Vulpine Women's Harrington Rain Jacket  £195.00

8/10

Supreme breathability, comfort, and weather-beating performance in a casual jacket that is entirely at home off the bike too

Weight 592g   Contact  www.vulpine.cc

by oddbydefault   June 24, 2014  

The quality of workmanship really shows in Vulpine's kit, which oozes attention to detail in both design and manufacture. The Harrington Jacket is no different; think of it as a high performing all weather guardian in the guise of high quality classic British tailoring.

Available in Indigo (tested) and Sahara, both with contrast green over-seam piping, this is Vulpine's female-specific cut of the incredibly popular original Harrington.

The jacket feels like cotton to the touch, because that's exactly what it is. This is special stuff though: if you haven't heard of Epic Cotton yet, it's a key component to making Vulpine's jackets not just well tailored and good looking, but performance wear. A microscopic layer of silicone coats each strand in the woven material, which gives garments cut from it a permanent stain and water resistance and durability whilst retaining the breathability of cotton. Vulpine make both the Harrington Jacket and the previously reviewed Original Rain Jacket out of the magic material.

Side by side, the Harrington is more casual than Vulpine's other similar offering, the Original Rain Jacket, which has more obvious cycling specific features. This definitely doesn't detract from the Harrington's usability on the bike though.

Reflective highlights on the waist adjusting darts will barely register with work colleagues, but give great visibility at night. There's a reflective loop on the rear pocket for attaching a light as well.

Well integrated features ensure this particular Harrington jacket is really made to be worn when riding: a lightly dropped hem, longer arms, and scalloped cuffs all helps with coverage. The mesh lined air vent at the back is cleverly disguised into the design yet provides ample ventilation without rain ingress.

A particularly nice feature is the rear pocket located on the right hand side. This is perfectly positioned (if you're not left-handed) for quick access to a phone, cash, tickets or keys, made even easier by a magnetic closure - also used to pleasing effect in the collar. Anything to be tucked away for longer can be put in the front left breast pocket, with its beautifully integrated single button closure.

In terms of tailoring, the Harrington forgoes the internal elastic adjustors in the Original Rain Jacket in favour of simple adjusting darts at the rear, which can be fastened at two widths. Multiplannelling and good tailoring do make it a proper women's fit, although I would have appreciated a slightly more generous cut over the hips, especially with the darts allowing adjustability there.

The Harringon has nice deep pockets on the front with reverse coil water resistant zips and heavy duty, easy to grab large toggles. There's vast internal storage too, as the outer pocket fabric doubles up as inner breast pockets. This can be quite useful for flat lightweight items, but I didn't much enjoy riding around as I find it pulls the jacket down when leaning over the bars. They do work a treat off the bike though.

The comfort and breathability of Epic Cotton translates directly to amazing next-to-skin wearability. This makes it pretty unique in terms of waterproof fabrics. I've been impressed with the material's windproof properties too. The Harrington becomes an obvious choice when the weather looks unpredictable for a trip into town or on the commute. It's hilly round here, and I have been amazed at my newfound ability to climb comfortably in a reasonably heavyweight waterproof jacket.

It's not entirely immune to the elements though, as the seams aren't taped (Vulpine say this is to keep it as breathable as possible). I've noticed water ingress by the arm seams in the after spells of riding through heavy rain.

Water keeps beading off through light drizzle though, and it's really brilliant for changeable spring weather. The appeal lasts all year by adding a good base layer to make the Harrington jacket into a stylish and practical autumn and winter outer. Mud comes off easily too: the jacket washes really well, emerging from a 40-degree cycle vibrant, clean, and without loss of shape. A warm tumbledry is advised to 'reactivate' the Epic finish.

Verdict

Supreme breathability, comfort, and weather-beating performance in a casual jacket that is entirely at home off the bike too

road.cc test report

Make and model: Vulpine Womens Harrington Rain Jacket

Size tested: Medium Indigo

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?

The Harrington jacket is a modern British classic, and we've created our own for cycling. Handmade from rainproof, windproof, stain-proof Epic Cotton, with our now famous attention to detail.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Super high-end breathable Epic Cotton™

Water, wind and stain resistant

Magnetic neck & pocket closures

V-stiched button closure chest pocket

Styled rear air vent

Waterproof zips

Large inner front storage pockets

Rear button waist adjusters with integrated reflectivity

Rear reflective light loop

Fleeve lined cuffs

Lined inner seams

No scratchy labels

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

Almost obsessive attention to detail. No compromises in material, embellishments, or stitching.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

As good as new after several washes, scrapes on walls, and general heavy wearing. The stitching is solid, the zips are top quality, and there's virtually no worry that anything will rip, break, or wear out.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

It's a cotton jacket, so it's not light, but regulates heat better than most jackets a third of its weight.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10

Cotton comfort on skin. No labels or tags, well stitched lining all add to the comfort factor.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Yes, it's expensive. A Fred Perry Harrington will put you out ~£100. A jacket with equivalent weather resistance will put you back at £50 minimum. To combine this in an original design is that will last a very long time adds some value. It really is an investment piece that can be worn in so many situations both on and off the bike and throughout the year that it may very well pay for itself.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

I was extremely comfortable over a huge range of situations on and off the bike; varying weather and temperatures, social events, commutes, and general riding.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Little reflective touches, magnetic rear closures, especially on the excellent rear pocket, and general quality feel of the jacket.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? I'd jump on it in a sale.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 170cm  Weight:

I usually ride: Sabbath September  My best bike is: Van Nicholas Mistral for summer

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, audax

 

3 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

A women's specific fit that fails to take into account both women's bust and hips.. While being totally shapeless around the waist.

Not sure it's long enough at the back when on a bike TBH, would like to see a picture of that.

Fixie Girl's picture

posted by Fixie Girl [124 posts]
24th June 2014 - 20:32

14 Likes

I guess the suitability of the length at the back will depend to some degree on whether one has a long, average or (like me) a short torso.

That said, manufacturers should take that variability into account.

I get the impression that Vulpine only really cater for 'average' sized cyclists.

posted by Kadenz [48 posts]
25th June 2014 - 21:18

8 Likes

Looks like my Nan has been taking pics for Road.cc. She always managed to crop the heads out of photos Laughing Surely TB is worthy of a better photo?

Redvee's picture

posted by Redvee [89 posts]
25th June 2014 - 23:09

7 Likes

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