The Rivelo Women's Larkstone Jacket oozes understated elegance, has some nifty features and does its job of weatherproofing you well. It's definitely one for the fashion-conscious rider. The cut is a slim fit, which is both flattering and prevents any billowing, and the Porelle Membrane fabric has a bit of stretch so it doesn't feel restrictive despite the close fit. It also has an attractive matt finish.
The Larkstone is very lightweight, being a single layer fabric with no lining, and it will fold down to fit in a jersey pocket should the sun come out. Despite its minimalism, this is a jacket designed for cold weather, as the cosy cuffs intimate. Wearing it on an unseasonably warm day in spring I overheated quickly. However, on cooler rides the breathability was on a par with most waterproof membranes. I always struggle with breathability and wasn't surprised to find some clamminess on the inside of the sleeves at the end of my 25-minute commute. The addition of some form of ventilation – pit zips, front mesh vents or ventilation holes – would be very welcome.
The nylon/elastane shell is windproof and, importantly, waterproof. During a prolonged heavy downpour initially the rain beaded well all over, although after 10 minutes or so it did appear to soak in to the fabric on the lower sleeves, where water tends to pool in the creases. The hydrophobic finish meant that once I got home and gave it a good shake, the exterior of the jacket was all but dry. Seams are taped internally throughout plus externally on the sleeves to prevent any water ingress.
As you'd expect the jacket has a dropped hem at the rear with a contrast horizontal red panel for daytime visibility. It is a good length and comes right down over your derriere, to protect your backside from road spray. The elasticated hem helps keep it in place, although silicone gripper might be more effective. The raglan sleeves are plenty long enough and feature a broad internal Lycra cuff, which feels nice and cosy and keeps the sleeves firmly in place. This is great for colder days and the outer cuff extends over glove cuffs, as long as they're not overly thick.
Another clever feature is the lower back vents which allow you to reach through to access the contents of your jersey pockets. The jacket also has its own spacious central rear pocket with a vertical reflective panel that's super bright. There are also two reflective tabs at the rear as well as a partially reflective logo on the shoulder and, interestingly, on the inner zip storm flap where it won't be seen if the zip is done up. A small pocket on the front right is just big enough for a couple of energy gels and keys, and has a waterproof zip.
The main zip, in a contrasting red, is also waterproof and has a big enough pull to easily operate when wearing winter gloves. A zip garage prevents any snagging on your neck. The collar is lined with a soft microfleece and has a distinctive notch at the back. Rivelo says this is for 'comfort and weather protection' but I failed to see how the notch enhances this. It was amply comfortable although my personal preference is for a higher cut collar, especially at the front of the neck where this was quite low. The absence of a drawcord means you can't cinch it in.
Aside from minor quibbles – I would prefer the jacket in a more visible colour and with more reflective detail, plus ventilation features to improve breathability – the Larkstone is a jacket with both style and substance.
Minimalist, stylish waterproof jacket with a quality feel for cold weather rides
road.cc test report
Make and model: Rivelo Women's Larkstone Jacket
Size tested: Medium, navy/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: "Premium wind and rain cycling jacket, made using British Porelle Dry membrane to offer superior protection against the elements, but folds down small enough to fit in your pocket. Understated design but loaded with technical and performance details. Designed, tried and tested by female cyclists, with reflective design features for extra visibility."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
* British Porelle Dry membrane fabric - windproof, microporus and breathable
* 15,000mm waterproof rating
* Fully taped seams
* Stretch fabric - 82% nylon / 18% elastane
* Lightweight and packable
* Highly reflective Pixel panel in rear pocket
* Front waterproof zip pocket
* Back vents
* Reflective details
* Dropped tail
* Double layered cuffs
* Waterproof YKK Aquaguard zip with Ri puller, zip garage and guard
* Angled collar for comfort and weather protection
* No scratchy labels – care label is laser cut and bonded
* Performance fit
Fine attention to detail and finishing.
Size up if you want to fit thicker layers or full jersey pockets below it.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Machine wash 30 degrees.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The cut and quality feel.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
My bugbear with most jackets - not really breathable enough for me.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? No – I prefer something more visible for the road.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
This is a quality piece of clothing but a few niggles make it very good rather than exceptional.
About the tester
I usually ride: Marin Point Reyes 29er My best bike is: Giant Anthem X1
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Audax