'Shrink it and pink it' is the approach some manufacturers take towards women's cycle clothing. While the female version of the Polaris Aqualite is available in dark pink, it's not just a smaller gents: it has a women's specific cut that fits very well around the body. The back of the jacket is longer than the front and there's an elasticated hem, so there's no flapping fabric when you're on the move. The sleeves also have elasticated cuffs, although the more generous cut around the upper arms means there is a bit of flap here when riding into a headwind.
It's a pretty innovative idea, the Water off a Duck's Back Cycle Macintosh: a traditional style mac for wear on and off the bike. It won't feature on every woman's list of essential bike kit, but for those who like a more refined ride, take a stylish, unhurried approach, and above all want the ability to blend in when off the bike, it certainly has its niche.
Endura's versatile Convert ll jacket falls into the rare category of things you never thought you needed but which rapidly become indispensible once you've tried them.
I've never been convinced by clothing with bits that detach, reasoning that I'll probably never get round to actually putting them to full use and the two aspects will be compromised by being incorporated into a single garment. In the case of the Convert II I'm definitely wrong - it's brilliant.
It's an expensive choice but Pearl Izumi's Elite Barrier WxB waterproof is well made from high-quality fabrics - it really is an impressive piece of kit.
The Elite Barrier WxB is mostly made from a two-layer polyester/polyurethane fabric with the inside of the sleeves getting a third nylon layer. That makes a big difference if you have bare arms underneath the jacket; rather than feeling cold to the touch and slippery like the polyurethane, the nylon facing is warmer and much more pleasant on your skin.
Bontrager's Commuting Jacket raises the bar for three seasons street inspired performance clothing impressing in the saddle while cutting a dash around town. It does a great job whether lining up at the traffic light grand prix in Lycra, dropping by at the accountant or simply calling at a friend's for Sunday lunch. Style and practicality come close to top marks thanks to colour choice, discrete, yet plentiful pockets and razor sharp detailing.
Endura clothing has been around for almost 20 years, and is especially well-known in the mountain-bike world. The Equipe range is for road cycling, and unashamedly aimed at the higher end of the market. As part of this image, the Endura Equipe website makes much of the development of cycling garments for and by the Endura professional road racing team.
The first thing to bear in mind when reviewing a jacket called a Secco Condom is that there's no point in making any jokes about the name because they simply won't be funny. So we're not going to do that. Let's get that straight right from the start.
The P.R.O Softshell is intended to be a jacket for cold weather cycling use. As a softshell, it fits somewhere between being a totally weatherproof garment and a more breathable wind resistant one, but in this particular case, it's more towards the fully protective end of the spectrum.
This jacket doesn't offer the ultimate in waterproofing but it keeps you dry in most conditions and has the advantage of being hugely breathable. See it as an all-round jacket rather than as simply a rain jacket and it starts to justify its price tag.