The Van Rysel Women's Sportive Cold Weather Jacket is a very good value winter top with some water repellency, windproofing, and lots of pockets. It performed really well in cold, mostly dry, sub-10 degree temperatures.
Pros: Great value, warmth, pockets
Cons: High collar
The fluoro lime yellow of the jacket on test certainly stands out, but there is a black option if you prefer. I tested a UK12 which sized up just as I'd expect. The size and cut were great for me on my arms, shoulders, and waist. It was figure hugging to keep warmth in, but not too tight. I could layer up for warmth and happily get a long sleeve baselayer underneath.
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There is no exact information on the material used for the jacket other than that it's polyester. Van Rysel claims some windproofing and water-repellency, and the inside is a waffle style fleece for warmth. Riding for 2-4hrs in temperatures of 10°C and below, and pairing the jacket with a merino T-shirt baselayer, I was very comfortable. The jacket seemed to do a good job of keeping the wind off my chest.
Regarding the water-repellent properties, in very light rain it just about beads off, but anything heavier and the fabric does absorb water; in heavy persistent rain you do eventually get wet to the skin. I took a waterproof jacket with me for some of the heavy rain showers we've been having, as I found having sleeves absorbing cold water a bit chilly even if it hadn't got through to the skin.
The jacket has quite a tall collar, which is a great idea for a winter jacket but did restrict my neck Buff use, just because there wasn't much room for one with the collar zipped up. In temperatures of about 10 degrees I just zipped up the collar and that was great, but for colder rides I resorted to cutting a Buff a bit shorter so there wasn't so much material gathered under my neck.
One thing I really like about this jacket is the number of pockets. There are two main back pockets – a standard size one, and a double size one…
Then these pockets have a zip pocket on each…
Then there are two mesh pockets at the sides.
So many pockets to choose from! I found the double size back pocket great for storing a waterproof jacket, and then there is loads of space for everything less.
The jacket has a nice long tail to cover your butt, with an elastic hem to keep it in place. With the jacket done up I found the hem sat nicely and didn't ride up on any ride.
There is some reflective detail on the back pockets and on the chest, always good.
The black sleeve material is more breathable than the fluoro-lime fabric used for the rest of the jacket. On the cuffs, the black material is elastic which hugs your wrist nicely to keep the wind out. Overall, for wind protection the jacket does a good job.
The main zip is a bit clunky and has no lock-down feature, so it just bounces when you ride. An annoying detail for me. It does have a zip garage at the top, though, which is always appreciated.
Originally £54.99, now discounted to £49.99, it is very good value, so if funds are limited this is a great option. I tested the dhb Aeron Women's Full Protection Softshell a couple of years ago, similar but with better rain protection, and that's £110 at RRP, and even on offer it's more than the Van Rysel, at £66. Madison's Sportive Women's Softshell is £79.99, and you can pay way more: Castelli's jacket-like Cycling Trasparente 3 Women's Winter Jersey offers extra protection but it'll set you back £150.
> Buyer's Guide: 29 of the best winter cycling jackets
Overall, the Van Rysel is warm and cosy in sub-10°C temperatures, a good fit and a great price. Just pack a waterproof if rain is forecast.
Great value winter jacket with lots of pockets that does its job of keeping you warm very well
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Make and model: Van Rysel Women's Sportive Cold Weather Jacket
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, "This jacket has been developed and tested by our engineers to protect you from the cold during winter training sessions and longer rides
"The fabric provides good thermal insulation and will protect you from light rain. This lightweight jacket doesn't get in the way and can be adjusted for a perfect fit"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Thermal insulation thanks to fleece lining.
Longer in back.
Thin, light fabric that keeps body heat in.
4 back pockets to separate items
2 side pockets for rubbish.
Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
Rate the jacket for performance:
Does as it claims and keeps you warm.
Rate the jacket for durability:
All holding up well so far.
Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
It's not claimed to be waterproof but water-repellent – light rain only; anything heavy and sustained will eventually get through.
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
I didn't have any problems with breathability, but I don't overly sweat in the winter cold months.
Rate the jacket for fit:
Tested a medium, my usual size, and it was a great fit.
Rate the jacket for sizing:
Rate the jacket for weight:
It is not a lightweight winter jacket. Decathlon claims to use light fabric but it's designed to keep you warm and the fabric has some weight to it.
Rate the jacket for comfort:
Very comfortable to wear, though I did find the collar quite high.
Rate the jacket for value:
Originally £54.99, now £49.99. It's great value.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed well at 30, although two of the zip pulls – as in the bit of string tied to the zip – came off in the wash. I found them in the drum.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a winter jacket it performed very well, with lots of storage, and good length at the back and over the butt to keep you warm and dry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Collar was quite high – probably my short neck though!
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
I thought the dhb Aeron Full Protection Softshell was a decent price, and that was £110... Madison's Sportive Women's Softshell is £79.99.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Maybe
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's very good: great value, and performs very well as a winter jacket in dry conditions, though its water-repellent qualities are minimal.
Age: 38 Height: 168cm Weight: 60kg
I usually ride: Genesis Croix de Fer Ti My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
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