Great winter jacket for on or off the bike, but the price tag might send a shiver up your spine
Weight: 472g Contact: www.i-ride.co.uk
The Normandie jacket is part of Campagnolo's 'Heritage Collection' which according to the Italian cycling deities is their range of clothing for the perfect harmony between past and future, tradition and innovation, the cyclist, the bike and his surroundings. Despite all that it's a very simple jacket, in essence it's just an extremely technical fleece unembarrassed by a glut of features; pockets are limited to two zipped front ones that are large enough to stuff chilly hands in when casually strolling about town, or for putting lock-keys and gloves in. And that's it, no chest pocket, no cycling rear pockets, nothing else.
The collar is cut high, but there isn't an on-trend zip-dock so the full-length waterproof zip can scratch against the chin, but on the positive side there is a tiny headphone-wire loop inside the collar, even if there isn't a corresponding internal pocket to slip your chosen media device in. Ho-hum. The ends of the sleeves have an extra lycra cuff inside that forms a snug fit round the wrist, effectively blocking any frigid wind from whistling up the arms. This is great. A Campagnolo liveried silicone gripper runs around the hem to keep the jacket snug to the waist.
A large reflective swirly Campagnolo logo on the rear between the shoulder blades and reflective bands on the arms will light you up in headlights, from well over 100 metres away apparently, as to a lesser extent will the hoops of horizontal stitching around the arms and body, not so much the teeny reflective winged Campag logo on the chest though.
But the Normandie isn't so much about features, it's about the fabric, which is lucky as it's very good. Made from Exchler e3+ it, like many, claims to be the holy trinity of waterproof, windproof and highly breathable. Layer e1 is a Roubaix micro-fleece lining next to the skin to keep the body warm and dry, the e2 PU-laminated foam mid layer is the breathable membrane that guarantees regulation of body temperature and the outer layer is the wind resistant and water-repellent e3.
The Normandie jersey (is it a jersey, is it a jacket, is it an extreme cardigan?) is reassuringly thick, and with the rich Roubaix lining can easily be worn in nippy single-figure temperatures with just a t-shirt underneath, especially as it is as incredibly windproof as claimed, so there no need for bulking out against the fresh nor'easterly with extra barrier layers. It's plenty water resistant too and getting caught in wintry showers both riding into and walking around town it was more pleasing than it should be to see water beading happily on the smug e3 fabric.
Warm, belligerent to the wind and shy of water, perfect cycling attire then, as fit on the bike isn't 'racer taught', nor is it 'centerparcs baggy', the front ruckles up just a tiny bit and the arms go a bit sausagey but it doesn't flap about in the breeze and the arms reach down far enough and the back is long and doesn't ride up to leave a freezing kidney gap.
Although if you need to take lock/money/anything useful with you on the bike then you're out of luck with the Normandie, being pocket lite it needs to be accessorized with a bag of some sort if you want to carry the usual cycling ephemera. Off the bike it's stylishly understated enough to walk around in and go to places where non-cyclists gather without looking like a complete bike dweeb, catch yourself in the Gents toilet mirror and you might even say you look smart.
The Normandie is a great winter jacket for those times you want to, or have to, go somewhere by bike, but don't want to look like a cyclist too much when you get there so need technical warmth mixed with casual smarts. Incredibly warm, water resistant and breathable this Campag jacket has been on the top of the 'going out' clothing pile since the temperature dropped, and frequently worn without a bike anywhere in sight, it's that nice. Cosy enough to nip down the shops on a frosty morning on or off the bike for a pint of milk and with enough style and subtle safety features to go uncommented on as a cycling top at an evening social. I'd like to say it's worth the price but despite its almost constant frosty use and being two jackets in one - able to be worn as either a casual or a cycling jacket - it does feel just a little harsh on the wallet.
Colours – Black, Lake or Red.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Campagnolo Normandie Heritage Jersey
Size tested: M
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?
Campagnolo's Heritage Line has a 'passion for tradition', with garments respecting the most up-to-date parameters of comfort, safety and wearability, reworking the style of this legendary brand. The result is perfect harmony between past and future, tradition and innovation, the cyclist, his bike and his surroundings, thanks to the lines, design and meticulous choice of refined performing materials.
Yeah, whatever. It's a nice jacket.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Long-zip techno fleece made from special Eschler e3 fabric with micro-fleece inner, PU-laminated foam centre and shower-proofouter. Two zipped front pockets and IQ Seen® reflex logos and accents.
There's not much going on, but what there is well put together.
Kept me warm and dry and didn't get sweaty.
The Normandie is of stout stock and holding up well.
It's chunky, but reassuringly so when you step out into the cold.
Fleecy insides, windproof outer, high neck and wrist baffles, snuggly.
That's bunch of money for a posh casual jacket.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For a jacket that looks as good off the bike as on, and designed to keep you warm and dry at the same time it did it's job perfectly.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The style, the cut, those extra wrist cuffs, the warm, wind and waterproofness, not looking too much like a cyclist, unless someone recognized the Campagnolo logo.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing. The lack of a zip-dock was merely a teeny annoyance. (How did we every survive before zip-docks?)
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? (Sucks air through teeth) It's a bit pricey for a technical casual jacket, nice though, hmmmm. Is there a sale on?
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, and then no, I wouldn't want the social faux-pas of turning up at the same pizzeria in the same top.
About the tester
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
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: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun