Home
Verdict: 
Great lightweight jacket for changeable conditions
Weight: 
125g
B’twin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket
8 10

The B'twin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket is a lightweight, compact model designed to keep you dry and comfortable in showery weather. I've remained temperate and generally arid for several hours a time on some very showery September saunters and faster-paced blasts.

It's made of a very thin, translucent, 100 per cent polyamide material designed to reveal club colours. The specification is very high, broadly on par with a couple I've used long term and costing almost three times as much. The fabric is claimed waterproof to 3000mm, or roughly three hours' worth of persistent precipitation.

> Find your nearest Decathlon store here

As you might expect, it's windproof too. Taped seams reinforce this assertion and ventilated panels (located discreetly around the armpits and shoulders) theoretically encourage moisture eviction, while keeping wet stuff from being funnelled inside on wet, blustery outings.

Btwin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket Grey - shoulders.jpg

Btwin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket Grey - shoulders.jpg

Does it all work? It certainly does. Overall performance has been excellent. A muggy though wet September, with temperatures typically climbing into the high teens, has confirmed it delivers in pretty much every respect.

To some extent, factors such as base/mid-layer and rider thermostat will play a part, but wicking is pretty seamless and, aside from some trace mistiness, I've never felt boiled in the bag, even after 40 minutes at full-pelt.

Btwin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket Grey - riding.jpg

Btwin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket Grey - riding.jpg

Despite being very thin, it does an excellent job of blocking wind blast. When the mercury slid to single figures, on midnight meanders at a decent tempo, I never felt chill. (And though thin, and a road garment through and through, some singletrack shenanigans on the crosser have failed to tax it.)

It's important to remember that jackets of this sort are designed to resist persistent showery rain, in this instance for around three hours. Provided a garment wicks rapidly, my preference is towards highly water resistant rather than truly impermeable. I've cruised along through intermittent heavy showers for two hours or so quite comfortably in the 900 Ultralight. Heavier rain will make it through the surface but a gentle breeze soon banishes any dampness. (Likewise, following a machine wash it's line dry in around 15-20 minutes.)

> Buyer's Guide: 20 of the best waterproof cycling jackets

Some users have suggested water can sneak in around the collar, which is sensibly proportioned but not fleece lined, so in some situations could permit water to creep inside. I've not experienced any bagginess (it's not me in the photos), which could result in problematic, incremental creep, even when hunkered low on the drops for longer periods, but then again my hair extends beyond the collar, which undoubtedly helps.

Btwin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket Grey - chest.jpg

Btwin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket Grey - chest.jpg

I found the overall cut and length of the jacket bang on: loose enough around the shoulders and for a couple of layers underneath, but close enough to minimise flutter. The tail was also just right, offering proper coverage for my lower back without gathering. Elasticated hem and cuffs are similarly reassuring.

he jacket folds into its own pocket, for stowing in your jersey when not required. This pocket makes a decent stash point for energy bars, small bunches of keys and smaller gizmos (it swallowed my super-zoom compact camera and waterproof case without any signs of indigestion, let alone ejection).

Btwin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket Grey - packed.jpg

Btwin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket Grey - packed.jpg

As expected, retro-reflective branding is sensibly distributed and just the right side of extrovert.

Btwin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket Grey - back.jpg

Btwin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket Grey - back.jpg

Zippers can be a weak spot at this price point, but here I've had no problems. The tag is of a decent size, too, easily commanded at speed should you want to regulate air-flow. As with most, it's a little remote in full-finger gloves, but looping a cable-tie through it solved the problem.

Conclusion

The 900 Ultralight does exactly what it promises, and continues the superstore brand's reputation for high-performing, wallet-friendly equipment. I've found it vastly superior to the Boardman men's packable jacket which commands similar cash, although my main problem was with the Boardman's cut/fit.

Verdict

Great lightweight jacket for changeable conditions

road.cc test report

Make and model: B'twin 900 Ultralight Showerproof Cycling Jacket

Size tested: Large

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?

