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Verdict: 
The Rivelo Garsdale is a top softshell jacket, make no mistake
Weight: 
368g
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Rivelo Men’s Garsdale Jacket
9 10

The Rivelo Garsdale is one of the best performing softshell jackets on the market – its great waterproofing, breathability and quality features make it hard to ignore.

Let's get stuck in with the best feature of the Garsdale: its fabric. It's a premium blend from Swiss manufacturer Shoeller called C-Change softshell. It's right up there with the very best on the market. Water doesn't just bead off, it hits the jacket and almost bounces off. On a wet ride where the rain came and went on multiple occasions, the Garsdale kept me completely dry all day.

> Buy this online here

The C-Change fabric is also very breathable – in the order of industry standard Gore-Tex. Never once did I feel overly sweaty, and the cool fabric against my skin only helped to reassure me it was doing its job well. It helps that the C-Change fabric is a quick drying formula, because the jacket is able to work at peak efficiency soon after one shower has cleared and another has come in.

As well as being waterproof and breathable, the fabric is superbly windproof, doing without an internal fleece layer to allow the jacket to work as efficiently as possible. This was fine on all but sub-zero days, when I would opt for a long-sleeve merino baselayer instead of my usual lightweight sleeveless choice, to add that extra bit of warmth I felt I needed.

Rivelo Mens Garsdale Jacket - inside.jpg

Rivelo Mens Garsdale Jacket - inside.jpg

The Garsdale's technical fabric is backed up with great features. The three rear pockets are spacious, and the two additional zipped pockets – one on the rear, one on the breast, with YKK zips – are weatherproof, with no wind or water leaking through at any point. You can trust your valuables to them, that's for sure.

Rivelo Mens Garsdale Jacket - pocket.jpg
Rivelo Mens Garsdale Jacket - chest pocket.jpg

Cuffs are double layered, resulting in a nice seal between your skin and fabric and helping to reduce draughts up your arms. That doesn't mean there's nowhere for the warm air to go, though, because alongside the breathability of the fabric, the underside of the armpits feature laser-cut holes for extra thermal regulation.

My only criticism of the double-layered cuff is that it felt slightly high on my arm when I first pulled the jacket on, as if the sleeves were slightly too short in the medium, which fit perfectly elsewhere. However, this is an issue I often have with jackets, and I stopped noticing after a while because the outer cuff does extend slightly over the top.

Rivelo Mens Garsdale Jacket - riding.jpg

Rivelo Mens Garsdale Jacket - riding.jpg

Also, in fairness to Rivelo, it does say this is a performance-cut jacket and advises you to size up if you want more room or you sit between sizes; but it's the cut that really makes the Garsdale work so well in my opinion, so I'd recommend trying to stick to your normal size for best performance.

One thing to bear in mind is that unlike some softshells, such as Rapha's Classic, you can't really get away with wearing it as a casual garment off the bike – the cut is severe enough that I really think this is a bike-only deal.

Other useful design features include a tapered neckline for better insulation, and a long storm cover back to protect your rear from road spray. It also has small reflective logos scattered about for extra visibility on gloomier days or at night. The storm guard tail has a reflective Rivelo embossed in the centre, which to my mind is tasteful and stylish too.

Rivelo Mens Garsdale Jacket - back.jpg

Rivelo Mens Garsdale Jacket - back.jpg

The performance of the jacket from new is so good you'll want to look after it. Washing it on a delicate setting with a good technical wash and reproofer has kept the fabric working as new, while the shape has stayed the same.

This is also testament to the quality of the jacket's construction – I can see it lasting years without deteriorating under regular winter use, with the flatlock seams holding strong throughout all my testing.

> Check out our guide to the best winter cycling jackets here

I expected a garment of this quality to be expensive and I was right. Its RRP of £215 broadly matches it up with Rapha's Classic Softshell and equivalents from the likes of Castelli and Gore. It's a premium price, but this is a premium jacket with premium performance, so fair enough I think.

Having said that, online sports discount store Sport Pursuit currently features the Garsdale (and most of Rivelo's wider range) at a 53 per cent discount (£99.99), in both full black, and black and red colourways. It's a top softshell jacket at full price, but at that price it's an absolute steal.

Verdict

The Rivelo Garsdale is a top softshell jacket, make no mistake

road.cc test report

Make and model: Rivelo Men's Garsdale Jacket

Size tested: Medium, Black/Red

Tell us what the jacket 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?

