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review

Altura Icon Pocket Rocket Waterproof Packable Jacket

8
£125.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Great fit and quality with excellent protection, but only breathable enough for emergency or relaxed use
Great shaping and fit
Roomy but not flappy
Good protection
Bright but stylish
Average breathability
Weight: 
175g

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The Altura Icon Pocket Rocket Waterproof Packable jacket is great for everything from town commutes to wintry training rides. It's breathable enough unless you're really going for it, and the slim fit is still relaxed enough even for chunky jumpers; basically, it works for all but the raciest of rides.

For more options, check out our guide to the best waterproof cycling jackets.

Don't confuse this with the old Altura Icon Rocket which Stu reviewed a couple of years ago – that one didn't have a pocket. I know, right? Completely different. Interestingly, the old one also didn't have a zip garage, though Stu said 'it really needs one'. Clearly Altura was listening; this new version does.

2023 Altura Icon Pocket Rocket Waterproof Packable jacket - collar 2.jpg

As far as I can tell the fabric has changed too (it was Pertex, but is now simply a 'durable ripstop fabric') and the weight has gone up a chunk. This is 175g in size medium, where the old one was 130g in size large.

Basically the Pocket Rocket is a bit thicker, a bit less packable and a bit less racy than the older Rocket, but still very good. And it's got a pocket... although it's just a single central one with a flap for closure rather than a zip. It's only just hand-width and wrist-deep.

2023 Altura Icon Pocket Rocket Waterproof Packable jacket - pocket.jpg

Personally I found it far less useful than the two-way main zip on the front, which makes accessing your jersey pockets easy.

2023 Altura Icon Pocket Rocket Waterproof Packable jacket - bottom zip.jpg

I really like the cut. The sleeves are slim yet leave room even for street clothes, the front is high but not stomach-chillingly so, and the tail drops generously to protect the parts that builders like to flaunt. It also stays put while you ride. The whole thing is not at all tight or restrictive, yet doesn't flap at speed. It has none of the tendency to rise up around the shoulders that some do, either.

2023 Altura Icon Pocket Rocket Waterproof Packable jacket - back.jpg

The collar is good and high, and the zip garage means your neck is protected from the pleasingly chunky (and even more pleasingly colour-coded) metal zip pullers. The line of teeth is plastic and shielded by a waterproof layer to stop leaks.

Altura claims a breathability rating of 10,000g/m2, and that feels about right – 10k is really the minimum for hard exercise, and it can get a bit warm on a long climb or under sustained effort. After about 30 minutes of one ride in (mostly dry) 10 degree air I preferred to take it off, for instance, though I'd been enjoying the windproofing up until then.

Climbing while it's pouring isn't terrible, just sweaty, and the chilling effect of rain reduces the feeling of overheating. It's a good idea to have thinner layers beneath if you plan to wear this for the duration, though.

Basically it's great for short rides or relaxed-ish longer ones.

2023 Altura Icon Pocket Rocket Waterproof Packable jacket - sleeve.jpg

The waterproofing is good, too, and the DWR coating forces water to sit in beads and more easily slide off. It's a PFC-free version – PFCs being perfluorinated compounds, or fluorocarbons – because while these manmade chemicals are great water repellents, they also get into the food chain and are poisonous in high doses. So don't eat too many waterproof jackets, is what I guess I'm saying. At the very least it'll spoil your tea.

2023 Altura Icon Pocket Rocket Waterproof Packable jacket - collar back.jpg

The seams are taped and neatly done, and the ripstop fabric feels particularly robust – though it doesn't scrunch down all that small. I could jam it in a (central, preferably) jersey pocket, but it needed a bit of shaping once in there to sit properly against my back, and in a side pocket it felt like it was twisting my top. It's bulky, then, but manageable.

2023 Altura Icon Pocket Rocket Waterproof Packable jacket - taped seams.jpg

The patterned sections are highly reflective and combine good visibility with style (for my money, anyway), and this bright lime version is pretty stand-out too. I like it a lot, but if getting run over is more of a priority there's a nice low-vis dark grey option called Carbon.

2023 Altura Icon Pocket Rocket Waterproof Packable jacket - sleeve reflective.jpg

Value

At £125 this is middling for a packable waterproof. It's more than the old version – that was £80 – but then everything is more than it was two years ago. Everything's probably more expensive than it was two minutes ago.