B'twin says: "Designed for frequent cycling in showery weather thanks to it's stretch fabric with a 3000mm hydrostatic head rating.

"Both very light and compact it's a great product for roadies as it folds down easily into its pocket and fits in the back pocket of a jersey and due to it's semi transparent fabric your club colours will be visible.

"It has taped seams & is windproof and, thanks to the stretch fabric, it is quite fitted and worn close to the body. Extra ventilation reduces the build up of condensation."

I'd say it's a lightweight shell that offers decent protection from wind and heavy showers. It performs better than many, especially at this end of the market.

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

100% polyamide, taped seams, single pocket (folds into)retro-reflective graphics, elasticated sleeves.

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made and backed by a two-year warranty.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
8/10

Very good overall. Breathes better than others I've used at this price point too.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the jacket for waterproofing, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for breathability, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
8/10

Very good by genre standards and the thin material certainly helps.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
10/10

Bang on for me.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
10/10
Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the jacket for value:
 
8/10

Very good.

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

Very easy to live with. Pop in the machine at 30 degrees, minimal detergent. Line dry in 20 minutes.

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

It resists moderate to heavy rain remarkably well, while offering decent defence against surprisingly chill autumn blasts. Breathability is reasonably good thanks to rear venting and the thin material, and dropping the zipper provides some instantaneous relief in muggier conditions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Meets the design brief handsomely; well made and competitively priced.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Nothing, given the design brief and ticket price.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Definitely

Use this box to explain your score

It's a very capable garment that can be stowed in a pocket and flung on should the weather turn bandit; highly water resistant yet breathable, and superior to most I've used.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

37 comments

Avatar
Duncann [1138 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Sounds a great garment but I'd prefer brighter colours for times of poorer visibility.

Avatar
Jogle [8 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I bought one of these in July as I wanted something that packed up small for London-Edinburgh-London. I did worry that it would break or not be completely waterproof but it stood up very well. I didn't have any leaks from it and it's still in one piece despite being stuffed in bags or strapped to the front of my bike. It's a brilliant little coat for £35

Avatar
steveal50 [19 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Interesting.

Why do they make cycling clothing the same colour as tarmac?

Avatar
RMurphy195 [117 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
steveal50 wrote:

Interesting.

Why do they make cycling clothing the same colour as tarmac?

I suspect that these may be made in China or some other eastern country.

It isn't difficult to conclude that the powers-that-be in that part of the world have twigged the drive in Western countries to us more bicycles, which then leads to an idea that if they are invisible on he roads then many will be killed-off. It's all a plot, really, to de-populate the western world!

Avatar
Duncann [1138 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
RMurphy195 wrote:
steveal50 wrote:

Interesting.

Why do they make cycling clothing the same colour as tarmac?

I suspect that these may be made in China or some other eastern country.

It isn't difficult to conclude that the powers-that-be in that part of the world have twigged the drive in Western countries to us more bicycles, which then leads to an idea that if they are invisible on he roads then many will be killed-off. It's all a plot, really, to de-populate the western world!

That's interesting - some of our fellow commenters on another story are telling us there's a conspiracy to over-populate Europe.

Seems even on cycling websites you can't escape conspiracies!

Avatar
mtbtomo [246 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I bought one of these to replace the one that Endurance do (FS 260???). Half the price of the endura one and very nearly as good. A bit baggy on the sleeves but easier to get off as a result.

Avatar
Prosper0 [104 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
steveal50 wrote:

Interesting.

Why do they make cycling clothing the same colour as tarmac?

 

Umm. For the same reasons people make other clothes in other colours? 

Avatar
WashoutWheeler [81 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
steveal50 wrote:

Interesting.

Why do they make cycling clothing the same colour as tarmac?

It's so we don't clash when we crash!

Avatar
ClubSmed [422 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
steveal50 wrote:

Interesting.

Why do they make cycling clothing the same colour as tarmac?

Interesting.

Why do they make tarmac the same colour as cycle clothing?
(tarmac is also available in other colours)

On a serious note though, as a cyclist, I would want to be seen against the back drop of walls and bushes. Usually if the backdrop that I am against is the tarmac then it is too late. In most scenarios reflective qualities are more important for visibility, which this jacket does have.

Avatar
Duncann [1138 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
ClubSmed wrote:
steveal50 wrote:

Interesting.

Why do they make cycling clothing the same colour as tarmac?

Interesting.

Why do they make tarmac the same colour as cycle clothing?
(tarmac is also available in other colours)

On a serious note though, as a cyclist, I would want to be seen against the back drop of walls and bushes. Usually if the backdrop that I am against is the tarmac then it is too late. In most scenarios reflective qualities are more important for visibility, which this jacket does have.

Reflective is good in the dark when caught in lights. It's not much good in poor daylight.

I understant it's contrast with your surroundings that's key - in daylight that's more likely to be bright colours, in proper darkness then reflectiveness (and your own lighting) becomes more important.

Avatar
fenix [802 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Just seems a bit silly to do a rain jacket in black.  If its raining then chances are visibility isn't great.

A bit of colour on the jacket would help you stand out. Black is a no no.  Unless its dark in which caase its all about reflectives. 

Avatar
alansmurphy [1051 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

It just seems stupid to paint a car black, unless it's driving at night time at which point it's all about reflectives.

Avatar
Rich_cb [389 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
alansmurphy wrote:

It just seems stupid to paint a car black, unless it's driving at night time at which point it's all about reflectives.

I'm going to hazard a guess that you're being facetious but dark coloured cars do actually have significantly more accidents.

Avatar
Duncann [1138 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
alansmurphy wrote:

It just seems stupid to paint a car black, unless it's driving at night time at which point it's all about reflectives.

I see the point you're trying to make but they're not really the same, are they? Nothwithstanding that black cars do have more accidents (mightn't just be because of their colour) I would have thought that cars being much larger than cyclists are more likely to be visible anyway.

Regardless of size, many drivers appear more able to see cars because they are specifically looking for and expecting them. I've had plenty of experience of drivers looking straight at me and not registering my presence. Tends to be more in places where cyclists are scarcer:  what we see isn't just what is visible to our eyes, it's about how our brains anticipate and process it.

However, if you foolishly do drive a camouflaged car, it's good to know that you're much better protected in a collision than a cyclist. Risk appraisal isn't just about the likelihood of things happening - it's about the consequences if and when they do.

www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au/News/2007/Crash-Risk-Higher-for-Black-Cars

Avatar
fenix [802 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

My car is Black but as has been pointed out cars are much bigger and also has umpteen lights. Even daylight running lights.

It also goes at the speed of traffic so it's not constantly being overtaken and it pretty much fills the road. So completely unlike me on my bike.

Plus it's a Steel box with airbags. It's sturdier than me on a bike.

It's only a rain jacket. Why not have it bright ? Give me function over fashion any day.

Avatar
davel [1877 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

Excellent - another thread approaches self-flagellation regarding cyclists not being done up like Timmy Mallett at Christmas.

Who needs the Daily Mail.

Avatar
BarryBianchi [419 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I have one of these - it's crap.  Fm reception is dodgy at best - DAB isn't even fitted - and I tried it on some eggs for a soufflee and it was little short of a total disaster.  None of that was made clear to me when I bought it; very unimpressed.

Avatar
harragan [215 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
davel wrote:

done up like Timmy Mallett at Christmas.

laugh

Avatar
alansmurphy [1051 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

You're right, cars are much bigger and made of much more sturdy material. Which begs the question why are they allowed to be painted black as they're clearly less visible.

As for more lights, it depends how many lights it has and how many you put on your bike. I tend to commute with 5 to 6 rear facing lights.

If you don't like black jackets, don't buy them.

Avatar
ClubSmed [422 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

My bike is bright (hi-vis esque) green with reflective elements all over it, my helmet is also a matching colour as is my bag cover. This means that when I am on the bike there is plenty of contrasting colour to be seen. When I arrive and get off the bike and take my helmet and bag cover off I would like to be able to blend in with the rest of the populace so turn to more toned down colours like in the jacket above. 

