket is meant to be a versatile jacket on and off the bike. It’s fair to say the design is somewhat utilitarian and embraces function over fashion. It’s available in either black or bright yellow, and both colourways feature reflective strips designed for maximum visibility.
The jacket packs up small, meaning it’ll fold into a drawer in your desk or your jersey pocket. The jacket is designed to be as waterproof as possible, meaning it’s not particularly breathable but is good for the wettest, coldest days. A number of factors go into a good winter jacket - we weigh these up in our guide to the best winter cycling jackets.
Pinnacle Competition Cycling Jacket: breathability and wicking
This jacket is not breathable and has no wicking capability. On freezing cold, wet winter days, that’s no issue at all. The majority of commuting and riding does involve some change in temperature, though, especially if your commute is on the longer side.
In these cases, you may find you'll struggle with the lack of breathability provided by the Pinnacle Competition Cycling Jacket and end up overheating on your commute.
The Pinnacle Competition Cycling Jacket will definitely keep you dry and probably keep you warm. During testing, no matter quite how inclement the weather, no conditions were able to overcome this jacket's waterproofing.
In the trade-off between breathability and weatherproofing, Pinnacle opted to make this jacket as waterproof as possible and the brand has roundly succeeded, with me staying dry even in heavy rain. The pockets are also waterproof, with protective rubber housing on the zips.
After a couple of washes, some minor wear and tear was seen on the seams where the arms attach to the torso but nothing major which can’t be solved with a pair of scissors with, seemingly, no threat of damage to the structural integrity of the jacket. Overall, the jacket is well made.
Comfort and fit
Away from the breathability issues, the Pinnacle is comfortable with no real rubbing on the neck line - but the fit isn’t brilliant. It is relaxed to allow the jacket to be worn over many layers - but I found it quite uncomplimentary. Generally, I wear a medium or a small and ordered a small from Pinnacle - yet it still seemed too big.
Pinnacle describes this as a jacket for commuters and it’s fair to say, anything more intense than a short commute will have this jacket out of its depth rather quickly. I cycled from the bottom of Southampton to the top and back (in terms of elevation) on my single speed commuter and found the way up rather unpleasant as I started to slowly cook.
On the way back, the jacket performed well - keeping me cool and protected against the cold night air on the way back from the pub. The jacket also has reflective strips on the sleeves which are fluorescent to help boost the visibility.
Value and conclusion
Priced at $60.00 / £79.99, the Pinnacle Competition Cycling Jacket isn’t breathable enough to justify the price tag with other, more breathable, options available - it's worth spending more.
There are much more expensive options such as Castelli Commuter Reflex Jacket ($239.99 / £280.00). The Altura Nightvision Electron jacket is very good for visibility, but is still considerably more expensive ($233.00 / £190.00).
You can often pick the Pinnacle Competition Cycling Jacket up for less than the RRP, with it being available to buy for £40 from Evans and Sports Direct at the time of writing - which I would judge to be more appropriate.
The jacket has reflective portions which keep you visible and it is sturdy enough for the worst of the winter with appropriate accompanying clothing but if you don’t have showers at work, you'll be better off investing in a more expensive cycling because you’ll likely be sweating a lot in this.
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Tom Epton is a freelance writer and data scientist. Originally training as a scientist after completing his studies in physics he realised that cycling was what he wanted to spend his life thinking about. Now he works with manufacturers, athletes and teams using cutting edge data science methods to find performance gains. Tom writes primarily about sport-science and tech!
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