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A simple foldable jacket can be a godsend throughout the year, especially if it comes with a bit of waterproofing or at the very least water resistance. The Shutt VR Showerproof Jacket makes a good fist of it, but there are a few niggling points that just take the shine off.
With a rating of 2,000mm for waterproofness the Shutt VR should stand up to light to moderate rain, so the first time I got caught out in some bad weather courtesy of Storm Brian, the Showerproof Jacket was really up against it. In what was basically a monsoon, the jacket was breached pretty much instantly, but what I did find was that I remained perfectly warm even when absolutely drenched. Something worth knowing in case you get caught out in a winter shower.
When the precipitation is a little more tame or you are riding in fog, you'll see the moisture bead slightly on the outside of the fabric. Eventually, after say an hour or so, things will start to seep through, but to be honest if you are likely to be out that long in bad weather you'd wear or carry something more suited to the conditions. (And check the weather forecast...)
Breathability is often an issue with this type of jacket but the Shutt VR does pretty well. It's still pretty warm, mind, so you need to give plenty of thought to your layering system, but I found that from around 10°C and lower I could get away with wearing it over a thin long-sleeve jersey and mesh baselayer without cooking.
Performance is pretty good, then, and so is the overall finish quality. It's well put together with just the odd stray thread end here and there, but nothing that I'd consider untidy.
I like the high neck, which sits close to the skin to really stop draughts and rain from entering, but you don't get a zip garage which leaves the metal touching your throat and can be a bit irritating. It's these little details that I'd expect to see on a jacket costing 80 quid.
You get four pockets at the rear, three traditional and with one zipped for valuables. They are all roomy, which you'd think is a good thing but actually causes another issue as the fabric isn't strong enough to support the sort of loads you can carry in them. A phone, pump, anything with a bit of weight to it bounces around when you are riding over rough surfaces, which is really annoying. Thankfully, the depth of the pockets keeps everything secure, but I always found myself checking after a long descent or potholed road.
I like the overall cut though: the jacket is fitted without being restrictive, which cuts down on flappy material that can be both un-aero and downright noisy.
The sleeves are a good length too, giving you plenty of cuff to tuck inside your gloves. I would prefer to see a dropped tail around the back to keep your rear end dry if you're riding without mudguards, plus a bit of extra length stops any cool breezes blowing up your back if you are lucky enough to find yourself with a chilly tailwind.
We've had a few showerproof jackets in lately to test, the B'twin 900 Ultralight for starters, which may well do away with the likes of pockets but only costs £34.99. Admittedly, the Shutt VR – to my mind – has a nicer feel and look to it but I don't know if it can justify the additional £55. The Boardman Women's Packable Jacket also comes in at £35 plus it is nearly 100g lighter than the Shutt VR; that is going to be noticeable in your rear pocket.
Overall, I think the Shutt VR looks great and, as I say, the performance is pretty good too – it's just a shame that it has those few annoying traits, especially considering its price.
Keeps the wind and drizzle at bay but a few areas could do with refining
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Shutt VR Showerproof Jacket
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the jacket is for
Shutt VR says: "This jacket has a racefit/ergonomic cut designed to wear over jersey while minimising flapping. If you are layering up then we recommend you buying a larger size.
"Packs away small enough to live in your jersey pocket until it's needed."
It's a decent jacket, but just a couple of flaws.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Shutt VR lists:
Shower Proof 2000mm
Easily packable in jersey back pocket
Weighs less than 200g
High visibility reflective details
3 large rear pockets
Zipped security pocket for keys
The fit is pretty good but Shutt VR does recommend sizing up if you are going to use it for layering.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simple to wash and keep clean.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great against the wind and the water resistance is pretty good too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Close, high neck.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Possibly, but there is a lot of cheaper competition.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Showerproof Jacket is a pretty decent take on the theme but it just has a few niggles like those baggy pockets and no dropped tail; for the price I'd say it's good, but not quite a very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!