The Santini Rebel Winter Jacket is the Italian company's foray into cold-weather winter riding, and as such it does a sterling job, holding back the worst of the elements while keeping the rider in comfort underneath.
The Rebel is a wind-proof and water-resistant winter jacket, suitable for those rides that hover around the zero mark on the thermometer, and in use I've been able to get down to those temperatures without having to apply copious layers underneath - a base layer and summer jersey will see you to zero with ease.
It's relatively breathable; the thick Warmsant fabric keeps heat in while allowing vapours out nicely, and the fleece inner lining provides some extra comfort against the skin. Cuffs are elasticated, tight without being constrictive, forming a good closure to keep the wind out.
To the rear is a nod to safety with reflective piping, although Santini don't really go overboard with this. There are three rear pockets, but no zipped valuables pocket. To me that seems a bit of an oversight as they are so darned useful, especially in a winter jacket where you'll most likely be fumbling in the pockets with thicker gloves.
My sample came in a black and white, with black being a staple colour, there are variants with blue or fluoro yellow, should white not to be your taste. It washes well so the winter road gank shouldn't be staining the jacket.
It's clearly designed for colder rides, with the only ventilation coming from opening the main zip at the front. A vent at the sides or the sleeves would come in handy; this is a warm jacket so overheating can be a bit of an issue without any outlets.
Overall however it's a very proficient winter jacket, able to keep the wind and rain at bay. It's certainly not waterproof, but will keep drizzle at bay for hours. In the cold temperatures its provides warmth and shelter for the committed rider to keep Jack Frost away. Paired up with a Craft Windstopper Base layer it can cope admirably from minus two up to about eight degrees Celsius without any additional assistance.
A good looking workhorse for winter riding.
A good looking workhorse for winter riding; soft yet strong
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Make and model: Santini Rebel Winter Jacket
Size tested: medium
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?
Wanting to ride throughout the winter but scared of the cold? Fear not, the Santini Rebel will be your able assistant. A great heavyweight winter jacket at a good price.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Winter jacket made of double layer Warmsant fabric. Water resistant and wind-proof on the outside, very light, soft and warm thermofleece on the inside. Extra comfort and breathability courtesy of the internal mesh lining, suede inside collar with zip garage. Triple back pocket. Rear reflective piping and SMS logo for safer riding in the dark.
Despite my hardest efforts to operate in clumsy gloves the jacket has withstood my inelegance well, no snags or pulls anywhere.
For cold, damp weather it's been a fantastic performer.
No signs of anything likely to malfunction in the near future.
It's no lightweight item, but it's certainly not aimed to be; what it is, is a solid winter jacket.
Excellent option for colder riding.
Not cheap, but a good performer - more than justifying its price tag.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
In cold, damp weather the Rebel has been an able performer - keeping the worst of everything away.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's cocoon-like ability to keep the rider warm inside.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of zipped rear pocket was an irritant to me, especially with winter gloves on.
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?
With a zipped rear pocket this would be an outstanding jacket, as it stands its still more than competent and able to keep the winter at bay.
Age: 37 Height: 176cm Weight:
I usually ride: Rapide RC4, Raleigh SP Race, Hoffman BMX My best bike is: Rapide RC4
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, Adventure-packing, crossing-countries