The All Weather Jacket by Sweaty Betty sets out to be a funkier alternative to a standard waterproof, while still trying to retain that functionality. If you are going to ride your bike year-round, no matter what the weather or the season, you are, at some point, going to need a waterproof jacket of some sort. There are a few companies around now seeking to make something as functional as a waterproof cycling jacket a little more stylish at the same time. Most succeed to a greater or lesser degree, but often to the detriment of the very functionality that started the whole thing off. So does the Sweaty Betty manage to marry funk with functionality*.
In short, not really. The All Weather is a different looking jacket, whose style will appeal to some, but not to all. A lot of thought has gone into the design, with some quirky features that set it apart from other waterproofs. There's a ruffle/skirt type affair at the bottom hem, and a pronounced feminine curve to the shape. The jacket only comes in dark brown, but orange accents at the hood, lining, and hem drawcord contrast nicely to give a very striking effect. Features also include plenty of reflective trim, good length Velcro and elastic fastened sleeves and two zipped pockets, one with a headphone outlet.
In wear though, the frill at the hem only really works with lycra tights, not baggier commuter style legwear. Even then, it does look a little bit strange - to my eye at least. The stylish colour contrast hood does not roll away, meaning it just sits and collects water and can flap in the wind. For the £155 price tag, I'd usually be expecting mid level technical fabrics that breathe well and offer long term riding comfort no matter what the weather. Here though, there's a price penalty attached for the jacket's designer looks, which has resulted in a less technically advanced fabric.
Whilst fully waterproof, with taped seams, it's a very warm jacket to ride in, and doesn't breathe well, leaving you decidedly sticky, if not damp inside. This breathability is not enhanced by the full mesh lining, which adds to the warmth. The fit is also not ideal, with the jacket very much orientated to tall athletically built women with a willowy rather than curvy figure. Ladies with bigger hips will find the jacket a snug fit around the bottom for a good fit elsewhere. Whilst the jacket is quite light and packable, there are far better emergency waterproofs available, and it's not breathable enough for long duration wear.
All in all, it doesn't live up to the initial promise suggested by its description and photos.
*I'll get my coat
Quirky looking jacket with some nice details, but expensive for the level of performance.
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Make and model: Sweaty Betty All Weather Jacket
Size tested: M Charcoal
Tell us what the product 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?
"Elegant, waterproof drop-waisted jacket with pleated skirt and beautiful pleated panelling on shoulders. A cycling essential."
Aimed at fashion conscious female cyclists.
Doesn't exactly succeed as a 'suits everyone' type jacket.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fully waterproof with taped seams.
100% Nylon - Protecttech Storm
Mesh lining throughout.
Elasticated hemline with gripper.
Two zipped side pockets (one with headphone outlet)
Velcro and elastic fastening cuffs.
Well made and nicely finished.
Waterproof but not breathable enough for long term riding comfort.
Well made and should last well. Fabric will become even less breathable with time.
Light weight and a decent packsize for bags etc.
Over warm and not breathable enough for long rides. Restrictive fit at hips.
A lot of money for quite plasticky feeling fabric.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed fine at keeping the rain out, but not so good at keeping perspiration levels down on the inside.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Unusual looks, colour contrast.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Fabric, fit at hips, lack of roll away faculty on hood.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not really.
Would you consider buying the product? No.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly, if she was athletically built and wanted a style lead cycling jacket for short rides.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Overpriced for the technical performance it offers.
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.