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Bioracer's Kaaiman jacket is a great option when you want to ride quickly and it's properly filthy out.
The Kaaiman is Bioracer's take on a classic winter hard shell jacket. It's a full membrane fabric with a waffle-texture internal facing that feels good next to the skin if it's warm enough to wear this jacket without a long-sleeve layer underneath.
Available in Black, Orange or this fluo Yellow, it's nicely made, with ultrasonic bonded seams, a storm flap, tight silicone-edged cuffs and a waterproof zip. All those things together make the Kaaiman just about the most waterproof outer layer I've used. I've worn this jacket on some properly biblical days and it's shrugged off everything. It's not a particularly thick jacket but the waffle textured inside fabric traps a bit of air and helps to keep the windchill off you.
It's not the most breathable jacket I've used: it's usually a payoff to some extent between the one thing and the other. Climate control is okay though: there are two big vents in the back to let you breathe a bit. If you're riding hard for a couple of hours then that's enough to get a bit damp from sweat build-up underneath the Kaaiman, but it's certainly not the worst I've tried in that regard.
The fit is generally very good. It's cut like a racing jacket and best for a road or endurance position. The arms are nice and long and the tight cuffs stop water seeping up the sleeves of your jersey.
The collar is the only slight disappointment, it's a bit gappy on the XL jacket I was testing. Not enough for it to be a real issue, but it could be more snug there.
Finishing on the Kaaiman is good, with enough reflective to make a difference after dark. It's a shame there are no pockets on the jacket, though, because it's difficult to access stuff in your jersey. A mesh pocket like you get on the PEdAL ED Hikari Reflective Shell Jacket would be a good addition here.
Overall, it's an impressively waterproof jacket for road riding that's well cut, and it's been front of the wardrobe for days when it's grim out. At £178 it's certainly not cheap; it doesn't have the breathability or versatility of the Showers Pass Elite 2.1 jacket but it's arguably a better cut for full-on road riding. The Lusso Aqua Pro Extreme is a bit cheaper and a great all-rounder, but not as waterproof for the really foul weather.
So it's horses for courses: if you're looking for a jacket that will cope with fast riding in the worst conditions, it's certainly one for the shortlist. And it's currently reduced to £128.
Very good foul-weather jacket that's as waterproof as they come
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bioracer Kaaiman Jacket
Size tested: XL
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?
Say hello to the Kaaiman.
We've engineered this rain jacket from the ground up, especially for riders like you.
Aero race cut body fit. 3D moisture management thermo control inner layer mesh structure.
Kaaiman skin textured coating with water/windproof membrane in between.
All held together with ultrasonic bonded seams, and closed with a water/wind proof PU coated heavy duty zipper.
It is the best one we ever made, and we thought you should own one. Now ride it.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Normally gets washed when you're using it! But it's worth giving it a tech wash and a surface treatment from time to time to keep the water beading off the fabric.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Very waterproof, well cut.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Neck a bit gappy, no pockets.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's not cheap but at £178 it's a mid range top-end waterproof, if that makes sense. The PEdAL ED Hikari Reflective Shell Jacket is the most directly comparable jacket we've recently tested, that's £236.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Overall it's very good at what it's designed for. The kind of jacket you'd buy if you're committed to, say, turning up for the paceline ride every week and sitting on someone's wheel in the rain.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura, Dward Design fixed
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, 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.