Nalini Nespolo jacket  £99.99

7/10

High quality, very effective lightweight windproof... but you can get almost as good much cheaper

Weight 113g   Contact  www.chickencyclekit.co.uk

by Mat Brett   June 9, 2011  

This lightweight windproof packs down small enough to fit into a jersey pocket and makes a massive difference to your body temperature when you need to keep the cool air out.

The main fabric is a really skinny polyester that blocks the wind almost totally. It's actually made from recycled bottles, if you want to give your green credentials a bit of a boost. It's okay, they wash them first. The fabric has an 'anti-droplet' treatment. It's not waterproof but, for example, I've just got back from a ride where it drizzled on and off for a couple of minutes or so at a time, and I didn't get wet.

It's a fairly breathable fabric too and you get little mesh panels in the armpits for ventilation. To be honest, though, it's easy enough to just take the jacket off and sling it in a rear pocket as soon as you start getting too warm.

The Nespolo comes in a racing cut so it fits close to the body without too much flapping when you head downhill. It's not a stretchy fabric though, which might be worth bearing in mind if you fancy using this year-round and want to fit an extra layer underneath in the colder weather. Being Italian, the sizing is pretty small so you'll probably want to go up a size anyway; I usually take a medium or large, but the XL fitted me fine. The UK distributor, Chicken Cycles, have a size chart you can check.

The collar is high and both the waist and the cuffs are elasticated to stop any breezes getting in. There's a flap over the high-quality YKK front zip too that prevents the wind whistling through there.

The only other feature to note is the zipped pocket in the lower back that's big enough for a spare tube, mini pump and so on. It comes with an easy-to-grab puller and doubles up as a house for the jacket itself. Packed down it measures - where's the road.cc ruler? - 13cm x 16cm x 5cm. And that's not tightly packed. Fold it in half and it goes in any jersey pocket easy peasy.

The classic use for a top like this is for riding in the mountains. Head to the Alps, Pyrenees or Dolomites in the summer and you boil as you're working hard on the climbs, then get chilled to the bone as the wind whistles through your damp clothing on a 20-minute descent.

You don't have to be heading to the Continent for a jacket like this to come in useful though. It's just as useful in changeable British weather especially if, like me, you're cold blooded and can't function properly when the sun goes behind a cloud.

The only problem is the price. Granted, this is a good example of the lightweight windproof genre. Good fabric, good zip and all the rest of it. But 100 quid? That's too much for the likes of me.

Verdict

High quality, very effective lightweight windproof... but you can get almost as good much cheaper

road.cc test report

Make and model: Nalini Nespolo jacket

Size tested: Black XL

Tell us what the product 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?

It's for anyone, I guess, but the cut and the weight mean it's aimed more at performance-type riders.

 

Windproof jacket ultralight

- Jacket folds into internal pocket

- Anti-droplet treatment

- Cam-block zipper

- Breathable mesh insert

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Spot on with a good YKK zip.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

It does a superb job of keeping cold air out

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

So far, so good. But no ultralight fabric like this is built to handle too much abuse.

A label inside says, "Please wear it before putting rings, bracelets and watches on to avoid damages. We will not consider any complaint coming from external reasons, back sacks, saddles, Velcro closures, torn yarns".

It seems durable enough for this type of lightweight windproof... but none of them are particularly durable compared to a heavier weight windproof.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10

Very light. You hardly notice the weight in your pocket when you're carrying it.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

This is probably the best lightweight windproof I've used... but it's still only marginally better than one costing much less. Pay £70 or even £50 and you can get something that's just as windproof and just as lightweight. There's just not much of a performance gain to be had by spending more in this particular area, in my opinion.

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

Great job

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Keeps the wind out and stuffs down really small when not in use - just what you want.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The price.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yep, definitely.

Would you consider buying the product? Nope, too pricey

Would you recommend the product to a friend? As above, really,

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 190cm  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

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: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,

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