The Assos Mille GT Winter Jacket is a very strong performer, offering excellent protection against low temperatures and heavy downpours, and although it comes with a fairly heavy price tag, it goes a very long way to justifying it.
- Pros: Excellent breathability, impressive waterproofing, warm
- Cons: Expensive
At this time of year, one of the elements that's difficult to get right is knowing what to wear, as you can often start the ride in under 5°C and come back in the mid teens, but one of the key elements of the Mille GT jacket is that it not only keeps you warm, it also has fantastic breathability.
This combination of warmth and breathability comes from the use of three different materials: Neos Medium on the front panels, Neos Light on the upper back and upper sleeves, and RX on the underside of the sleeves and the spine. The triple-layer Neos Medium takes the brunt of the weather because of its positioning, and is water repellent and wind resistant. The Neos Light has a similar construction but with around double the breathability (Assos quotes 27,000 gr/m2/24h vs 14,000 for the Neos Medium) and is used in areas that are less impacted by the weather, still allowing for good protection but letting heat dissipate nicely. The RX is used in areas most hidden from the weather, and offers high wicking and temperature control.
Rather than simply talking about the technical elements, in the real world the jacket performed superbly, standing up to torrential downpours and keeping me warm in sub-zero temperatures, helped by the impressive windproofing. It meant that I was happy to head out in all conditions and the downhill-in-autumn bite that stabs your cheeks and gives you a brain freeze was completely nullified below the neck.
Breathability is also really impressive, and several times I found myself riding home in temperatures above 10°C without any issues, and when it heated up to the mid-teens it was just a case of unzipping the full-length zip slightly to let out some of the heat.
The Mille GT is designed to be close fitting, avoiding the kind of wrinkles and wind traps that you can get with winter jackets. It means that, although not exactly speed suit aero, it is still performance orientated. It's a genuine option to wear by itself without the need for a mid-layer, and in some cases I even used it without a baselayer without any issue.
It is also really light for a jacket that offers this kind of performance, coming in at 388g. To put that in perspective, the Castelli Alpha RoS is 522g and the Proviz Reflect360 Elite is 495g. It is even lighter than some of the top of the range long-sleeve jerseys: the Rapha Winter Windblock Jersey, for example, comes in at 395g. (Assos also offers a heavier weight version of the Mille GT, the 588g Ultraz, for £260, which Liam was very impressed with.)
This amount of protection in such a lightweight package is really impressive; it is a jacket that just doesn't feel like a jacket.
Assos has included some really nice design features too. I particularly like the black and white patterned material on the undersides of the sleeves, which add a bit of style to what would otherwise be a plain black top. It also incorporates some reflective elements, in strips either side of the back pockets.
The pockets themselves are more than big enough for everything you could need on a winter ride. Assos claims these 'Triple ramp' concept pockets provide the optimal height for access and, like those on the Ultraz, have a closure flap that tucks over things like your phone or ride wallet to stop them leaping out.
At the base of the jacket there's a silicone gripper that keeps everything in place well, even in wet and slippery conditions – something that is particularly important in foul weather.
As with most things Assos, it's expensive, with an rrp of £215. That said, although this may be a high price, it actually seems pretty good for what you get compared to others. For instance, the Proviz Reflect360 Elite is £30 more and the Castelli Alpha RoS is an eye-watering £275. And there's the heavier weight Mille GT Ultraz at £260, while the IJ.Bonka.6 Cento comes in at £370…
Overall, I was really impressed with this jacket. It is warm, waterproof, windproof, breathable, and despite the high price, doesn't seem overpriced at all.
This is a top quality winter jacket; you pay for the privilege, but the performance justifies it
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Assos Mille GT Winter 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?
It is a high performance jacket aimed at people who don't mind spending a bit more to get top performance.
Assos says, "As our price-point winter jacket, this piece employs all of our signature engineering and fabric knowledge. At its core we've employed our tech-savvy NEOS Medium fabric on the chest panels. Engineered by our in-house team, this 3-layer thermal soft-shell has been crafted to hit winter out of the park–whether there's wind, rain, a biting frost, or storms.
