With competitive cycling on the up in the UK at the moment it's not surprising that there are more kids being introduced to it as well. Peré as a brand concentrate on performance wear for children – for cycling, running and triathlon – and this is their children's windblock jacket. And it's very good.
Made from a roubaix-lined softshell material, the jacket is very nicely put together. The arms are nice and long, with storm cuffs to keep the chills out, and the bottom hem has an elasticated silicone gripper to stop the jacket riding up. There's a full-length zip to the front, and you're spoilt for pockets with three at the rear (a big one and two narrow ones) and two zippered ones in the front too. The green fabric will get you noticed in the day and there's printed reflectives on the rear too if you're out after dark.
I've got the 5-6-year-old size which is the smallest; 7-8 years, 9-10 years and 11-12 years are also available. It's a snug fit on Joel, who's big for a 6-year-old, so sizing is pretty good although kids vary enormously in height and build so a diminutive 5-year-old might get a bit lost in it. He found it very comfy to wear with the fleecy inside finish, and it kept him nice and warm on rides. It's not waterproof as such but it'll easily keep out drizzle and light rain for an hour or so. Peré also do a rain jacket if you're competitive enough to boot your kids out in bad weather for longer than that. If you get it covered in road muck you can bung it in the washing machine on a 30° cycle, so it's fairly easy to take care of.
All in all it's a very nicely put together top for kids who are looking to do a lot of cycling. It's a versatile jacket that should get a fair bit of use from Autumn to Spring; you can wear it on its own or layer up underneath. At £65 you'll only really be considering it if your offspring are properly committed; at the same kind of price as a budget adult softshell it's a fair investment although it's certainly not cheap. It's fair to say that you can get a kids' soft shell for a lot less, although cycling-specific ones are fairly thin on the ground, and you can pay more too. Given how quickly kids grow, you might want to buy on the large size. Tell them they'll grow into it. They love that.
Good quality kids' softshell for committed young riders.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Pere Childrens Windblock Thermo Cycle Jacket
Size tested: 5-6yr old, Green
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Durable winter windblock thermo softshell jacket.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Durable winter windblock thermo softshell cycle jacket.
Ergo fit for comfort in riding position
High cut collar .
Lock down zip pullers
Inner storm cuff
Gripper elastic on Hem
Reinforced deep back pockets
Highly reflective prints
Very nicely made from good fabric.
Really comfy and warm, good fit on the bike.
Material has resisted scuffs, easy to wash.
Fleece lining means it can be next to skin or with other layers.
Not cheap, but well made and should last.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fit, comfort, quality of construction.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
On the pricey side.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, if my kids wanted to pursue cycling.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium 853
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track