The Alé CP 2.0 Combi Jacket is an impressive water-resistant and windproof jacket. It is certainly at the high end of the price spectrum, but if you're looking for a high-performing wind jacket, it's definitely worth considering.
In Britain between September and April you could be riding in 12 degrees or -4, but one thing that is almost a constant is wind and foul weather, which the CP 2.0 Combi Jacket aims to protect you from.
Windproofing is exceptionally good, thanks to a great fabric choice and a strong design, with an inner vest adding a second layer next to the skin. It worked well both when dealing with windy conditions and on descents, keeping everything out that was thrown at it.
However, windproofing alone is not what makes a good jacket, especially when the temperatures drop. It needs to be mixed with breathability, as you are going to be pumping out more heat and sweat on climbs than on descents, so you need this to evaporate quickly. I can safely say that this jacket is one of the most breathable I have used. This is partly down to the clever use of vents on the shoulder blades and across the sides at the back, which moves excess heat away from the body really quickly.
The inner vest helps too, as it gives you the opportunity to unzip the outer layer, while still having some wind protection at the front. Given the suggested temperature range of 6-12 degrees, this is certainly no bad thing, and anybody who has ridden for more than three hours over the past two months can verify how quickly conditions can change.
The jacket isn't really designed to provide insulation from the coldest weather, but when temperatures do drop it still performs pretty well. The inside of the vest is fleece-lined as are the inside of the vents and back pockets. This isn't the case on the back or sleeves, for the simple reason that this would reduce breathability. I used the jacket down to around 3-4 degrees with a jersey underneath without too many issues with cold, although anything lower and I would want something a bit more insulated.
It combines this impressive breathability and windproofing with decent waterproofing. It isn't 100 per cent waterproof, but I used it in some pretty appalling conditions without too much getting in. Essentially, I'd be happy to use this in changeable weather or a bit of drizzle, but if the conditions are particularly biblical I'd probably go for something with a bit more waterproofing.
Alé has clearly put a lot of time into the design of the jacket, not only in terms of weatherproofing and breathability, but also in the technical aspects. It features Alé's J-Stability system, a 'double-layer fabric with a micro perforated fabric on the inside and a carbon fabric on the outside', which works well keeping the jacket in place. The fit helps too – it's closer to racer than relaxed. The medium I tested fitted as I would expect Italian brand mediums to, but given the tight fit it is certainly worth testing out beforehand, especially if you are planning on wearing a jersey underneath.
The jacker has three regular pockets on the back and a zipped waterproof pocket for valuables. There's also a fair bit of high-vis packed in, including beading around the pockets, a large high-vis logo on the back, and the version I tested has high-vis back vents and on the front a small high-vis logo, plus the zip is surrounded by a similar high-vis material. It means that, despite the main black colour, you are still very visible to motorists, something that is always welcome during the winter months.
One of the elements of the jacket I was particularly impressed with was the weight. Where you normally expect foul weather jackets to be heavy, using rip-stop materials keeps the weight down to 369g, which is very light for a coat not designed to be stored in a jersey pocket.
One thing the jacket certainly isn't is cheap, with an RRP of £220, which is perhaps its one downside. Though it should certainly be in consideration if you are in the market for a high performance autumn/spring jacket, £220 is a hefty wedge for most people.
To sum up, the Alé CP 2.0 Combi Jacket does everything it's designed to, and its breathability is possibly the best I have found in a jacket. It isn't 100 per cent waterproof, but works well for all but the most biblical conditions, and the windproofing is also impressive. It is certainly at the upper-end of the price scale, which is likely to put some off, but if you can afford it it's definitely worth a look.
Really strong performing jacket, but it comes with a hefty price tag
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ale CP 2.0 Combi Jacket (AW16)
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?
A high performance wind jacket to keep the worst of the weather out.
Alé says: 'This is an extremely functional garment suggested for use in autumn temperatures from 6° to 12° and that allows you to push harder on the pedals and manage breathability by opening the front of the jacket when necessary to allow perspiration to escape or keep it close to grant the maximum protection against wind.'
This seems about right, although I could still use it down to around 3 or 4.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
3+1 pockets: 3 back cargo pockets + 1 waterproof pocket with zip to safely store the keys, the documents and personal belongings in a dry place.
Full zipper on the outside jacket and on the inner vest.
High collar with half-moon shaped insert on the back for thermal insulation.
J-Stability system on waist to keep the jacket in place.
Dye cut cu s made in bonded fabrics with a minimum bulk even when wearing gloves.
Security Re ex: back re ective details to improve safety in poor visibility conditions.
Very well made, well-thought-out design with strong stitching and good fabric choice throughout.
Performed strongly throughout the review, kept the wind and worst of the rain out, with a decent fit.
Well made, good material choice, likely to last.
Alé doesn't list its waterproofing prowess in numbers, but it's good.
It doesn't give figures for breathability either, but it's very, very good.
Really good fit, certainly more racer than casual, but still relatively simple to fit a jersey underneath.
The medium I tested fitted like a medium from an Italian brand, which basically means it comes up slightly small.
396g for a windproof jacket that isn't designed to be packed in a jersey pocket is impressive.
The heat management, fit and inner vest, combined with good fabric choice, make it really comfortable.
It is an expensive jacket.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy, 30-degree wash like normal.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – it kept the worst conditions out and is very breathable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Breathability is excellent.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
It is a hefty price.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes – if I had a pay rise.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes – if they can afford it.
Use this box to explain your score
Really strong performing jacket, excellent performance, but that comes at a price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.