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The Metier Beacon Rain Jacket performs brilliantly in foul conditions and can also pack down small and compactly into a jersey pocket. Its USP, the flashing LEDs, work really well too, although if you're thinking it'd be great for everyday commuting with a backpack, they're not ideally placed. This isn't your typical commuter jacket, though, it's a piece of high-performance kit – with a price tag to match.
The idea of incorporating flashing lights within clothing isn't new, but can be a little garish and needs to be done subtly in order that the wearer doesn't look like a walking traffic light. Metier has managed this well with slim strips of LEDs, one set of white lights on the front of each shoulder, and a set of red lights on the bottom hem at the back of the jacket.
The lights offer a decent amount of visibility – so bright you could probably get away without bike-mounted lights (not recommended at night), though I tended to use them as additional visual aids rather than primary lights.
They are controlled through the battery pack which is about the size of a matchbox and housed in a pocket on the bottom right of the jacket. There are three modes – solid, flash, and quick flash. The lights are easy to turn on, with each press cycling through the modes or turning the lights off. Charging is also simple, you just take the box out of the zipped pocket and use the supplied USB charger to charge it from a computer or power outlet.
The lights work very well for weekend or training rides, but if you commute with a backpack or messenger bag then they're less useful because of their positioning (bag straps would cover the front lights, while larger bags could also cover the lights at the back). When you spend this much money on a jacket you want to use it as much as possible, so this could be an issue. (Then again, Gore's Shakedry fabric isn't suitable for backpack use either.)
Elsewhere, the jacket performs fantastically, with excellent waterproofing and breathability thanks to the fabric choice. Even in the wettest weather I stayed dry and comfortable. To help this, it has a full-length taped zip so no water comes through there either.
The fabric has a waterproof rating of 20,000mm, and it's something you can tell when you wear this in foul conditions; it's particularly impressive for a jacket that weighs only 175g (233g with the battery pack). Alongside this waterproofing, the fabric is also impressively breathable (the rating is 60,000g/m2/24hrs), with no 'boil in the bag' on a long ride.
This is particularly impressive given how windproof the jacket is too, which means it's great for wet and windy weather or when you get to the top of a climb and have a cold descent on the other side.
Another key element to the jacket is that it packs down very small, making it really useful to just have stuffed in a jersey pocket for later in the ride if needed. Although it does have the matchbox sized battery back, I found this was actually fairly useful as a central point around which to fold the jacket.
There are some other good elements to the jacket too, such as the fully waterproof pocket on the chest which is perfect for a phone or keys…
…and as well as the LEDs, there's also a large reflective pattern across the top of the back, on the sleeves and in various areas around the jacket.
The main sticking point could be the price. For a packable rain jacket, £200 is expensive – for instance, the Santini Guard Rain Jacket is £40 less and the Pactimo Torrent Stretch Waterproof Jacket is £35 cheaper (its fabric also sounds great, though its breathability rating is 'only' 37,000mm). That said, you can pay a lot more for jackets using Gore-Tex Active fabric, such as Gore's C7 Shakedry Stretch (£280), the Castelli Idro (£260) and 7Mesh Oro (£250).
Overall, I was really impressed with this Metier jacket. It packs a host of technical features into a small and relatively lightweight design. The waterproofing, breathability, and windproofing are excellent in keeping out the foul weather. Its LED placement could be better for commuters who carry a bag rather than use a pannier, but this is a high- performance jacket, and it's an extra safety element for those who ride and train bag-free.
An excellent jacket, with impressive waterproofing and breathability, and extra safety built-in
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Metier Beacon Rain 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?
A highly technical lightweight performance jacket designed to keep out the worst of the weather.
Metier says, "Constructed using a fully waterproof, lightweight, stretch nylon, the Beacon Rain Jacket folds away easily into a jersey pocket and weighs in at just 175g. Fully taped seams ensure you stay dry even in heavy, persistent rain, whilst the breathable fabric means you won't overheat either. The stretch nylon makes for a close, but comfortable fit, and the 2-way zip allows easy access to rear pockets. A must have, versatile product for all seasons.
"The Beacon Rain Jacket is an essential piece of kit for all riders all year round. Fully waterproof, lightweight & packable, but sturdy enough to provide protection from whatever the elements throw at you. Combined with the integrated LED lighting, this is a jacket that supports your ride, anytime, anywhere.
"Overheating will impact your performance as energy is directed away from the muscles. The stretch nylon fabric of the Beacon Rain Jacket is highly breathable and works to regulate your core body temperature, meaning you'll stay comfortable and dry even when riding hard."
I believe that it does what it sets out to do by keeping out the elements and adding some strong technical elements.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Integrated BrightRide LED System
Lights front: 160 lumens UHI (Ultra High Intensity)
Lights back: 22 lumens UHB (Ultra High Brightness)
120° Viewing angle
3 Settings to the lights
Slow Flash : Up to 72 hours ride time (30ms On, 350ms Off)
Fast Flash : Up to 72 hours ride time (20ms On, 200ms Off)
Constant : Up to 12 hours ride time
Full waterproof with 20,000 Mm/H20
Fully breathable with 60,000 G/M2/24hrs
2 Way zip
Waterproof zip pocket
High contrast midnight blue surface
Reflective design on the rear of the garment
Removable Control Unit
1000mAh Lithium-ion battery
Charge in 3hours over Micro USB
SIZE & WEIGHT
178 grams (Size M, jacket only)
233 grams (Size M, jacket + control unit)
Operating temperature: 0° to 40° C
Relative humidity: 45% to 75% non-condensing
Operating altitude: tested up to 2,768m
A very well made jacket, with excellent fabric choice, strong bonding, and robust electrical elements.
Performed very well throughout the review period, providing great protection, excellent packability, and technical elements.
The material doesn't look like it would survive a crash, but it's all holding up well so far.
Brilliant waterproofing, with a rating of 20,000mm/H20.
Great breathability with a rating of 60,000 G/M2/24hrs.
It is a performance fit, but because of a bit of stretch in the material it doesn't ever feel restrictive.
The medium I tried out is perhaps on the slightly smaller side, but still well within the bounds of what I would define as medium.
Not quite as light as Gore's 127g Shakedry, but still very light and easy to pack away in a jersey pocket.
Breathability, windproofing, and waterproofing make this jacket really comfortable.
There is no getting around the price, it is an expensive piece of kit, but it is comparable to other high-end lightweight rain jackets – and cheaper than some.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It is made a little more complicated because you need to wash it in the provided bag (with the provided tech wash) and remove the battery pack, but if you do this then it's fine.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The jacket performs really well, offering great waterproofing, windproofing and breathability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Its lightweight construction and protection.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
If you use it for commuting, the placement of the LED lights means they'll be obscured by large bags/backpacks.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Santini Guard Rain Jacket is £40 less but doesn't include some of the more technical elements such as the LEDs. The Pactimo Torrent Stretch Waterproof Jacket is £35 cheaper, also uses excellent fabric (albeit with a lower breathability rating), but again, no LEDs. Gore's C7 Shakedry Stretch is £280.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? If on sale.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's an excellent high-performance rain jacket for all-weather riding and training, with some extra safety built in. It's not cheap, though it's less than some, and its overall performance is brilliant. The placement of the LEDs stops it being that useful for everyday commuting with a backpack, but this isn't a typical commuter jacket, despite those LEDs.
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 helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014.
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.