A comfortable and lightweight jacket ideal for commuting, touring and leisure cycling

The amusingly named Hewaddywaddy jacket from Welsh clothing brand Howies uses a lightweight Primaloft filling to provide great warmth against chilly cold mornings, without any bulk or risk of overheating. It's ideal for more casual cycling, mountain biking and off-the-bike excursions.

Howies has used the slim and lightweight Primaloft filling on the chest and top of the arms. It keeps the wind out and provides a nice level of insulation, ideal for spring weather rather than the depths of winter. The back panels aren't padded, which helps with breathability and also keeps the weight and bulk down to a minimum.

Howies Hewaddywaddy jacket - back.jpg

The shape is spot on, with a dropped tail that works well on the bike and doesn't look out of place off it. The neck is tall for when you need to hunker down against a chill wind, and an elasticated waistband keeps the jacket in check on the bike. A full-length YKK zipper deals with ventilation and is lined with reflective tape, which combines with reflective details on the hem, shoulders and collar to provide a boost in visibility.

Howies Hewaddywaddy jacket - collar.jpg

I had to drop down to a size small to get a good fit around the torso, and the only wrinkle this caused is slightly too short sleeves. I'm only talking about a centimetre here, certainly not a deal breaker. I could just eat some more pies and fill out the size medium, I suppose.

Howies Hewaddywaddy jacket - sleeve.jpg

It's a really useful jacket for shorter commutes on a fresh spring morning, and it packs up extremely small so you can stuff it in a bag if you don't need it for the ride home. It's not a performance jacket, but for leisurely cycling and touring, the low weight, wind protection and Primaloft insulation works a treat. It also looks pretty stylish off the bike as well, where it's been getting a lot of wear from me. And if you mountain bike, it's a good choice when the sun isn't shining.

> Check out our guide to the best casual cycle commuter wear

All in, it's a really smart looking jacket that, thanks to the slim and low weight Primaloft insulation, provides just the right level of warmth for spring riding, and it doesn't look out of place if doing other outdoor activities or sports, or even away from the bike – if you want to go for a little walk, perhaps, under the moon of love...

It comes in three colours and five sizes for men, and the women's Shewaddywaddy comes in one colour and five sizes.


A comfortable and lightweight jacket ideal for commuting, touring and leisure cycling

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Make and model: Howies Hewaddywaddy jacket

Size tested: Medium

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?

Howies says: "An ultra lightweight wadded jacket with a windproof ripstop nylon outer. Slimline Primaloft® fill on front facing panels to help protect against wind chill while riding or running, as well as isolated unwadded back sections to stop you overheating. Packs down small into its vertical-zipped rear pocket, adjustable tricot lined collar for comfort, 360° reflective accents, reflective front zip tape. Elasticated waist, sleeve cuff and collar."

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

* 40gsm Mini-ripstop Nylon with contrast underarm panels

* Primaloft insulation wadding on chest and top of arms.

* Soft microfibre collar lining

* Reflective tabs on rear collar, hem & shoulders

* Cinch-able collar with elastic drawcord

* YKK Zipper with reflective tape.

* Elasticated Cuffs, waist & collar

* Rear zipper pocket (Jacket packs into own pocket)

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
Rate the jacket for performance:
Rate the jacket for durability:
Rate the jacket for waterproofing, based on the manufacturer's rating:

It's not a waterproof jacket, but the fabric copes in a light shower.

Rate the jacket for breathability, based on the manufacturer's rating:

Surprisingly breathable but it's one for cooler, not warmer, days.

Rate the jacket for fit:

Fit is pretty good around the shoulders and torso, but the sleeves were a bit short.

Rate the jacket for sizing:

A medium is a proper medium, so I had to downsize to a small, but then found the sleeves a little short.

Rate the jacket for weight:

It packs up small and light and takes no space in a bag.

Rate the jacket for comfort:

It's a very comfortable jacket. Ideal to wear over a T-shirt for shorter rides or less strenuous bike rides over a jersey.

Rate the jacket for value:

It's well designed and has some nice features for the price.

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

It's not really a high-performance cycling jacket but for more leisurely rides, commuting, touring or popping into town, it works just fine.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

The Primaloft insulation provides just the right amount of warmth for a fresh spring morning.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Slightly too short sleeves on the smaller size I had to wear to get a good fit.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

This is a really nice, comfortable and warm jacket for cycling through the spring, and while it won't appeal to performance cyclists, it will appeal to commuters, touring cyclists and cycling from A to B.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.