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Verdict: 
Casual-looking rain jacket that you can keep up with fast guys in.
Weight: 
644g
Contact: 
www.vulpine.cc
Vulpine Men's Original Rain Jacket
8 10

This is the new Original Rain Jacket from Vulpine which is the mark 2 version of their original rain jacket which was called the Cotton Rain Jacket, got it? It probably doesn't matter if you haven't the bottom line here is that it's very good.

While we're on the subject of consufion though what is also confusing is that this jacket looks more like an original Harrington jacket (you know, the one that mods wore with the tartan liner over their pristine Fred Perry polo shirts) than Vulpine's Harrington jacket does. I think maybe trying to sell a cotton jacket for a walloping 200 quid without first explaining that it is made of very special cotton could have been off putting and a lot of people don't associate cotton with being waterproof, hence the name change.

Despite being the newly named rain jacket that looks more like the jacket it's sibling is named after, it is in fact a very well thought out garment, even if the name isn't. It's laden with little design features which all help you, as a cyclist, get greater enjoyment from wearing this waterproof (it is still a rain coat).

Made using Epic cotton (that's a trade mark not a description) you would think that this jacket would only be available in monochrome but no, you get a choice of four understated organic colours: grey, beige, indigo and the military green that we have for review.

What makes Epic cotton special is that is it is cotton with coating that makes it act more like a modern technical fabric so it can do things like repel moisture. It still retains many of the qualities of cotton like its breathability and the the way it hangs or feels and it isn't shiny which makes it look normal rather than techy.

The material works effectively at fending off bad weather in all but the most severe rain. Water beads off the surface like water off a ducks back until it finally gets beaten by lashing relentless down pours and the cotton then darkens as water penetrates.

But it doesn't give in to the fight just there. This is Epic cotton remember, it just isn't breathing any more, but it still keeps water out. Crank a bit harder and get hot and you will get more sweaty than the fabric will let in water. Even when it looks drenched remarkably little water goes through but the material will be damp inside; it reminds me of the old canvas tents we had at Scouts.

This may not be the choice for a fast training ride but it performs well enough to be able to put a fair amount of effort in before the large vents at the back can't let out any more steam.

Looking normal is what this jacket does so well, and by normal I mean it looks good on and doesn't look like it is part of your P.E. kit. The cut works well on the bike but doesn't stand out as being a cycling garment when you are in the pub.

The pattern adjustments for cycling aren't extreme. The waist is slightly higher at the front to reduce scrunching up when stooped over the bars and the tail is dropped enough to cover your modesty and prevent your bottom becoming a gutter. To further help the jacket keep shape on the bike, an adjustable elastic cord runs around the rear midsection of the jacket reducing that bull frog effect at the front when you are leaning forward. Another elastic cord at the bottom helps gather any loose material, and similarly there is one at the neck. All work effectively.

Tucked up the back of the jack is a bright red splash guard with some reflective edging and Vulpine V logo. When the weather gets really horrid you can pull the guard off its magnetic fastenings and let it drape down like a maladjusted cape. It only really works well when you are off the saddle but it does offer better visibility with its reflective bits.

The problem with the flap is that the tiny magnets aren't strong enough to keep it tucked up in the jacket leaving you blissfully unaware that you have this bright red bum flap while poncing around the pub trying to look cool. Thankfully the flap is easily removed with a zipper.

Even with broad shoulders the sleeves are just long enough to still meet your wrists when gripping your handlebars, but they are tapered so only the top of the sleeve covers the wrist. When your arms are back at your side the arms of the jacket don't look like you've stolen it from an orangutan.

The cuffs aren't adjustable which is odd for a rainproof but it does make for a cleaner aesthetic. The aperture at the cuff is generous enough for big fists to be fed through. There is a much needed fleece inner cuff which does a good job of stopping drafts channeling up your arms. The cuffs can be folded back a couple of inches to expose the highly reflective sleeve liner which is a great idea although it does leave your wrists out in the cold.

If you haven't got the skinny arms and torso of a pro cyclist and instead have great big guns bolstered to your manly chest you may have issues with the slim cut of this jacket. There isn't any stretch in the fabric but at the same time, this can act to your advantage and hold everything in.

