The Coral 2.0 Windproof Winter Jacket is Santini's offering of an outer layer for very cold days. I didn't find it substantial enough for the lower end of the suggested temperature range, but it certainly offers excellent breathability and has a genuine women-specific cut.
- Pros: Warmth without bulk, practically positioned zip pocket
- Cons: Short in arm length and body, rear pockets sit too high
The Coral 2.0 jacket is a step up in protection from the recently reviewed Coral 2.0 jersey, and is marketed as being warmer but also boasts some other decent features that the jersey doesn't offer. To start with, it's colourful where it really matters – on the rear. This orange model on test is really bold and sure to get you seen, which is handy as in terms of reflectives there's only one single, small, central vertical strip over the pocket area. There are also blue and purple ('water' and 'violet') options too.
The three roomy rear pockets stretch well to accommodate bulky inner tubes, a mini pump, cool tool and stacks of food. Unfortunately they sit too high up; getting into them while riding, even sat upright off the bar, is a struggle.
There is a fourth, zipped, pocket situated on the left side of the jacket, like you'd find on a non-cycling top. It's brilliant for keys and money; I was thankful that I didn't have to try to retrieve these things from the depths of the awkward rear pockets.
The jacket is made up of varying thicknesses of Gore Windstopper Fuga fabric which, as the name suggests, has superb wind-stopping properties. The rear panel has a percentage of elastane added to it, and although it has the same fleecy lining as elsewhere, it's much thinner and stretches a lot more.
There are also dimpled panels that sit just below the collarbone. They don't reach under the arms but seem to be there to promote airflow to the armpits.
All of these panels and fabrics are cut and constructed to give a really snug fit. As Santini says, it's 'anatomically designed for the female form, a tight fit is assured.' As it's so stretchy, the jacket really does mould to and hug your body shape, with no flapping or loose material. Even when down on the drops there is minimal bagginess.
For me, the jacket came up a bit short in the torso and arms, and consequently didn't offer the protection here that I would expect from a winter jacket. The sleeves were an issue if combined with gloves that were also on the short side, leaving skin exposed. They are also very tight around the forearm and cuff; hold onto to your undervest when you pull the jersey on otherwise it'll be halfway up your arm.
The base of the jacket has really effective jacquard (elastic band in simple terms) to hold it in place when riding. I thought if I pulled it down hard enough it might stretch and hold the jacket down to cover my lower back, but no such luck. The jacket is noticeably stretchy, and hasn't lost any of its elasticity during the test period.
Santini cites a temperature range for the jacket of -8 to +5 on its website, but watch its 'how to dress for Winter' video and it gets a 0-10°C rating. The latter is much more realistic, though still a little optimistic. In temperatures of 2-3°C I was just warm enough. It was noticeable how quickly I cooled off if I did take my foot off the gas, or stop for a mechanical.
I'm convinced this was down to the thinner back panel that promotes airflow and breathability. It does indeed allow you to breathe – I never once felt sweaty or too hot – but it isn't as warm as some winter jackets I've used, such as Sportful's Luna Softshell Jacket. It seems like warmth has been sacrificed for breathability. Its stretchy nature does mean it is easy to layer up under it, though. I would put its optimal range at 3-10°C.
On a positive note, it's great in damp conditions. Water beads up on the fabric and rolls off. Yes, persistent rain will begin to penetrate, but the Gore fabric comes into play and I felt no wind chill.
Overall, the Coral 2.0 Jacket is packed with positives: it's windproof, water resistant, exceptionally breathable, a bold design and a super cut. If the short body and sleeves suit you, its £134.99 price tag looks decent value. Its technical performance certainly outweighs the high pocket issue that I had.
Good performance in wintry weather, with a very feminine race cut, just don't believe the claimed temperature range
road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Womens Coral 2.0 Winter Jacket
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the jacket is for
Santini says this jacket 'keeps the wind out while maintaining breathability,' and is 'designed to keep you riding no matter the weather.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Fit - The slim fit cut of the jacket is anatomically designed for the female form, along with the mix of fabrics chosen, making it literally fit like a glove. Elastic Jacquard at the base of the jacket keeps it in place while you're on the move.
Performance - Warm and breathable Windstopper Fuga material was chosen to keep you riding no matter the weather. The back features reflective details for added road visibility. Added side pocket to safely store your valuables.
Comfort - The Windstopper fabric has exceptional thermal balance properties. The membrane keeps the wind out while maintaining breathability.
Durability - The fabrics selected have optimal elastic memory that keeps the garment fitting snug every time, just like the first time you ever put it on. Each garment undergoes vigorous quality controls and is made in Italy by our highly skilled staff.
Very neat with plenty of shaping for a female figure. The cuff construction is possibly over-complicated, but it does look good.
It performed well, just not in the temperature range of -8 to +5°C that Santini suggests; add at least 6 degrees to that lower limit if you are warm blooded. Breathability is excellent.
It's not waterproof but it is water repellent.
Short in the body and sleeve length, and tight on the forearms. It won't be an issue for everyone, but it was for me.
Sized up smaller than expected.
Not the cheapest out there, but the performance is good, particularly the breathability.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Standard 30 degree wash. Dries quickly and doesn't lose its shape or elasticity.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
In cold but not freezing conditions it performs well, regulating body temperature when riding, keeping out wintry winds and repelling light rain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Decent insulation without excessive bulk. A really feminine cut. Bright colour of the version I tested.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
High pockets. Short in length on torso and arms.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes, in temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees.
Would you consider buying the jacket? Unlikely, it's too short in the body and arm for me.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes, a petite one.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Technical features are great and it's a really well constructed jacket, with excellent breathability. For me it was too short in the body and sleeve length, and the rear pockets positioned too high. Overall, though, if it fits you it's a good choice for cold if not freezing days.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…