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review

Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket

8
£92.40

VERDICT:

8
10
Heavy duty protection from stormy weather at a very decent price
Proper foul weather protection
Good hood
Removable yellow drop tail
No loop for hanging on coat hook
Weight: 
617g
Contact: 

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Galibier's Courchevel Storm Jacket is designed as an all-rounder for any kind of riding or non-riding activity in foul weather. It's not light and it's not packable, but it is very weatherproof, and at £92.40 it punches well above its weight.

Although Galibier says the Courchevel is cut for cycling, it's not obviously so. When you put it on it feels much more like a mountaineering-style jacket in terms of weight and feel, though it does have a zip-on/off high-vis drop tail.

> Buy this online here

Galibier calls it a 'standard' fit, with plenty of room for other layers underneath. I'm 178cm and weigh 77kg and am usually a medium for this kind of jacket; the medium on test is quite roomy, but it's the right size for me – the arms are the perfect length when stretched out on a bike.

2021 Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket - back.jpg

You probably wouldn't choose it for any ride on your best road bike – but chances are your road bike wouldn't be the one you'd choose for the sort of conditions this jacket is designed for, anyway.

Weather protection

It's made from a 50 per cent recycled AquAVent fabric in a three-layer construction. Galibier describes it as a 'durable outer layer...laminated with a high wicking mesh inner layer that efficiently moves moisture away from your skin and through the fluorine free membrane in the middle'.

Galibier quotes 12.9k and 10.5k for breathability and waterproofness respectively; there's more to it than numbers, though.

2021 Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket - taped seams.jpg

The jacket is fully seam-sealed and uses a two-way watertight zip, protected by a two-inch Velcro'd zip flap.

2021 Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket - collar.jpg

There are drawcords at the hem, and the sleeves have Velcro straps for adjustment at the wrist. You also get decent size pit zips, providing ventilation when you need it.

2021 Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket - cuff velcro.jpg

road.cc Dave and I had planned an off-road bikepacking trip from Barnstaple to Bath a few weeks ago. We'd agreed beforehand that if the forecast was bad we wouldn't enjoy it and would sack it off. Of course, the forecast was for heavy rain and a decent headwind, and of course we went ahead regardless. Even though it was July, I was in full-length waterproof trousers and this jacket, and it was the level of protection I needed. I reckon the jacket made a big contribution in keeping a smile on my face instead of feeling miserable despite the weather.

It was the kind of conditions where no waterproof would have kept me completely dry; moisture gets in through the large hole that's required for your head to poke out, and the hand holes, and it wicks up from the waist. And sweat doesn't help either – those pit zips help a lot with ventilation, but the comedy sideways rain meant that I had to keep the windward side closed anyway.

2021 Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket - armpit vent.jpg

When the weather's like this, it's comfort levels that count when everything is wet, and this jacket performed well here. When the rain eventually died down, I wasn't in too much of a hurry to take the jacket off; I was wearing just a quick-drying jersey underneath and didn't feel boiled in a bag. For a heavy duty fabric, it dried reasonably quickly too.

Next time I set off on this kind of ride, it'll be this jacket I'd pick again.

Other features

Other than the various zips and drawcords I've mentioned, you also get two waterproof-zipped hand pockets, which are generous enough for hands in gloves. There's also an internal chest pocket which will easily take any size phone.

2021 Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket - zipped pocket.jpg
2021 Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket - inside pocket.jpg

There's also a protective silicone print on the shoulders to stop backpack strap wear.

The reflective logos on the left arm and the back are a nice touch. I wouldn't want to rely on them to be seen in the dark for commuting in busy traffic, though the high-vis drop-tail helps.

2021 Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket - sleeve logo.jpg

It's also available in Dark Forest Green as well as the Electric Orange colourway on test. I think both look very smart in the flesh.

As I've said, although the cut works on a bike, it's not obviously cycling-specific and works just as well for walking or any other activity in the rain, particularly with its decent size hood, which has just enough peak and is three-way adjustable with drawcords. It certainly had plenty of non-cycling use in the testing period.  

2021 Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket - hood adjustment.jpg
2021 Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket - hood toggle.jpg

Value

To talk about value, I think it's worth comparing it to more mountaineering/hillwalking jackets as well as cycling-specific ones.

Altura's Nightvision Hurricane Waterproof Jacket is designed for commuting in all weathers and costs more at £139.99. It is much more reflective than the Galibier, though. 7mesh's Copilot Jacket is a lot more expensive at £220, but it is actually packable, which you wouldn't accuse the Galibier of.

