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Verdict: 
A winter jacket without any sort of water resistance, but it has its uses
Weight: 
413g
Contact: 
Alé PRR Camo Winter Jacket
7 10

Alé's PRR kit has proved itself high quality and comfortable in the past, and the Winter jacket scores on both those counts, but it's not without a flaw. To my mind, a jacket designed for cycling should at least be capable of protecting you from a light shower, and the PRR Camo Winter Jacket really can't.

Instead of repelling water – any amount of it – it readily absorbs it into the fabric, with a quick transition into the interior where it wets any jersey or baselayer you happen to be wearing. My first ride in the jacket (teamed with the matching PRR bib tights I was also testing) included a shower or two, bringing the lack of water resistance clearly to the fore.

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Now, let's be clear: Alé doesn't actually claim any water resistance – which makes my water resistance rating, measured against the manufacturer's rating – of which there isn't one at all – a little tricky (I've gone for a neutral 'average'), but it does beg the question: why couldn't there be at least a DWR treatment of some kind, especially considering the £180 asking price?

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - riding.jpg

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - riding.jpg

It's not exactly lightweight, either – although this does have significant benefits in the way it shuts out the wind on the front and the arms – the density of fabric in tandem with the Roubaix lining takes care of everything. Breathability is also decent, as long as you use it in genuinely cold weather, with an anatomical cut teamed with lighter rear-facing arm and back panels to allow heat to escape.

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - shoulders.jpg

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - shoulders.jpg

That anatomical cut extends to the elasticated hem and asymmetrical cuffs that overlap just enough when teamed with gloves. In fact, it's so anatomical that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was, in fact, a long-sleeve winter jersey.

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - cuff.jpg

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - cuff.jpg

The chief aim of the garment seems to be its thermal capabilities. At this, it's genuinely hard to fault – the quality zips don't let draughts through, with the aforementioned cut taking care of the rest to insulate you in its Roubaix fleece-lined bubble. From this point of view, it's great.

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - vent.jpg

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - vent.jpg

The finer points are reasonably well taken care of too: three medium sized pockets on the rear (though no zipped compartment) swallow most of your spares and food, and the zip features an extra wind guard that doubles as a chin guard at the top of the neckline – ideal for the slim fit when the zip is pulled all the way up.

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - chest.jpg

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - chest.jpg

Also, the jacket's quality – as with all Alé kit I've used of late – is impressive. It's continued to last and feel like a decent cold weather top layer for the past four weeks, and has maintained its anatomical fit despite a couple of warmer washes.

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - back.jpg

Ale PRR Camo Winter Jacket - back.jpg

As a result, the Alé PRR jacket has me in two minds. On the one hand – and fundamentally – it's a great-fitting, warm, thermal jacket that can deal with cold, dry conditions and works brilliantly with the matching PRR bib tights. They make a great, if expensive, pairing in those conditions. On the other, it's really too warm to wear in mild winter weather, and not even slightly water resistant – disappointing in my view for what claims to be a 'jacket', especially a Winter one.

> Buyer's Guide: The best winter cycling jackets

I know this will polarise opinion, but what I conclude is this: if what you want is a pure thermal outer layer, you can do much, much worse than this. If you expect a jacket to be truly weather resistant, then you'd be better served looking at a garment that isn't flummoxed by water.

Verdict

A winter jacket without any sort of water resistance, but it has its uses

road.cc test report

Make and model: Alé PRR Camo Winter Jacket

Size tested: Medium

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?

Alé (Paligap) says: "This functional jacket is the ideal garment for a use in medium cold temperatures from 4° to 10° for high intensity training activities where it's important to have thermal protection as well."

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

Features:

- 3 cargo pockets to safely store personal valuables and belongings.

- Full zipper with protective flap.

- Specific anatomic construction with a halfmoon like shape on the back of the collar in order to grant an airtight closure that protects from the wind without constraint once on the bike.

- J-Stability System on the front waist to keep the jacket in place.

- Double anatomic cuffs.