Front pockets a la original Harrington jacket (the ones worn by mods) are a good focal feature of what would normally be just a view of a stomach. The pocket flaps are lightly fastened by tiny hidden magnets and cover the water proof zips. Your hands are welcomed into the pockets with a soft luxurious material which is highly welcome when trying to keep warm while spectating cyclo cross or waiting for your mate to finish his fag before getting back indoors.

The finish of this jacket is superb with lined and hemmed seams, quality materials and water proof zips, reflective bits, it's all here. This is what you pay for. There is even a little pocket by your left wrist, hidden under another magnetized flap, with enough room for your credit card and there's a tiny caribiner for you to clip a key on. I didn't get to use the pocket, though, because my life never seems to be that simple that I can leave home with just one key and a card.

In summary this is a smart jacket that performs well and is heavy in features. It is a cycling jacket for cyclists and designed to look good and perform well, a casual jacket that can keep up with fast guys in. This is a great choice for your urban cycling needs and then some.

Verdict

Casual-looking rain jacket that you can keep up with fast guys in.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Vulpine Mens Original Rain Jacket

Size tested: Medium Military Green

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?

In their modest words "The Vulpine Original Rain Jacket is designed to be the most comfortable and stylish rain jacket in cycling." - I say that they have made a jolly good jacket that looks great and is comfortable and keeps the rain of and is definitely one of the best jackets out there.

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

Super high-end breathable Epic Cotton™

Water, wind and stain resistant

Magnetic neck & pocket closures

Rear air vents

Magnetic removable splash guard

Waterproof zips

Large inner front storage pockets

Rear reflective light loop

Fold-back, lined reflective cuffs

Adjustable neck, waist and hips

Lined inner seams

No scratchy labels

Flapped arm pocket with key caribiner

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Nicely finished.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Only the heaviest, relentless downpours will get in but it can.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Cotton is tough and can take tumbles better than most synthetic materials.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
6/10

This is where those modern technical synthetic fibres win over cotton. It also doesn't pack down very well.

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

Snug fit could be improved with some stretch in the material. Comfy pocket lining, collar and cuffs.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

For how universal this jacket is you could get a lot of wear out of it but the initial spend is high.

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

Performed well in all but the worst days. Continued looking good too despite daily abuse in the city.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Really good cut, breathable and waterproof enough for a long commute.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The bum flap that would un-tuck itself.

Superfluous arm pocket.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? I would.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? I have.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 179  Weight: 75

I usually ride: Condor pista  My best bike is: Condor Pista fixed. Look KG241, Jean Thomann vintage

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, bare back

 

45 comments

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Or you could just mtfu and avoid a rip off.

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

'poncing around the pub trying to look cool'

Have we met?  39

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nowasps [426 posts] 2 years ago
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Why do all the Vulpine jackets appear to have such massive necks? Is it so you can pull them on over your helmet?

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step-hent [722 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
northstar wrote:

Or you could just mtfu and avoid a rip off.

eh?

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

8/10 from the toughest marker in the business. Boom!

Nowasps, the collar is adjustable, so it gives you more range of use/temperature.

Northstar: http://road.cc/content/blog/79326-vulpine-fifteen-thoughts-value
 1

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
aslongasicycle wrote:

8/10 from the toughest marker in the business. Boom!

Nowasps, the collar is adjustable, so it gives you more range of use/temperature.

Northstar: http://road.cc/content/blog/79326-vulpine-fifteen-thoughts-value
 1

How come i've cycled thousands of miles and still don't feel the need for this then... ; )

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
northstar wrote:
aslongasicycle wrote:

8/10 from the toughest marker in the business. Boom!

Nowasps, the collar is adjustable, so it gives you more range of use/temperature.

Northstar: http://road.cc/content/blog/79326-vulpine-fifteen-thoughts-value
 1

How come i've cycled thousands of miles and still don't feel the need for this then... ; )

To err is human
 1

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Bikesoup [22 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

As a reactionary comment from someone who loves what Nick and the Vulpine team are doing, isn't £210 quite a lot of money to pay for a cotton jacket (albeit a very nice one)?

