The Triban Men's Winter Jacket RC500 is definitely one for when the temperature drops as it keeps out wind and traps in warmth. It's not the most breathable jacket I've worn, but it works with minimal layering and you really can't beat the quality or attention to detail for the money.
- Pros: Loads of pockets; great windblocker; underarm vents work well
- Cons: Tail could be dropped a little further for full coverage; can get warm when working hard
I really like the styling of the new Triban jackets. The reflective stripes on one side of the chest and the opposing sleeve look cool (admittedly with us riding on the left it doesn't work that well for turning across traffic) and the overall finish is top notch.
Being a softshell, the Triban offers plenty of windproofing, and though not fully waterproof it does offer a decent level of water repellency in light showers. It's very comfortable: the soft fabric feels very pleasant to wear, and while Triban isn't Decathlon's 'performance' range, the cut is still on the racy side, with just a little bit of extra room for those of us who aren't blessed with a pro's physique.
My body normally runs pretty warm, so underneath jackets I tend to only wear a baselayer rather than squeezing a jersey in as well, and this is definitely what I did with the RC500. When riding hard on the flat or grinding uphill you can heat up pretty quickly in this. While the long vents do a very good job of expelling some of the warmth, I could still be in a summer baselayer for temperatures well below 10°C, only switching to a long sleeved winter version as the mercury nudged freezing.
You don't need a jersey either, as the RC500 has everything you need in terms of storage: four pockets along the rear, consisting of two wide ones in place of the traditional three…
…and another two either side that are easy to reach and ideal for gels, bars and the like to save you stopping in the cold.
You also get a zipped valuables pocket at the rear, and another on the chest.
Other neat touches include a removable snood/neck warmer that buttons inside the collar to give extra protection…
…and the wrists are lined to sit inside your gloves while the outer goes over the top to stop any gaps and wind entering.
In the saddle I found there to be plenty of length in the arms when riding in the drops, and the front is short enough to not cause too much material bunching when crouched over.
The rear could do with being a touch longer for a bit more protection from the elements, but at least it covers all the way to the bottom of your back; that is my only real criticism.
If black isn't your thing then this RC500 is also available in Teal Blue.
When it comes to value for money, the Triban scores well at just £54.99.
It's heavier, as in thicker, than most of the softshells we've tested recently, and will no doubt run to cooler temperatures than something like the £90 dhb Classic fit Softshell Roubaix jacket.
Giving it a good run for its money, though, is the Galibier Mistral Foul Weather Jacket that Dave found to be excellent last year, and is still available for just over 70 quid. It is more waterproof than the Triban and offers a bit more in the way of breathability.
Overall, the RC500 works really well in single figure temperatures and will cope fine when things are sub-zero. Its breathability isn't perfect but there really is a lot to like here and at a decent price too.
Not the most breathable softshell out there, but comes with plenty of neat touches and loads of pockets
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Triban Winter Jacket RC500
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?
Decathlon says, "Our passionate road cycling product team created this winter jacket so you can stay warm when cycling in cold and windy weather.
"This softshell jacket is perfect for winter rides. It has a membrane that protects from the wind while remaining breathable, plus a soft fleece lining to keep you warm."
It isn't the most breathable softshell out there but there are a lot of neat touches to the jacket that will see it keep you warm into the depths of winter.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
88.00% Polyester (PES), 12.00% Elasthane
100.00% Polyester (PES)
100.00% Polyurethane - Coating
Windproof fabric with fleece lining. Removable neck gaiter. Long back.
Good perspiration wicking (RET 12), zipped vent openings under the arms.
Zipped chest pocket, 3 pockets in the back (including 1 zipped), 2 side pockets.
Protection from light rain and road spray/splashes.
It delivers a decent level of water resistance.
It matches the manufacturers recommendations to be fair. RET 12, breathable for moderate efforts.
The sizing is realistic for the UK market. If you wear a medium in normal clothes then a medium in this will fit you fine. Check out the size guide on Decathlon's website if you are unsure.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simple 30 degree wash to keep everything clean with no issues.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It keeps you warm as the temperature drops and has plenty of pockets so it can replace a jersey.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
I think it's a good looking jacket and comes with loads of neat touches that you don't see on clothing twice its price.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
There are more breathable options out there.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It is cheaper than many softshells on the market while still delivering on performance, but there are others – like the Galibier mentioned in the review – that run it close on value.
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
It's very good. True, it can get a little too warm, but layer up sensibly and the Triban will see you through the worst of the winter cold. The attention to detail for the money is pretty impressive.
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!