It's considerably more than the excellent Galibier Tourmalet 4 Jacket, which is £83.22, but then the Galibier is a bit of an outlier.

The Albion Men's All Road Pertex Shield Rain Jacket that Hollis tested is also great but costs £195, for instance, while the Endura Pro SL Waterproof Shell Jacket is £199.99, though Ben did think that was excellent.

Overall

This is a well-made, well-shaped and stylish jacket that really keeps the wind and rain out effectively. It looks good too, and I appreciate the bright option alongside the more tradtional dark. Though it doesn't scrunch down that small it's not really a massive issue – the only real stumbling block is the reasonable, if not particuarly amazing, breathability.

Verdict

Great fit and quality with excellent protection, but only breathable enough for emergency or relaxed use

road.cc test report

Make and model: Altura Icon Pocket Rocket Waterproof Packable jacket

Size tested: Medium

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?

Altura, presumably while in a very noisy room, says: "A PACKABLE, LIGHTWEIGHT WATERPROOF SHELL JACKET THAT IS IDEAL FOR CHANGEABLE CONDITIONS."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?

Altura lists:

- 10K / 10K waterproof and breathability

- Durable ripstop fabric

- Waterproof stretch fabric for a closer fit

- PFC Free DWR coating to repel water

- Reflective print in large areas for low light visibility

- Secure rear stash pocket

- Packs away into back pocket

- Two way zip for easy access to jersey pockets

- Semi-fitted

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for performance:
 
8/10

Excellent in short bursts or on calmer rides. Not quite breathable enough for sustained effort, though.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
6/10

10,000g/m2 is really the minimum for hard exercise – it can get clammy.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for weight:
 
7/10

175g isn't particularly noticeable in your pocket (even if the bulk is), and really isn't noticeable at all once on.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
8/10

Great fit and decent if not outstanding breathability.

Rate the jacket for value:
 
5/10

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

No issues – and you can mostly keep it clean with cold water.

Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well, though it can get clammy if you're working hard.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

The fit, the shaping, the looks and the colour.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

A little bulky when packed, could be a little more breathable.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?

£125 is mid-market for a waterproof jacket.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes, for more relaxed riding.

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This fits really neatly, feels tough, works well and packs down manageably. It looks sharp too, at least to my eyes (and there's a 'carbon' grey if you hate being seen). It could be a bit more breathable for hard riding, and less bulky for packing, but for emergency or relaxed-ride use this does the job very well.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,

Add new comment

6 comments

Avatar
GMBasix | 8 months ago
0 likes

Constantly bemused by reviewers stating that an item of clothing is "a great fit" or "roomy but not flappy".

Great to know if I'm ever out buying clothing for the reviewer.
Utterly useless information for buying for myself.

At one stroke I can dismiss half of the stated plus factors.

Avatar
Sriracha | 8 months ago
2 likes
Quote:

At £125 this is middling for a packable waterproof. It's more than the old version – that was £80 – but then everything is more than it was two years ago. Everything's probably more expensive than it was two minutes ago.

It's considerably more than the excellent Galibier Tourmalet 4 Jacket, which is £83.22, but then the Galibier is a bit of an outlier.

A great example of how some manufacturers try to gouge you on price because they figure people are inured to costs having gone up rather than because they actually have.

Thanks, I'll buy the Galibier!

Avatar
Steve K replied to Sriracha | 8 months ago
1 like
Sriracha][Quote wrote:

Thanks, I'll buy the Galibier!

I literally just did. So recently, that I've not actually worn it yet

Avatar
Sriracha replied to Steve K | 8 months ago
0 likes

A shame the system does not highlight it below in the "related reviews".

Avatar
Steve K replied to Sriracha | 8 months ago
0 likes
Sriracha wrote:

A shame the system does not highlight it below in the "related reviews".

Yes, I think it just does the most recent related review.  Though I'd say neither the Swvre or Vulpine jackets as that related as they are not waterproof.

Avatar
Oldfatgit replied to Steve K | 8 months ago
3 likes

I've got one - Galibier Tourlamet 4 ... worn it several times, including during pretty torrential downpours. It held out pretty well - eventually gave in, but these were downpours where I'd been drier if I'd gone swimming.
Lovely jacket ... wish I'd brought it earlier instead of messing around with other brands.

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