- Security Reflex: back reflective details to improve safety in poor visibility conditions.

- Zippered openings on the sides when you need to increase the airflow and the elimination of humidity.

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
9/10

It feels heavy, but hardwearing. Ideal for winter in many respects.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
7/10

Definitely keeps you warm, which is the aim. No water resistance though.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
8/10

Beefy construction suggests hardiness.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
5/10

Absolutely no waterproofing whatsoever, but it should be noted Alé doesn't claim any.

Rate the jacket for breathability, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
8/10

If worn without too many other layers, you can pretty easily regulate your temperature. I liked to wear it with a long-sleeve baselayer only for maximum effectiveness.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
9/10

The slim cut suggests high tempo riding is at the heart of the jacket's purpose. It's very comfortable all round.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
7/10

A medium fitted, and I'm usually a split between a medium and large in general.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
5/10

A real heavyweight at 413g – I've worn much lighter jackets with similar thermal properties that feature Primaloft insulation instead, for example.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
8/10

The slim cut may not appeal to all, but the fleece lining inside was comfortable, with the anatomical cut boosting comfort further.

Rate the jacket for value:
 
5/10

£180 for a jacket that has no water resistance at all...

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

Very easily, it washes out dirt and grime on a delicate wash. It will stand up to a 40-degree wash and faster spin if really soiled.

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

When used for its designed purpose (cold, dry weather), it's a decent-to-good item.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Flashy design, fit, comfort.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

No water resistance, price.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? When teamed with the matching bib tights, yes.

Would you consider buying the jacket? No, not at the £180 asking price.

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Possibly, if they wanted a specific jacket only to wear in the dry, and their other (potentially water-resistant) jackets were unsuitable.

Use this box to explain your score

Overall, in line with its claimed aim, this jacket is a decent-performing garment, no question. But the lack of water resistance to deal with unforeseen showers, road spray or splashback means it's not the most versatile, or best value.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 188cm  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL (2016)  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 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

9 comments

Avatar
Valbrona [187 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes

Even with yellow lettering this camo pattern clothing will go some way to help break the outline of a cyclist riding along a road in a wooded area, or along a road with hedgerows. But not as bad as all-black clothing the same colour as wet asphalt.

Why make yourself harder to see while riding a bike?

Avatar
hawkinspeter [674 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

Winter jacket that's not waterproof? I don't see it, myself.

Avatar
brooksby [2227 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

Winter jacket that's not waterproof? I don't see it, myself.

Maybe if you're riding on studded tyres in the very far North or the very far South, where its hellishly cold but doesn't rain...? But not in winter in the UK.

 

Avatar
Butty [189 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Its for sneaky attacks that you don't see coming.....

Avatar
Herbert Hamster [3 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes

A camouflage winter cycling outfit with a good review - I have seen it all now. First the 30 quid hex keys and now this. What next - hydrodynamic chain lubricant?

Avatar
bendertherobot [1414 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Once upon a time a lot of winter jackets were lacking in weather protection and we put jackets on if it rained. We've moved on. But that's not to say that there's anything wrong with a dry weather, warm jacket. You pays your money etc.

I have a different Ale jacket, the Arcobaleno. Good warm jacket, no real rain protection. But, as a tempo jacket, it's very good. I have other jackets for more inclement days. The main point here is that Ale don't claim that protection but it's quite right, because of how we expect kit to be now, to test those (lack of) features.

Avatar
MNgraveur [90 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

Here in a rural part of the States, this jacket would be a very, very bad idea for several months of the year.

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [493 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:

Winter jacket that's not waterproof? I don't see it, myself.

Maybe if you're riding on studded tyres in the very far North or the very far South, where its hellishly cold but doesn't rain...? But not in winter in the UK.

 

I honestly cannot remember the last time it rained this winter!  We've had everything else though. Seems this jacket would actually be ideal for our winters.

Avatar
bendertherobot [1414 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

I expect road.cc to publish their review of the Lusso Extreme Repel shortly. Now, that's a winter jacket.