"To ensure you don't overheat, we've strategically deployed its lighter sibling on the shoulders, outer arms and dorsal of this jacket–locations that benefit from the lower weight. Rounding off this jacket in pursuit of an ergonomic fit and improved breathability, we've employed our race-proven RX fabric on the back and underarms of this jacket.
"Sticking to ASSOS tradition, this piece is predominately black, which has proven a wise choice to combat dirty winter roads. Naturally we've included selected reflective elements to make sure you're seen on the darkest days. Continuing the design theme of the MILLE GT collection we've included the MILLEgriffe on the underarms of the jacket to give it a little 'pop' from the crowd and remind you that ASSOS is with you on every kilometer of those all-important winter rides."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
NEOS MEDIUM: Our in-house developed tri-layer thermo soft-shell constructed with a bonded PU membrane. Water-repellent and close fitting, this tech-savvy textile is waterproof to >10 m, wind-resistant and highly breathable. Deployed here on the frontal panel as a guarantee of heat retention and climate control. A highlight is the ultimate protection it grants against wind and rain. Waterproof >10 MT. High breathability MVP 14.600 gr/m2/24h JIS L 1099 B-1:2006.
NEOS LIGHT: Our in-house developed tri-layer lightweight soft-shell constructed with a bonded PU membrane. Water-repellent and close fitting, this tech-savvy textile is waterproof to >10 m and highly breathable. Used on the upper sleeves and upper back (carré) as a windbreaker and waterproof shell. Waterproof >10 MT. High breathability MVP 27.000 gr/m2/24h JIS L 1099 B-1:2006.
RX: Deployed on the underside of the sleeves and dorsal panel, our proprietary RX is a brushed bi-stretch warp knit fabric with wicking and thermoregulation performance.
'Triple ramp' concept pockets: Using all of our riding experiences we have created our new pocket design with the optimal height for ease of access. Thoroughly tested pocket design with a new, game-changing layout that ensures your contents are secure and stable regardless of your exertion. Internal seams fashion an almost-there lid for the pocket. For this winter jacket these now feature longer reflective stripes for enhanced visibility.
Rear stabilizer S7 knit: A mono-stretch material with minimal give in the vertical axis. The ASSOS rear stabilizer panel design allows for stable, high capacity pockets that won't sag.
2W waistWave construction: For a cleaner look and more ergonomic edges in our Sens Bicolor textile.
Raglan cut: Comfort-led sleeve design with a raglan cut for easy, free movement and reduced drag.
Full-length camLock zip: Slim, lightweight zip for individually adjusting to the conditions.
ID name position: Black silicon print on the left forearm.
Really well made, with the various panels all offering strong seams and a good choice of material.
Couldn't have asked for anything more: great for warmth, breathability, windproofing and water repellency.
Seems like it will last for a long time, as you would hope from something that would make this size hole in your wallet...
Assos claims '>10m' for waterproofing which seems fair; I used this on long, wet rides without any issues.
The two main materials have different breathability ratings: the Neos Medium has a 14,600 gr/m2/24h rating while the Neos Light has 27,000 gr/m2/24h. Overall, the jacket has excellent breathability.
Excellent fit thanks to a performance cut and raglan sleeves, along with strong silicone grippers on the back.
The medium fitted as I would expect a performance medium to fit.
This jacket is lighter than some long-sleeve jerseys; if that isn't an impressive weight then I don't know what is.
It offers great warmth, breathability and waterproofing, and is comfortable regardless of what's thrown at it.
This is a difficult one as there is no doubt that it's an expensive jacket, but when you compare it to others offering similar performance, it's actually pretty good.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy, washed at 30 degrees without any issues.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well; I was very happy to have this on my back while braving the worst that the North Kent hills could throw at me.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Its breathability; it's excellent and was the single most impressive and unexpected element of this jacket.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
An all-black jacket in winter could be seen as not ideal, but it looks good and has reflective elements...
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Castelli Alpha RoS jacket offers a similar level of performance, but comes in £60 more expensive, while the Proviz Reflect360 Elite Men's Cycling Jacket doesn't quite offer the same protection but is still £15 more.
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 overall score
For me to give anything more than 8, it has to be something really special. This jacket really manages it, offering exceptional performance, and despite being a wallet breaker it is far from a rip-off.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 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.