Rivelo says: "[The Garsdale is] constructed from Swiss-made Schoeller C-Change fabric to offer a superior quality winter riding experience. water resistant, wind proof, breathable, versatile and suitable for all winter riding conditions. Understated design but loaded with technical and performance details. designed, tried and tested by cyclists, this jacket is ergonomically panelled for freedom of movement and the best fit possible whilst in the riding position."

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

Features:

- Premium, performance Schoeller C-change soft shell fabric - suitable for cold, wet or windy weather. depending on the conditions, breathability and heat retention increases or decreases giving you a stable body climate. click for more info on Schoeller Textiles

- 10,000mm waterproof rating

- Excellent breathability & quick drying properties

- Windproof, oil & dirt repellent

- Highly reflective Pixel panel in CB pocket, for low light visibility

- Four spacious back pockets including a water resistant & reflective YKK zip pocket for keeping your phone & valuables safe & dry

- Ergonomic panel construction gives the perfect fit whilst in the riding position

- Reflective details for added visibility

- Extra dropped hem panel at rear to protect from spray

- Double layered cuffs act as a seal against the elements

- Laser cut holes in underarm panels for extra breathability

- Waterproof YKK Aquaguard zip with Ri puller, zip garage & guard for protection

- Angled collar for comfort and weather protection

- No scratchy labels – care label is laser cut and bonded

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Flat seams and a great fabric; treat it well and this jacket isn't likely to fail on you.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
10/10

This is about as good a performing softshell jacket as I've ever worn.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
9/10

No reason to suspect it won't run and run, this one.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
9/10

Water beads off brilliantly, and washing it every three or four rides with technical wash seems to maintain it too.

Rate the jacket for breathability, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
9/10

Absolutely no boil-in-the-bag effect here – laser-cut holes boost the breathability rating on top of the great fabric.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
9/10

Great – my only minor criticisms are that you can't really wear it off the bike, and the sleeves are a touch baggy in relation to the rest of the jacket.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
8/10

Performance cut – Rivelo itself recommends sizing up if you don't like a tighter fit, so worth bearing in mind.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
8/10

A good balance struck – 368g isn't heavyweight at all, but it's not so light that you feel exposed.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
8/10

The double cuffs rode up slightly, but I do find this an issue sometimes when I wear slightly smaller cut garments.

Rate the jacket for value:
 
6/10

I have to mark it on its RRP, but I'd take that 'all the way up to 11' if I could take into account the current price it's available for online.

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Technical wash is certainly the best way to maintain the Garsdale. Stick to that to maintain your investment.

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

Brilliantly. It can deal with all wintry conditions bar sub-zero temperatures when worn on its own.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Fabric, cut, design, performance...

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

The double cuffs rode up slightly, and I don't think it fits that well off the bike (unlike some rivals).

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes – 100%, especially at the current available price.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 25  Height: 188cm  Weight: 83kg

I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport  My best bike is:

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: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding

4 comments

Avatar
nellybuck@msn.com [169 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Sorely tempted to get one of these, although the last thing I need currently is another jacket.

Available for £99 on Sport Pursuit, which is a bit of a bargain!

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [197 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

> The C-Change fabric is also very breathable – in the order of industry standard Gore-Tex.

Pretty much all formulations of Gore-Tex have very poor breathability (except perhaps their newest variation of Gore Active which was just released.)

Are there any breathability specs avaiblable for Schoeller c_change?

Avatar
Dicklexic [68 posts] 1 year ago
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I've had a couple of Rivelo jerseys since last year. A couple of months ago I also bought a pair of their winter bib tights and some bib shorts, although I haven't used the shorts yet. The quality is very good on all their kit, and I've been particularly impressed with the bib tights. They have a DWR coating on certain areas to repel water and they have proven very comfortable and warm throughout this horrid wet winter so far. The pad initially felt quite thin, but in fact is very comfortable and seems to have a spooky ability to filter out road vibration. I really don't need another jacket at the moment but this one would deffo be on my shortlist if I did.

Avatar
tigger.mike [5 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I've got one of these (Sport Pursuit) and it is a thing of beauty. Works very well with their tights when it gets miserable and it has been very miserable recently.

I went for the fit as the size chart recommeded (XL- 6'2" 97kg) and it's pretty much perfect. I'm sure when I hit race weight it might be a little less snug but I've never hit race weight in the last 5 years so I'm not that worried...

I've got the one with the black zip whick makes it a little more acceptable off the bike, but now I've got it I sort of wish I got the red one.