And if it gets 8/10 for value how much would the price have to get to to be 6/10? £250? £300?

I'm not rich or poor but my own feeling was that the £130 that I paid for my Gore jacket was quite enough for me.... Or perhaps I am poorer than I thought.....  17

Avatar
northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
aslongasicycle wrote:
northstar wrote:
aslongasicycle wrote:

8/10 from the toughest marker in the business. Boom!

Nowasps, the collar is adjustable, so it gives you more range of use/temperature.

Northstar: http://road.cc/content/blog/79326-vulpine-fifteen-thoughts-value
 1

How come i've cycled thousands of miles and still don't feel the need for this then... ; )

To err is human
 1

Nope : )

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pwake [376 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Looks a great bit of kit, but doesn't anyone at Road.cc know how to use an iron?

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Oli Pendrey [100 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
pwake wrote:

Looks a great bit of kit, but doesn't anyone at Road.cc know how to use an iron?

No.

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TR McGowran [15 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Bikesoup you are quite right, this jacket should have scored 6/10 for value not 8/10 - slip of the mouse wen I was filling in the test report. That's a reflection of the fact that it is expensive, but also that judged against other expensive clobber it is pretty good value. The final score remains unchanged at 8/10 because if you're considering spending £200 on a jacket in the first place how much it costs is likely not to be that big a part of your purchasing decision - which is in line with how we mark other expensive kit.

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I really like the feel of cotton and this Epic Cotton would be why the jacket is so expensive. Given the jacket is manufactured in the UK, then the price is reasonable, but that collar does look too wide, and I can't see how it could possibly be adjusted to make it fit properly (without looking like you're being strangled). I quite like this jacket, but would wait for an improved version before considering it. Maybe adding a hood (one that could fit under a helmet?) would make it more practical.

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Fixie Girl [125 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
nbrus wrote:

I really like the feel of cotton and this Epic Cotton would be why the jacket is so expensive. Given the jacket is manufactured in the UK, then the price is reasonable, but that collar does look too wide, and I can't see how it could possibly be adjusted to make it fit properly (without looking like you're being strangled). I quite like this jacket, but would wait for an improved version before considering it. Maybe adding a hood (one that could fit under a helmet?) would make it more practical.

Made in the UK?? I thought they were Korean or Chinese imports?

Would love to know as most British Cycling Brands I've dealt with don't manufacture in the UK..

FG

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belgravedave [268 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Long review which I don't have a problem with but what I really want to know is does the material breath as well as Gore tex?

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Colin Peyresourde [1723 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
northstar wrote:
aslongasicycle wrote:

8/10 from the toughest marker in the business. Boom!

Nowasps, the collar is adjustable, so it gives you more range of use/temperature.

Northstar: http://road.cc/content/blog/79326-vulpine-fifteen-thoughts-value
 1

How come i've cycled thousands of miles and still don't feel the need for this then... ; )

Wow, you are miserable. You don't have to say anything if you don't want it or won't buy it or are not interested in it.

At least Aslongasicycle is man enough to face up to criticism. Surely that should mean something even to you. If Paul Smith or some other retailer/designer cared enough to show their face to their critics I would see it as a really positive sign about their products and their value.

Avatar
Colin Peyresourde [1723 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
nbrus wrote:

I really like the feel of cotton and this Epic Cotton would be why the jacket is so expensive. Given the jacket is manufactured in the UK, then the price is reasonable, but that collar does look too wide, and I can't see how it could possibly be adjusted to make it fit properly (without looking like you're being strangled). I quite like this jacket, but would wait for an improved version before considering it. Maybe adding a hood (one that could fit under a helmet?) would make it more practical.

There appears to be an elastic bungee cord for the neck. Looks and sounds like a nice jacket. Can Nick answer the goretex question?

A good waterproof is worth it's cost. But I have one so am unlikely to splash the cash.

