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Altura's Vapour Waterproof jacket breaks away from their commuter range with a stylish performance cut and stretch fit. How does it fare in the British rain?
Rain jackets have come on a lot in the last couple of years. Gone are the baggy layers of plastic with a striking resemblance to a bin bag, replaced by close fitting technical materials. The Vapour jacket has a fit a lot like a race cut jacket, neatly hugging the chest, shoulders and arms. A material with a slight stretch is what allows the jacket to create this superb fit.
Stretch fit isn't uncommon on other garments these days but on a rain jacket is quite unusual. When you think about the material stretching, you'd expect little pores to open up and let water in. Multiple layers prevent this happening, with a waxy finish on the outside and a membrane inner. It works excellently at keeping the rain out while allowing moisture to wick away. It's not perfect letting the heat out (what good rain jackets are?) but thankfully, it packs up small so once it does stop raining you'll be able to stuff it in a jersey pocket.
The multi-layer design makes the Vapour good wind protection layer too. I found myself wearing it on those questionable Spring days, when it looks like it'll rain and it's too cold for a gilet. Being able to wear a rain jacket like that is not something I would have considered before but the Vapour's tidy fit and breathability makes it possible.
In terms of other features, a full rear pocket with waterproof zip that will keep items dry is the only pocket on this simple jacket, other than a small inner chest pouch. Reflective strips on the arms and rear will help visibility and elastic cuffs on the wrist prevent rain and water running up the arms.
The Altura Vapour Waterproof has been great and has changed my perspective on Altura's clothing. It's a strong entry into performance clothing and something I could see myself wearing a lot - particularly because it's a rain jacket!
With a suggested price of £120 it has a performance price tag too and many might think that is a lot for a rain cape. I'd say it's not. The Vapour's versatility and tidy cut mean you'll wear this jacket a lot more than when it's just raining.
Rain cape that isn't - superb fit, good breathability and weather protection.
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Make and model: Altura Vapour Waterproof Jacket
Size tested: Medium, Red
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?
Lightweight, packable waterproof shell in a full stretch fabric for a performance fit.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight, waterproof, highly breathable stretch 2.5 layer fabric
Close, performance fit
Chest and rear pockets
Back zip pocket
Very tidy with heat sealed seams on inner layer.
Quite expensive but is better value than just a rain jacket.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Perfect as a rain jacket and more.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The cut is more akin to a jersey. Material blowing in the wind is normally my main gripe with wearing a rain jacket: no problem here.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I'd probably prefer it if the Altura logo and rear pocket were a bit more understated.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 25 Height: 184cm Weight: 68kg
I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced 1 My best bike is: Giant TCR Advanced 1
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb,