We tested the Rohan Elite Stormer jacket some time ago, and while we liked the performance of the fabric, we had our reservations about the slightly upright commuter cut. It's a similar story with this lightweight Windrider jacket, but the fit doesn't seem to matter so much here. Anyway, it's a pricey but well-conceived windproof with some standout features, most notably its performance in the rain.
This isn't a waterproof: the fabric is described as 'advanced Polyamide' which means it's similar to most other windproofs out there. It's light at 215g, and easily stowable in a jersey; it also packs into its own rear pocket and there's a velcro loop to attach it to stuff. Like the Elite Stormer the collar and tail are drawstring-adjustable, and it also features the same reflective piping that's red at the back, silver at the front – a nice touch. The cuffs are elasticated and there are two mesh-lined front pockets.
Despite not being a waterproof it's pretty waterproof. Okay - you might not get from one end of the Western Isles to the other with a dry t-shirt, but I've worn this jacket in some pretty heavy downpours and stayed virtually dry. Mostly that's down to the water-repellent treatment, which is as good as any I've come across. Water can't get in the (non-taped) seams if it beads up and rolls off the minute it hits the fabric, and Rohan seem to have really nailed that. They rate the treatment as good for 20 washes, and even then it'll stil be 80% efficient, we're told. That would be years of normal use but I've lobbed the Windrider in with a few washes and can confirm that a quick tumble dry seems to leave it as good as new.
Because the surface treatment is doing the job of keeping water out the fabric can be thin and breathable without compromising the performance too much, and on long uphill schleps in the rain you don't cook in the Windrider like you might in a standard rain cape. And despite being thin, the ripstop material seems hardy.
The cut is almost identical to the Elite Stormer jacket: a bit dropped at the back but more of an MTB/leisure cut than a road one, and very roomy for any given size. A medium was a snuggish fit on me (1.90m, 100kg) and the large comes up a bit baggy on me. Try before you buy if you can.
This is a jacket that will appeal more to casual riders and commuters as well as performance cyclists, so the relaxed cut makes more sense than it does with the £195 waterproof. You'll have to be a well-heeled casual rider or commuter though, as £110 is a lot of dosh for a windproof.
Rohan gear has a reputation for lasting well and this jacket is well thought-out and very nicely made for what it is; maybe five years down the line it won't seem like such a bad deal.
High quality windproof that's breathable and shrugs off even heavy showers with ease, but you pay for the build and performance.
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Make and model: Rohan Windrider Jacket
Size tested: Medium, Titanium
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?
Our Windrider Jacket is the ultimate windproof jacket for the keen cyclist. Compact and light enough to carry in your seat pack, it offers complete protection from wind chill in conjunction with phenomenal levels of breathability.
It's made from an advanced polyamide with our sophisticated Durable Water Repellency™ finish. It's durable, abrasion resistant and offers a useful amount of protection from light rain and showers.
The Windrider Jacket has been designed from scratch to meet the needs of cyclists. It's built around our Forward Pitch Cut™ - basically it's a bit short at the front, a touch long at the back and the arms are a bit long but, when you're on your bike, it's absolutely spot on. The fabric has a certain amount of mechanical stretch too - which, when combined with the fantastic cut, means it feels great and offers completely unrestricted freedom of movement.
It features two mid-mounted chest pockets which are mesh lined to maximise breathability. The zipped rear pocket doubles as a Packpocket™ into which the whole jacket packs. There's a touch-and-close strap on the Packpocket™ which allows you to attach it to your bike or your belt when you're not wearing it.
Elasticated cuffs, an adjustable hem and an adjustable collar seal out the elements and fine-tune the fit.
Our Running Lights™ coloured reflectives are red at the back and silver at the front for a bit of extra on-the-road safety.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fabric: 100% polyamide with DWR™.
Pack Size: 500ml
Drying Time: 3 hours
Windproof cycling jacket.
Forward Pitch Cut.
Rear storage Packpocket.
Two zipped chest pockets.
Easy to wash.
Very well made from good-quality materials.
Considering it's just rated as a windproof, the performance is excellent.
A bit early to say really, but it's wearing well.
Light and packable.
Can get a big clingy on the arms if you're just wearing a jersey. Other than that, fine.
No two ways about it, £110 is a lot for a packable windproof. It's a good one though so doesn't represent rotten value either.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Water resistance, light weight.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fit's a bit roomy for the length in the arms.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 38 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.