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Fixie Girl [125 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Colin Peyresourde wrote:
nbrus wrote:

I really like the feel of cotton and this Epic Cotton would be why the jacket is so expensive. Given the jacket is manufactured in the UK, then the price is reasonable, but that collar does look too wide, and I can't see how it could possibly be adjusted to make it fit properly (without looking like you're being strangled). I quite like this jacket, but would wait for an improved version before considering it. Maybe adding a hood (one that could fit under a helmet?) would make it more practical.

There appears to be an elastic bungee cord for the neck. Looks and sounds like a nice jacket. Can Nick answer the goretex question?

A good waterproof is worth it's cost. But I have one so am unlikely to splash the cash.

According to their website the jacket isn't waterproof its just water resistant.

I worry that after the DWR coating has worn off it wouldn't even be that. IMHO $350 seems a bit steep for a 'nice looking' jacket that isn't even wind or waterproof.

Goretex by contrast is a waterproof membrane not just a coating and is far more robust as a result.

Can Nick let us know if the jacket is made in the UK?

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
nbrus wrote:

I really like the feel of cotton and this Epic Cotton would be why the jacket is so expensive. Given the jacket is manufactured in the UK, then the price is reasonable, but that collar does look too wide, and I can't see how it could possibly be adjusted to make it fit properly (without looking like you're being strangled). I quite like this jacket, but would wait for an improved version before considering it. Maybe adding a hood (one that could fit under a helmet?) would make it more practical.

Oops, my bad ... designed in UK, manufactured in the Far East. Value doesn't look as good now.  22

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nicdoye [29 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I have asked Vulpine (on twitter) if they will try and manufacture some goods here in Blighty - they are looking into it.

I must admit premium pricing for cycle clothes (take a bow Rapha) (and "ordinary" clothes) which are made in the far east, really annoys me.  14 Some companies manage to get their clothes in Italy.

I haven't tried any of Shutt Velo's stuff yet (I have some in the post) so I don't know how that matches up. My only pair of Lusso shorts are frankly, rubbish  2

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Ay up, back again. Will try and answer all points.

Nrbus: It is not made in the UK but China. I'm afraid we considered a hood and it isn't practical in this case (and most cases, to be honest) and the jacket is unlikely to change in design much at all again as we and many customers think we've nailed it. Clothing is always a personal choice.

Belgravedave: Epic breathes better than Gore. Definitely. Why I chose it.

Colinpeyresourde: Thanks for the kind words. Paul Smith is from Nottingham like me, so a real hero!
The fabric is waterproof but we cannot call the jacket waterproof by law as the seams aren't taped. That is deliberate. For breathability and looks.
Please read my blog on why we chose the material and why I think it is a better cycling rain jacket than a full waterproof.

Epic is very robust, will last the lifetime of the jacket and it isn't a DWR after-treatment.

http://www.vulpine.cc/Blog/bikes-tech/choosing-the-best-possible-rain-fa...

Nrbus again: China is a highly advanced and technologically (certainly in terms of apparel) superior manufacturing choice. In my case it sure as spokes isn't cheap. I choose on quality, not price. As you can see. Please pick up a jacket and inspect it. I've found at events that customers often nod and say they understand once they have a feel!
I did raise an eyebrow Roger Moore style when BikeSoup compared our jacket to a Gore jacket! Tim and Antony used to stock Vulpine via their other site Stolen Goat, until I pulled us out, and should be aware that it is not a fair comparison without drilling down further into quality, features, usage, etc.

Righto, hope that helps. I'm very proud of our garments and very happy to answer the hardest questions.

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Fixie Girl [125 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
aslongasicycle wrote:

Nrbus again: China is a highly advanced and technologically (certainly in terms of apparel) superior manufacturing choice. In my case it sure as spokes isn't cheap. I choose on quality, not price.

Curious as to why the switch from S. Korea to China..?

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Fixie Girl wrote:
aslongasicycle wrote:

Nrbus again: China is a highly advanced and technologically (certainly in terms of apparel) superior manufacturing choice. In my case it sure as spokes isn't cheap. I choose on quality, not price.

Curious as to why the switch from S. Korea to China..?

Change of factory for many reasons, mainly late stock and their change of management. The quality is even better with this new supplier, though ironically the timing has been worse. Woot. Manufacturing! Tough world.

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Miggers [63 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
nicdoye wrote:

I have asked Vulpine (on twitter) if they will try and manufacture some goods here in Blighty - they are looking into it.

I must admit premium pricing for cycle clothes (take a bow Rapha) (and "ordinary" clothes) which are made in the far east, really annoys me.  14 Some companies manage to get their clothes in Italy.

I haven't tried any of Shutt Velo's stuff yet (I have some in the post) so I don't know how that matches up. My only pair of Lusso shorts are frankly, rubbish  2

What have your ordered Nic?

Nick - I still have those UK contacts.  3

Pete

Avatar
Miggers [63 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
aslongasicycle wrote:
Fixie Girl wrote:
aslongasicycle wrote:

Nrbus again: China is a highly advanced and technologically (certainly in terms of apparel) superior manufacturing choice. In my case it sure as spokes isn't cheap. I choose on quality, not price.

Curious as to why the switch from S. Korea to China..?

Change of factory for many reasons, mainly late stock and their change of management. The quality is even better with this new supplier, though ironically the timing has been worse. Woot. Manufacturing! Tough world.

Nick - missed this just now. Not something we've nailed yet in the UK either...

Tough indeed.. Pete

Avatar
northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Colin Peyresourde wrote:
northstar wrote:
aslongasicycle wrote:

8/10 from the toughest marker in the business. Boom!

Nowasps, the collar is adjustable, so it gives you more range of use/temperature.

Northstar: http://road.cc/content/blog/79326-vulpine-fifteen-thoughts-value
 1

How come i've cycled thousands of miles and still don't feel the need for this then... ; )

Wow, you are miserable. You don't have to say anything if you don't want it or won't buy it or are not interested in it.

At least Aslongasicycle is man enough to face up to criticism. Surely that should mean something even to you. If Paul Smith or some other retailer/designer cared enough to show their face to their critics I would see it as a really positive sign about their products and their value.

Perfectly happy thanks, i didn't realise anyone was not allowed to speak the truth?

Don't bother replying, i'm not interested but you probably will anyway xxx

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Fixie Girl [125 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
northstar wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:
northstar wrote:
aslongasicycle wrote:

8/10 from the toughest marker in the business. Boom!

Nowasps, the collar is adjustable, so it gives you more range of use/temperature.

Northstar: http://road.cc/content/blog/79326-vulpine-fifteen-thoughts-value
 1

How come i've cycled thousands of miles and still don't feel the need for this then... ; )

Wow, you are miserable. You don't have to say anything if you don't want it or won't buy it or are not interested in it.

At least Aslongasicycle is man enough to face up to criticism. Surely that should mean something even to you. If Paul Smith or some other retailer/designer cared enough to show their face to their critics I would see it as a really positive sign about their products and their value.

Perfectly happy thanks, i didn't realise anyone was not allowed to speak the truth?

Don't bother replying, i'm not interested but you probably will anyway xxx

I read it as you making a point, not having a moan.. I saw the elastic as a solution looking for a problem, same as the arm pocket!

+1 to having an opinion on an open forum..  41

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Colin Peyresourde [1723 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Fixie Girl wrote:

+1 to having an opinion on an open forum..  41

No problem with that. But why make a criticism about something you're not interested in and don't like. He said he couldn't see the need for it. Why make such negative comments?

North Star is miserable is my opinion.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Colin Peyresourde wrote:
Fixie Girl wrote:

+1 to having an opinion on an open forum..  41

No problem with that. But why make a criticism about something you're not interested in and don't like. He said he couldn't see the need for it. Why make such negative comments?

North Star is miserable is my opinion.

Again i'm not sure where you get the strange notion that I'm miserable because I expressed a strong opinion, are you a fascist?

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belgravedave [268 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

@, aslongasicycle, thanks for the reply. I've tried everything over the years from the stuff Castelli use to Assos and even the Rapha gear and I have never found a material that breathes and is as waterproof as Gore tex.
So am very interested in this new material.

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