The Protector Jacket is Ride's take on the race cape, an ideal garment for stuffing in your jersey pocket just in case of a shower or two.
Handmade from 100% polyester the construction and material is good quality. You get elasticated cuffs and waistband keeping the draughts out and a neat opening in the back to allow access to your jersey pockets underneath. A full zip makes getting it on an off a breeze and it easily scrunches down to jersey pocket size.
What's it like in the wet? Well, it's water resistant as opposed to waterproof so it'll see you through a quick cloudburst or drizzle but isn't man enough to keep out heavy or consistent rain. The lining is waterproof but without taped seams and zips water is always going to get through – it does make for good windproofing though. To be fair though the main concern is whether you're going to get wetter from the inside out rather than from what is falling out of the sky. Breathability, or lack of it is always an issue with this style of jacket and the Ride Protector is no different. Push on a bit and your torso begins to feel like it is in a steamer. I've always found the best option is to ride with tops liks this unzipped, that way you're protecting your shoulders and back from the worst of the rain while keeping some airflow moving over your body.
Rather than the usual transparent, to allow for race numbers or club kit to be seen through while racing, the Protector comes in either a see through black or 'very' hi viz yellow.
The yellow that we've got here on test is certainly an attention grabber which makes it ideal if conditions deteriorate quickly mid ride like a heavy thunder shower or if its foggy. Both the black and yellow versions carry reflective strips on the rear for use in the dark, ideal for year round use.
Overall its a handy jacket to keep in your bag or pocket on inclement days to keep the worst of the rain off. The yellow option is great as a visibility aid and a price of 40 quid is competitive too, but don't expect to stay sweat free if the temperature is in double figures.
Bright, light and competitively priced but as with similar rain capes a bit hot under the collar.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Ride Protector Jacket
Size tested: Yellow, Medium
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?
The Protector is more of an emergency jacket for when you're caught out in the rain. It fits the bill well and works as well as many others on the market.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Italian designed and hand-made
*Available in neon yellow for higher visability
*Elasticated waist band for extra protection from wind and rain
*Through-jacket jersey pocket access and vent
*Large reflective logo and strips on back and sides
*Wind and showerproof
Looks tidy and well made.
The windproof qualities are good and it'll keep a shower off you. Overheating is an issue but no worse than other jackets like it.
Should hold up well if you're careful but the material, while tough, can tear quite easily.
Very light when it is in your jersey pocket.
It runs hot and the polyester feels weird against the skin.
There are other products on the market with the same qualities and faults that are twice the cost.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Okay, better in colder temperatures though. For the occasional storm it's ideal. The yellow version is a good safety net if you're caught out in decreasing light conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The brightness and the slot on the rear to allow access to your jersey pockets.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of breathability.
Did you enjoy using the product? It's a handy pocket filler.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Its only failing is the overheating which is a common problem with nearly all race capes.
About the tester
Age: 34 Height: 180cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Genesis Flyer My best bike is: Ribble Gran Fondo
I've been riding for: 10-20 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,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.