If you're looking for a no-nonsense three-layer waterproof for cheaps then the b'Twin 700 Waterproof Cycling Jacket is just the ticket. It's properly waterproof, well made and with some neat features.
The jacket is constructed from a three-layer waterproof: that means a membrane sandwiched between a full inner and outer layer. That tends to me much more comfortable against the skin than a 2.5-layer fabric, which can be a bit clammy on the inside when things heat up. It's a decent weight, tough fabric with fully taped seams throughout.
The front zip is waterproof, as is the zip on the chest pocket. The pit zips, which allow extra ventilation for when you're working hard, aren't waterproofed but they're covered by a storm flap. The rear is dropped, though not drastically, and it's slightly elasticated to hold it in place. There are Lyrca storm cuffs for your arms (as well as a Velcro closure) and the one on the right arm even has a hole so your watch will poke through if you use a wrist-mounted computer of any kind.
For less than £60 the 700 does about as good a job of being waterproof and breathable as it's reasonable to expect. Certainly waterproofing isn't an issue in the main. I've been out for hours in the rain in this jacket and the fabric has shrugged off all conditions. Water beads well on the surface and while it does breathability is fairly good; you get the pit zips for extra ventilation if you start to cook. In common with other jackets that have lycra cuffs, I found that these tend to suck in water and transfer it to your sleeves if you're wearing a long-sleeved top underneath. I don't wear a watch but I stuck one on for the purposes of seeing whether the little hole works for looking. It does.
The shape of the jacket, and the size (I'm 99kg and 1.90m and comfortable in a Large) mean you'll need to size down if you're skinny and want a race cut, and if your position on the bike is fairly aggressive the drop at the back may be a bit short to cope. I don't have a particularly head-down position and I found it about right.
All in all there's very little not to like here. The The b'Twin 700 Waterproof Cycling Jacket does the job just fine, and it's cheap for a proper 3-layer waterproof. It's too heavy to be packable in a jersey pocket, but it's ideal for days when you know you're going to need it.
Great buy for everything from wet commutes to the winter chaingang
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Make and model: BTwin 700 Cycling Waterproof Jacket
Size tested: Large High Vis
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?
The b'Twin 700 Waterproof Cycling Jacket is designed for regular riding in the rain. Ideal for commuting and off road use. 3 ply membrane with 5000mm rating making both waterproof and breathable. Ventilation zips. Breast pocket. WATERPROOFING, Breathability, Watch System.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Waterproofing waterproof membrane (5000 mm H20), thermo-sealed seams, watertight zip
Breathability reathable membrane for greater thermal comfort (RET 12)
Low weight / lightweight 3-layer membrane. X g
Abrasion resistance Wear-resistant membrane (R2 grade)
Interactivity Inner sleeves allow you to check your cardio-watch quickly
Could be more breathable and the cuffs have a tendency to transfer a bit of water, but really good for the money.
Ripstop outer is bearing up well.
Size down if you're skinny.
Even at full price it's a steal, 25% off at time of writing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Does all the things you need it to. Is cheap.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Cuffs can transfer water to your top.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
8/10 performance but the value boots it up a mark
Age: 42 Height: 190cm Weight: 100kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.