At £270, the new Yuki Winter Jacket from PEdAL ED really needs to be good, and thankfully, it is. Really good, in fact, with an excellent balance of waterproofing and breathability. The cut is also a lot less racy than many other high-end jackets on the market, which could make it more appealing to those who don't fit the Continental Pro stereotype.
Yuki means 'snow' in Japanese apparently, and while I haven't had a chance to ride in the white stuff yet it's a rather apt name for this latest PEdAL ED offering. I've ridden twice in torrential heavy rain for hours on end and although it finally succumbed to the deluge, it lasted longer than any 10,000mm rated jacket I've worn somehow, plus when the temperature had dropped to minus-2°C with a bit of freezing fog chucked into the mix, I remained brilliantly warm.
If that doesn't sound like the perfect jacket to take on a snowstorm then I don't know what is.
A lot of brands go into great detail about the fabrics used in their clothing, but all PEdAL ED gives are the materials used and what percentage. From between the lines, you can see this is a three-layer construction like most waterproof softshells. The outer layer is a polyamide/elastane mix which looks to have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating, judging by the way rain tends to bead off as you are riding, in the initial stages at least.
In the middle you have a 100% polyurethane membrane, which no doubt has micro holes in it to stop moisture from the outside getting in while still allowing body heat out. I say this because considering how warm the Yuki is, it still manages to be very breathable, especially when worn over a decent baselayer.
At those lower temperatures I was fine with just a winter baselayer underneath, something like the GripGrab Freedom, thanks to the fleece lining in the jacket. The slightly more generous sizing of the Yuki than more race-cut jackets means you could get away with a jersey underneath too, if you feel the cold.
With a thinner baselayer on I was quite comfortable in the PEdAL ED up to about 10°C without getting overly sweaty, even when climbing.
As I've said, the cut of the Yuki is a little more relaxed than many jackets. It's still tailored enough to suit a rider in the saddle without looking baggy or anything, but you don't need to be super-lean for it to flatter.
The sleeves are long enough that when stretched out on the hoods there is no wrist gap between your cuffs and gloves, plus the back is suitably dropped that when you are hunkered down in the drops there is no exposure there either.
Round the front, you get a full sealed zip with a buffer behind it, and a high neck to keep out draughts.
There is plenty of storage space in the jacket, but the pockets are in a slightly different layout to normal: one cargo, two either side, and one zipped.
In place of the traditional three you get one large cargo storage area. It has a flap to cover it and PEdAL ED says it's for stashing your gloves and hat. I didn't really trust it to hold anything heavy, the usual things I'd carry on a ride like tubes, pump, multi-tool and the like, because without the extra stitching to separate it into three pockets it was a little on the saggy side.
If you're pro enough to need a race radio or you just like to ride with headphones in, there is a hole for you to pass the wires through so you can run them up the inside of the jacket.
On each side of the jacket there is another pocket which is slim and ideally sized to hold gels and bars; they're a good addition, easy to grab when wearing gloves.
On the outside of the side pocket on the right is a zipped one for valuables.
Plenty of storage then, and a lot of good stuff going on, but can it justify the price?
It's not that there isn't any competition out there. The Assos Mille GT Ultraz Winter Jacket comes in at a cool £260, or you could go for the Castelli Alpha RoS Jacket at £275, which scored very highly.
But I'm still a massive fan of the Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel V2 Jacket, which is the one I grab when the rain is lashing against the windows. It performs just as well as the Yuki, plus it has loads of subtle reflectives if that's important to you, and it costs just £150.
Overall, I really enjoy wearing the Yuki when the weather is crap, but would I pay the full whack for it? I doubt it. It's good, very good, but it's not exceptional.
A very good winter jacket but one hell of an outlay compared with most of the competition
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road.cc test report
Make and model: PEdAL ED Yuki Winter Jacket
Size tested: Large
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?
PEdAL ED says, "Yuki (meaning "snow" in Japanese) is our Softshell Jacket for cold bad weather. It was designed to be extremely warm during your cold winter rides thanks to its inner fleece layer, yet waterproof and protective under pouring rain and snow. The Yuki features four different pockets: one big cargo pocket to store your gloves and hat, two side pockets for bars and gels, one value pocket for phone and wallet. Reflective details make it the perfect garment for winter training and rides."
It is a very good jacket, but it is really pricey and I'd question the 'reflective details' comment – minimal!
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
PEdAL ED lists:
10.000 w/c water resistant,
Extremely warm and breathable,
Large cargo back pocket,
Waterproof value pocket
85% Polyamide 15% Elastane , 100% Polyurethane , 92% Polyester 8% Elastane
It has a more relaxed fit than pro racer.
Follow the size chart and you'll be fine.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
For such an expensive jacket there aren't any special requirements, which is good.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For resisting the elements, you can't knock it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Very good at what it does.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The cargo pocket and the price.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are others out there that are a similar price and perform very well, but you can also get some much cheaper ones. The Assos Mille GT Ultraz Winter Jacket is £260, and the Castelli Alpha RoS Jacket is £275, while Lusso's Aqua Extreme Repel V2 is £150.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Not at full price.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Recommend it, yeah, but I'd let them know the price...
Use this box to explain your overall score
I really rate the Yuki and if it were £100 less it'd probably be getting top marks. On performance alone it's excellent, but the overall score comes down when you take price into consideration, and the fact that I'm not a massive fan of that cargo pocket.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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!