At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The ETC Arid Verso Rain Jacket is a pretty clever design – a truly reversible jacket that helps get you seen both in daylight and darkness. There are plenty of little neat touches and breathability is pretty good too, but the fit around the arms won't work for everyone.
The Arid Verso is made with a fully reflective fabric on one side and neon yellow on the other – it's bright, very bright! If you are a rider who trains or commutes whether it is a day or night, the ETC makes a lot of sense, offering visibility whatever the conditions.
Both sides mimic each other identically, with two pockets in a similar position to where you'd find them on a standard coat, and one chest pocket.
There is a vent on both the left and right, although I would have liked to have seen some kind of zipped or mesh vent underneath the arms too, to allow heat to escape.
Saying that, though, the breathability of the Arid Verso isn't actually that bad. It's not really designed as a racer's jacket, so at a steady pace for the likes of urban commuting, you shouldn't get too overwhelmed. There is also a ventilated panel at the rear to help, although that will be covered if you carry a rucksack.
Rather than waterproof, the Arid Verso is claimed to be weatherproof. I found this to mean it's fine in drizzle and short, light showers before it gets overwhelmed. A heavy storm will find its way through quite quickly, especially around the seams.
When it comes to the fit, it is definitely aimed more at an upright riding position. You get a slight dropped tail but not long enough that it would cover your rear end when stretched out, aero style.
It does get a nice tall neck, to keep draughts out, and elasticated cuffs to do the same at the wrists.
The cut is quite relaxed without being baggy, so you don't get too much in the way of material flapping about.
The one thing I just couldn't get on with, though, is how the jacket fitted me at the shoulders. Whenever I put it on it felt tight around the shoulders and upper arms. It wasn't because there wasn't enough material – in fact there was plenty of length in the sleeves – but it was bunched up just above the elbow. It meant movement was really restricted, and although I could adjust it, every time I moved my arms from the handlebar position, I'd have to readjust it.
When it comes to the competition, at £85 the ETC sits in between two very good rivals from Proviz. The similarly reflective Proviz Reflect360 Performance Jacket is £99.99, while the Nightrider Jacket 2.0 is £74.99, and has excellent weatherproofing too.
Overall, the ETC Arid Verso is a pretty decent performing jacket when it comes to weatherproofing and breathability, but for me, the fit around the arms and shoulders just didn't work, and isn't something I could live with. It's one to try, certainly, and if it suits, maybe one to buy.
Decent performing jacket but check the fit – one to try if you like the idea of two jackets in one
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road.cc test report
Make and model: ETC Arid Verso Rain Jacket Mens
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?
ETC says, "Designed to keep the worst of the Elements at bay. Combining Style, Practicality, and Reflectivity, the ETC Arid Jacket range has been conceived with Riders' comfort and safety in mind."
I like the idea, and it has been designed well, but I have issues with the fit.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
* Weatherproof with Fully Reflective or Neon Yellow Daytime Visibility when reversed
* Deep Tail Splashguard Protection
* Elasticated Cuffs
* Side and Chest Pockets
* Machine Washable
* Available in Men's and Ladies
Its performance in terms of weather protection and the ease with which you can reverse the jacket is good.
The majority of the jacket sizing was absolutely fine, but it was tight around the arms/shoulders.
Purely because of the fit issue.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues after repeated washes in the machine.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Works well in inclement weather and will definitely get you noticed, night or day.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Reversibility works well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The fit around the arms/shoulders.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Proviz is probably the main competitor here and it offers similar jackets priced both sides of the ETC's rrp.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? No, because the cut doesn't suit me.
Would you consider buying the jacket? No
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? I'd get them to try it on first.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Decent performance when it comes to dealing with the weather and breathability, and the reversible idea has been carried out very well. The odd cut of the jacket around the top of the arms just made it uncomfortable for me, though, and you can get full waterproofing and visibility for less.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!