Home
Verdict: 
Excellent all-purpose coat for commuting and pretty much everything else in cold weather; a bargain
Weight: 
0g

B'Twin's Tilt 500 Urban Cycling Jacket is just the ticket for short commutes in cold weather. It's very windproof, well-insulated, shrugs off showers and is reversible if you like a bit of dayglo in your life. And all for forty quid: it's hard not to like, really.

The jacket is made from polyester inner and outer layers with a thin sandwich of insulation in between. The surfaces have a Novadry™ water-repellent coating; the outer is a mottled dark blue and the inner a fluorescent yellow. It's reversible, so you can look lairy if you like. Outside there are two zipped front pockets and a chest pocket, and also a phone pocket to the rear (no zip on that one).

The yellow side has two simple fabric pockets with no closure, so if you want to carry valuables and be bright you're better off zipping them inside. There's a full hood, a zip with a storm flap and reflective detailing, and soft cuffs. The fit is good for the bike, slightly lowered at the rear and plenty of length in the arms. The front zip can be a bit fussy at times, and the storm flap gets caught a bit too easily, but it's not too bad.

If you've got a chilly commute to do, the Tilt is just the ticket. It's impressively windproof and nice and cosy in the cold weather. You won't want to be going after any big hill sessions because you'll cook, but it's perfect for a leisurely run to work, or the shops, or the pub. If it rains then you'll likely survive: the water beads off pretty well and even when the fabric gets damp on the outside it doesn't transfer too much moisture to the inside. The hood is a fairly close fit so you can wear it when riding without it blowing back or channeling too much cold air down your neck. It does seriously restrict your peripheral vision though.

I found the Tilt jacket worked best with a long-sleeve merino top underneath. It can get a bit clammy if you have bare arms next to the inside and you get a bit sweaty, a thin layer of wool is just the job to keep you comfy. I've worn it on some extended commutes (10 miles or so) over varied terrain on the coldest mornings we've managed so far this year, about 7-8°c, and it was on the warm side of just right. When the mercury drops a bit more, it'll be ideal.

It's good off the bike too, although I'd prefer a less garish colour scheme for that. B'Twin do a dark/light blue version, but that's currently out of stock. There are three women's versions too, in grey/pink, burgundy/pink and navy/orange. It's just a really useful coat. It's very packable (it comes with a stuff sack) and would be brilliant for touring, you'd just live in it off the bike and for the cold bits on it. And at £40 a pop you wouldn't shed too many tears if it got a bit scuffed up. General dirt and grime can be removed with a cool wash in the machine.

It's impossible to review this without making reference to the Vulpine Ultralight Jacket which I've also been testing recently as it's a similar kind of a coat. That's more nicely made and it's better in the rain. It's a bit warmer, too. It's four times the price of this, mind. The Tilt jacket does a bang-up job most of the time and with a hood, a stuff sack thrown in, and the fact that it's reversible, it's arguably more versatile overall. You may not want the fluoro and it certainly doesn't work as well in terms of pockets and zips when it's that way round, but other colours are available (assuming they come back into stock) and you don't need to reverse it if you don't want to.

 

Most of all, the Tilt is a straight-up bargain. Forty quid for a really versatile jacket that you could use for all sorts of stuff, leisure and commuting riding included. Definitely one to recommend.

Verdict

Excellent all-purpose coat for commuting and pretty much everything else in cold weather; a bargain

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: BTwin Tilt 500 Urban Cycling Jacket

Size tested: Large

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 Tilt 500 Cycling jacket for men keeps you warm when on your bike but also looks very stylish. It is reversible and the bright yellow fabric really makes you stand out. A HIGH VISIBILITY, LIGHTWEIGHT, COMPACT JACKET!

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

Visibility

Day and night: reversible neon product, reflective zips visible at over 50 m.

Warmth

Interior padding, regulates body warmth during your activities.

Water repellence

NOVADRY water repellent and wind proof fabric for protection against showers.

Compact design

Store product in a cover to take it with you everywhere you go.

Freedom of movement

The cut is perfectly suited to cycling (back, neck, and arms covered).

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
10/10

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

Very well. It's comfy and well-made.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Good fit, warm, well thought out.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Doesn't work as well when reversed.

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?

The overall performance is good and it's an absolute bargain.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

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 and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

6 comments

Avatar
farrell [1946 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Had it been recently removed from the stuff sack for the photos? It looks a bit scruffy with all the creases, especially when combined with the strange angle of the stitching on the back, or do they drop out after a while?

Also, if anyone from Decathlon happens to reading, is it possible to re-waterproof this jacket with a wash in waterproofer down the line?

Avatar
Beatnik69 [423 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

I have considered getting this jacket but was worried that I might look like Calum Gilhooley.

Avatar
btwin [20 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Hi Farrell,
We don't publicise this as a waterproof jacket (as the seams area not taped) but rather a cold/cool weather urban cycling jacket. That said, the outer fabric does have a level of coating which creates a beading effect to encourage water droplets to roll off. Only to be used in light rain for for short periods as the mind you. In time you will be able to re-coat it with a spray or a wash in solution. The other benefit of doing so is that dirt is also less likely to stick to the fabric.
As the jacket is breathable, it actually marries up very well with a shell jacket for those really wet/cold days in the saddle on short rides, out and about or even when hiking.
Take care.

Avatar
alexb [202 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Great that Decathlon take the trouble to respond.
I have my eye on the X-Light jacket as an alternative,
http://www.decathlon.co.uk/x-light-men-black-id_8318546.html
Primarily as a packable lightweight jacket for standing around on night rides etc. and as a lightweight jacket for general walking about at this time of year.
I'll have to have a look at both now!

Avatar
mtbtomo [290 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

@farrell - all down jackets generally look creased. The stitching is slanted/asymetric on purpose - just a pointless fashion feature but I quite like it.

I got one last winter discounted for nearer to £30 and it is my favourite winter jacket off the bike. I'd find it too warm for the riding I do, but its a good fit off the bike.

And as per the BTwin response, the seams aren't sealed, so whilst the fabric is water resistant (ish), it comes straight through at all the seams. I don't think there are many down jackets that are seam sealed though, unless you get into full on mountaineering gear.

Avatar
The _Kaner [1193 posts] 4 years ago
1 like

Calum Gilhooley....

There's a blast from the past....absolutely!