A lightweight, waterproof jacket that packs up small enough to stow away in a jersey pocket is very useful in the British climate. It's usually a trade-off between weight, pack size, breathability and price, and it's all a question of how dry you want to be and how much you want to spend. The Altura Women's Synchro Waterproof Jacket manages to balance these considerations really rather well.
The Synchro is designed to be a performance driven fully waterproof jacket at a reasonable price. The looks, cut and features are all orientated towards more demanding end users.
The cut is 'athletic', with a dropped tail and shaped area at the front. Broad elastic cuffs aim to protect wrists and arms, while reflective accents on the sleeves and lower back add to safety after dark. A zipped pocket at the side of the lower back is a good size for most smartphones.
The fit is good, pretty true to the stated size, with a contoured and neat shape (it's not me in the photos). Sleeve length is excellent, with plenty of comfort when on the drops. The torso length is about average, but taller women might find it a little on the short side. The neck fits snug enough to keep rain out without being over tight.
Considering its fairly modest price tag, the Synchro performed very well when out riding. The lightweight waterproof fabric kept precipitation out just fine and, almost as importantly, didn't build up too much sweat inside. Whilst there's almost always a trade-off between fabric breathability and cost, I was impressed by the comfort levels of this jacket at this price. It could have been even better with just a few perforations under the arms, as some jackets feature, allowing a little more airflow.
That said, for a jacket that you'd almost certainly not plan to wear all day, treating as a 'just in case' instead, it's a great option. It rolls up small enough to fit into a jersey pocket and is light enough to not worry about.
In terms of both style and performance, it punches above its weight and marks good value for money.
A good looking waterproof jacket that performs well and is sound value for money
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Women's Synchro Waterproof Jacket
Size tested: UK 12
Tell us what the jacket 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?
Designed to be a high performance waterproof and breathable jacket for female riders.
Altura says: "Lightweight and packable in a high performance waterproof performance jacket. Don't leave home without this."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
* Altura Shield™ technology is engineered to provide protection from wind and water, whilst still offering high levels of breathability
* ErgoFit™ 3D patterning engineered for a more comfortable riding position
* Strategically located retroreflective trims for increased visibility
* Triple rear storage pockets
* Performance Fit
Machine washable at 30
Available in sizes 8-18
Very well made from good quality components.
Very waterproof and windproof and with reasonable levels of breathability.
With correct care (follow Altura's washing instructions on the jacket) and occasional refreshing of waterproofing and regular washing, this should last well.
Fully waterproof with taped seams.
Considering that this is neither a premium-level jacket nor premium fabric, the levels of breathability were surprisingly good, better than many more expensive jackets.
Really well cut.
About right for its stated size.
Very comfortable, particularly in terms of sleeve length and shaping of the hem.
A very good price for a jacket that performs as well as many more expensive ones.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy. It washed well as per instructions.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well as a lightweight waterproof jacket.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Shape, style, weight.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Definitely
Use this box to explain your score
A well-designed and nicely put together waterproof jacket that out performs many more expensive options.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.