Just because one element of your whole ensemble is a muted colour does not mean you are camouflaged or a ninja!

Avatar
kil0ran [557 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

The best thing about wearing black is the rage it generates from car drivers, usually in black Audis - despite the fact I'm running lights and both rack and guards are festooned with reflectives...

Avatar
fenix [802 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I doubt Audi drivers could care less about what jacket you're wearing. I've not had fashion tips from any of them. If they're annoyed by you it may be something else you're doing ?

I've been out on my bike and passed riders in grey jackets on foggy days without lights. Seems mad to me. Makes as much sense as camouflage kit in the country.

Avatar
BBB [461 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Any of the hi-viz nazis here wearing bright clothes when going to town? You know... in order not to blend with tarmac when crossing the street...

Avatar
Simboid [88 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Pretty sure hi-viz just makes me feel safer, same as daytime lights. I do it anyway but what actually saves me from people pulling out using peripheral vision only or just not looking at all is a loud "oi!" and a smack on the bonnet.

They generally 'didn't see you' because they didn't look.

Avatar
Duncann [1138 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
BBB wrote:

Any of the hi-viz nazis here wearing bright clothes when going to town? You know... in order not to blend with tarmac when crossing the street...

What is a "hi-viz nazi"? Am I one? Or who is?

Perhaps you're just keen to invoke Godwin's law?

I'm worried about how you cross the road. I tend to wait for a gap in the traffic so it doesn't really matter what I'm wearing or whether drivers see me. If there's no gap I use a crossing (the ones using hi-viz lights). 

Avatar
BarryBianchi [419 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
fenix wrote:

Makes as much sense as camouflage kit in the country.

Oh yeah? And how would you know?  I bet you've never even seem anyone wearing decent camoflage kit in the country.

Avatar
BBB [461 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
Duncann wrote:
BBB wrote:

Any of the hi-viz nazis here wearing bright clothes when going to town? You know... in order not to blend with tarmac when crossing the street...

What is a "hi-viz nazi"? Am I one? Or who is?

Perhaps you're just keen to invoke Godwin's law?

I'm worried about how you cross the road. I tend to wait for a gap in the traffic so it doesn't really matter what I'm wearing or whether drivers see me. If there's no gap I use a crossing (the ones using hi-viz lights).

"Nazis" (see the brackets here?) are opinionanted people who peristently impose their views and ways of doing things on others particularly on topics where evidence to support their claims either doesn't exist, is inconclusive or simply doesn't matter in a wider context.

 

 

 

 

Avatar
BarryBianchi [419 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
BBB wrote:

"Nazis" (see the brackets here?)

Ummm....

Avatar
Duncann [1138 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
BBB wrote:
Duncann wrote:
BBB wrote:

Any of the hi-viz nazis here wearing bright clothes when going to town? You know... in order not to blend with tarmac when crossing the street...

What is a "hi-viz nazi"? Am I one? Or who is?

Perhaps you're just keen to invoke Godwin's law?

I'm worried about how you cross the road. I tend to wait for a gap in the traffic so it doesn't really matter what I'm wearing or whether drivers see me. If there's no gap I use a crossing (the ones using hi-viz lights).

"Nazis" (see the brackets here?) are opinionanted people who peristently impose their views and ways of doing things on others particularly on topics where evidence to support their claims either doesn't exist, is inconclusive or simply doesn't matter in a wider context.

Phew, glad I don't fit your criteria for a Nazi (or "Nazi") since I haven't imposed my views or ways of doing things on others. Nor has anyone else here who has written in favour of hi-viz (or bright, contrasting colours in my own case). Nor have I called anyone a Nazi/"Nazi" or thrown up any strawmen about crossing the road.

I'm sure you aren't a Nazi but - on this thread, at least, where your contribution is insult and irrelevance - you are a troll.

Avatar
Duncann [1138 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
BarryBianchi wrote:
BBB wrote:

"Nazis" (see the brackets here?)

Ummm....

Sorry Brackets, I Didn't See You...?

Pages