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.
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
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
Almost obsessive attention to detail. No compromises in material, embellishments, or stitching.
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.
It's a cotton jacket, so it's not light, but regulates heat better than most jackets a third of its weight.
Cotton comfort on skin. No labels or tags, well stitched lining all add to the comfort factor.
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.
About the tester
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