Endura's Hummvee Waterproof Jacket is cheaper at £79.99, but doesn't have a hood.

> Buyer’s Guide: 37 of the best waterproof cycling jackets

For more mountaineering stuff, my go-to brand for decent well-priced stuff is Alpkit. I think the most comparable jacket in its range is the Fortitude, though it has a slightly longer cut. It's much more expensive at £179.99, and comparing the two (I own a Fortitude), I reckon for mixed use the Galibier is better; the Fortitude's cut is too long to use for riding.

You can pay less in this category, of course: Craghoppers' Orion Jacket is part of its DofE range and costs £60.

Conclusion

If you're the kind of person who's not put off by cold, wet weather, you'll find this jacket the perfect companion. It will protect you well on stormy days, whether you're on the bike or doing something else. It's a delight to wear, and at £92.40 I reckon it's a stone cold bargain. Just make sure you've got somewhere to put it if there's any chance you might want to take it off, as it's not light and it doesn't pack down small.

Verdict

Heavy duty protection from stormy weather at a very decent price

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Galibier Courchevel Storm 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?

Galibier says:

'High functioning cycling jacket for effective protection against the harsh environments of cold and driving rain.

The garment goal of the Courchevel was to create a beautiful jacket to protect the cyclist when they ride under dark clouds or incessant headwinds, regardless of what bike or surface they are on.

It is not a Mountain bike jacket or a commuting jacket, we don't believe in rules or uniform. It is a jacket that will keep you protected when pedalling on the days when the rest of the world are in front of the TV.

The Courchevel is a high performance rain jacket, although cut for cycling, you can wear it doing anything, outside.

The fully seamed, sealed jacket is constructed from a soft, quiet, three-layer shell AquAVent fabric. The durable outer layer is laminated with a high wicking mesh inner layer that efficiently moves moisture away from your skin and through the fluorine free membrane in the middle.

At the front, a 2-Way waterproof zip is partnered by long and effective arm pit ventilation zips, to regulate temperature. There are handy cinch toggles at the bottom hem of the jacket, while the cuffs feature velcro straps and allow you to custom the fit for the conditions.

The under-helmet hood is drawstring adjustable in three directions, including field of vision. The hood brim is not too long, just long enough for when you're pedalling straight into some horizontal precipitation. A zip removable, HiViz drop tail, provides added protection against road spray and makes the rider more visible in low light conditions. Extra Silicone protection is printed onto the shoulders to minimise backpack wear.

The jacket has a minimalist look and offers the best protection in the very worst conditions while you look magnificent.

Standard fit with room to be worn on top of other layers but without any excess fabric.'

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

Galibier lists:

100% fluorocarbon-free AquAVent fabric (50% recycled mix)

TMC Japan glide, 2 way, Watertight zipper with reflective trim and toggle

Reflective Logo on arm and back

Internal Chest Phone pocket

Environmentally friendly durable water-repellent finish (DWR)

Outer fabric: Polyamide Pro Guard

Lightweight three layer construction

Breathable and fully waterproof 12.9K/10.5K

Full 3-way draw cord adjustable hood

Reflective details

Ventilation Pit zips

Removable HiViz Drop back hem

Protective shoulder silicone print

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for performance:
 
8/10
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:
 
7/10
Rate the jacket for fit:
 
7/10
Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
6/10

The cut is quite generous for a cycling jacket. For a mountaineering jacket, it's just right.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
5/10

This jacket is not lightweight or packable. It's not trying to be, so I don't think that's a negative, given what it's designed for.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for value:
 
9/10

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

I gave it a wash with Nikwax Tech Wash on 30 degrees; all the dirt was gone, and water beaded up nicely on the fabric.

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

As a jacket designed for the foulest of conditions, it does its job really well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Everything really, it's a really good foul-weather jacket.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

There is no loop for hanging it on a coat hook. That is all I can come up with as a negative.

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

I would expect to pay more for a mountaineering type jacket. For example, Alpkit's Fortitude jacket retails for £179.99. We tested Altura's Nightvision Hurricane Waterproof jacket, which is a more cycling-specific jacket that's designed for foul conditions, and that costs £139.99.

You can also spend less: Craghoppers' Orion Jacket (part of the brand's DofE collection) costs £60.

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

The Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket will protect you from stormy wet weather, be that on the bike or doing other activities. It's a delight to wear and makes it easier to go out in foul weather. For £92.40, I reckon it's a stone cold bargain; you can spend multiples of that for a jacket that will do the same thing.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 1.78m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: All of them!  My best bike is: Ribble Endurance SL disc

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Zwift

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