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Liv's Delphin Rain Jacket offers protection against wind chill and light rain showers, making it a great bit of kit for unpredictable weather. The bright design also helps improve your visibility to other roads users in dull conditions.
I tested a medium, as the Liv size guide suggests for me, and found it exactly as Liv describes its Club Fit: "Not too loose or too tight...comfortable and performance-minded."
The sleeves are longer than average, perfect for reaching over gloves, and the Velcro adjusters at the sleeve ends are brilliant for tightening the cuffs around a glove, giving a secure fit and full protection.
The tail is really generous in length and volume. It's held in place with a decent silicone strip and does a great job of protecting you from rear wheel spray and rain.
The collar isn't overbearingly high or tight, but is still more than enough to keep draughts out when zipped up. The zip sits in a garage, and while there is no soft, fleece lining here, I didn't miss it – the jacket's fabric is relatively soft anyway.
The fit around the torso was ideal for me on the bike, with no excessive bagginess when leaning forward. The ProTextura Plus fabric is stretchy; it gives with movement on the bike so there are never any pinch points. This stretch makes it really easy to get the jacket on and off too.
The more relaxed fit means the Delphin is more versatile than some other cycling-specific rain jackets. I've used it for commuting on the bike, and also as a casual waterproof for easy runs and walking. It doesn't scream roadie.
I've worn the Delphin during both Ciara and Dennis, as well as the inclement stuff sandwiched between the two storms and the dregs that have lingered – it's really had to deal with some rough stuff. In short, it's not up to heavy, persistent rain, but copes very well with light drizzle and short showers. Anything more extreme permeates the membrane and the fabric no longer repels water, though it does at least continue to protect you from the wind chill.
Only last week, I rode in some seriously unpredictable conditions for several hours. The jacket kept me warm and dry through at least seven short, light showers. In between, I had it unzipped for airflow and didn't overheat as the sun shone intermittently. I tried keeping it zipped up post-shower – it's fine if you are riding easy, but ramp up the effort and you will begin to sweat. I'd say its breathability is in line with most other rain jackets at this price point.
After a prolonged shower, the jacket can take some time to dry out – keeping it on and unzipped helps massively here. Naturally, you are then effectively wearing a flag! Stuffing it in your rear pocket means it doesn't dry out fully, and its effective performance time is compromised when you put it on again.
Once you get home or at a cafe stop, the jacket has a useful hook for hanging up.
The colour is certainly striking, perfect for being seen in dull, rainy weather. There is a decent amount of reflective detailing too – tabs, logos and flashes. The obvious downside of the colour is that mud splatters really show up. Care instructions are to 'hand wash only', which is a bit faffy but splatters fade significantly – the water was filthy and the jacket brighter! Performance hasn't been compromised post-washing, though I don't make a habit of washing waterproofs regularly. It's possible that the effectiveness of the ProTextura could deteriorate with excessive washing, but you can reapply a DWR treatment if it does.
The jacket's generous fit and Velcro cuffs mean it's not as compact as some rain jackets. It packs down reasonably well and I've fitted it in all of my rear pockets, though it's a serous stretch in smaller pocketed jerseys.
Liv has included a zip pocket at the front. While it's pretty generous (my 150x75mm smartphone fits in there), bear in mind that you might want to take the jacket off to stuff in your rear pocket, so if you put much more than a key or some coins in there those will have to fit too. That said, it was really convenient if I used the jacket for walks or runs.
While the zip is smooth running and has a full-length interior guard, the zip-ends were an issue for me. They are really small – difficult to locate and handle with a glove on. It's annoying given that the sleeves and cuffs pull nicely over a glove; I frequently had to resort to removing my glove to zip up (or access the pocket, which uses the same style tab) when I'd comfortably pulled the jacket over the glove and was happy with the cuff positioning. They simply need to be bigger or have a toggle/cord on them to eliminate unnecessary faff.
While the Delphin isn't the cheapest out there, it's certainly not the most expensive option either.
Altura's Synchro Jacket, which we reviewed a few years ago, is £20 cheaper at RRP than the Delphin. Altura has a range of cheaper options too, though I haven't tested them so can't comment on their performance.
Sportful's Hot Pack NoRain Women's Jacket has gone up a tenner since Tass tested it; it offers more rain protection than the Liv, with a more performance-orientated cut but less stretch.
Santini's Passo is a slightly heavier option, and is showerproof rather than waterproof, and £140.
Zippers aside, the Delphin is practically designed, thoughtfully cut and brightly coloured. It will protect you against wind chill and light showers, just don't rely on it for very heavy downpours or prolonged rain.
Great protection in showery, windy weather but prolonged rain will get through
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Liv Delphin Rain jacket
Size tested: 10
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?
Liv says: "In the UK and Ireland where unpredictable weather prevails the waterproof jacket is the cyclists best friend. Featuring waterproof ProTextura™ Plus fabric construction with fully taped seams and a zipped pocket, Delphin will protect you from the elements as you put in the miles."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Fit: Club fit
Fabric: ProTextura™ Plus
Fastening: Full zip
Features: One zipper front pocket
Well made, no weak points.
Good protection from cold winds and short showers but not up to handling prolonged rain.
While the ProTextura fabric is described as having "durable water-repellent finishes and laminations", I'd say the jacket is water repellent rather than waterproof.
Breathability is on a par with most jackets at this price point. Work hard and you'll be sweating.
Liv describes it as club fit. It's great for getting over the bulkiest of jackets.
If you want a race fit garment, size down. Otherwise, stay true to size for a more generous, versatile fit.
A pocket and Velcro cuff make it heavier than some of the more performance style jackets. It's not going to weigh you down, though.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Handwash only – not an incentive to wash it. Doing so hasn't affected performance to date.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great protection in showery weather but doesn't keep you dry in prolonged or very heavy rain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Bright colour for visibility. Adjustable cuffs on lengthy sleeves. Relaxed fit meant I actually used it off the bike for light runs and walking.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Undercuts many, but there are still some cheaper ones out there.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? No
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Unlikely
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a good jacket for showery conditions, and a very comfortable fit. It won't keep you 100% dry in prolonged spells of rain, but it's a lot cheaper than those that do. It's versatile, has a practical cut and useful design features.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…