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Jack Wolfskin's Bike Commute Mono Jacket is a packable waterproof that works equally well on and off the bike. It has excellent sustainability credentials, and while it's pretty expensive, it's certainly not alone in its price bracket.
Check out other options in our guide to the best waterproof cycling jackets.
Jack Wolfskin, a German company that's been going for over 40 years, developed its own weatherproof material in-house and called it Texapore. This jacket is made from Texapore Ecosphere, the most sustainable incarnation of the fabric.
The design goal for this jacket is circularity: no new materials input in the manufacturing process. The outer fabric and lining of the jacket are made from recycled PET bottles, while the membrane is made from offcuts in the manufacturing process. Because all the materials used are polyester, the jacket (with reflectives and zipper removed) can itself be recycled. Texapore is also completely PFC free.
The fabric might be made from recycled materials, but that doesn't mean there are any compromises in its performance. It has a 15k breathability rating, and its waterproof rating exceeds 20k, numbers that are backed up in use.
While no waterproof jacket will ever keep you completely dry, for reasons such as sweat, the big hole at the top for your head to go through, and wicking actions from other layers that poke out in the weather, this one has kept me comfortable on some particularly minging outings.
All seams are fully taped, too, and there are vents at shoulder height on the back to help with ventilation.
The fabric is fairly thin and light, so the jacket packs down reasonably small. A big jersey pocket is doable, but probably only to prove a point. Plenty small enough for bikepacking, though, especially if you're setting off into an epic forecast.
As you'll have guessed from the name, this is not a minimalist racing snake jacket; it's aimed at the commuter end of the market. Jack Wolfskin markets this as a regular fit and the cut is generous – plenty of space for layering up underneath, without getting too flappy.
I'm usually a medium in non-Italian brands, but my measurements (96cm chest and hips, 85cm waist) suggest a small would be right for me according to Jack Wolfskin's size guide.
The medium on test is generous on me compared with a minimalist cycling-specific performance-orientated cycling jacket. I wouldn't go as far as saying it's too big, though – there's only 1cm difference in arm length between small and medium – and having a little more space in a mixed use jacket is useful, especially in the winter months where you might want to wear something reasonably bulky underneath.
For spring and summer cycling, where you might only wear a jersey or T-shirt underneath, the cut could be more fitted, but it's fine for commuting, audaxing, bikepacking, gravel adventures and so on.
The hood is big enough to fit over a helmet, and has elastic cinch cords to adjust how much weather you want to keep off your face, though there's no option for stashing it away when not in use.
There are two zipped hand pockets, an internal pocket that will easily fit any size phone, and a zipped pocket low down on the back.
Apart from the latter, these are positioned for use off the bike, or on a bike with a very upright position; on a road bike, anything in those pockets ends up bumping into your legs on the upstroke. The zipped pockets have nice big toggles – no issues with opening these even with big gloves on – and the two-way zip is handy.
There's also a cinch cord around the hem, but there's no provision for cinching down the elasticated cuffs. Riding into a headwind in the rain, I did notice a breeze getting in there. Nice when you want ventilation, but not so nice when it's cold out.
This jacket is available in three colours: Thunder Blue (currently reduced to £185), Grey Olive and the Phantom that we have on test. All three look pretty stylish in my opinion, but I wouldn't say any of them will particularly stand out in terms of visibility.
You get a reflective logo on the shoulder of the left sleeve, and the cuffs have a little flap with a reflective underside – the idea being that you can flap it up in the dark when you're on your bike, and flap it down when you're not.
There's no denying that £270 is a lot of money for what looks like a fairly ordinary jacket, but those looks bely the performance of the fabric, and the tailoring is spot on. Those sustainability credentials will have caused the company a bit of effort too.
And the Bike Commute Mono is not alone in this price bracket. Looking at similar jackets we've reviewed recently, MAAP's Alt_Road Lightweight Jacket also costs £270, and Vulpine's Regents Mac is £260.
You really don't have to spend this much on a decent jacket, though. I really liked Galibier's Courchevel Storm Jacket when I reviewed it two years ago. That now costs £92.40, saving you a big wodge of cash. I'd say the performance is on a par, but the Jack Wolfskin is dropped a bit lower, the fabric is much lighter and more packable, and there's the sustainable aspect.
Chapeau's City Jacket has gone up by £20 since Hollis tested it, but is still cheaper than the Jack Wolfskin at £149.99.
I've enjoyed using the Bike Commute Mono as a mixed-use, do-it-all jacket that packs down small. It's kept me comfortable on plenty of rainy walks and rides, and I would happily use it for gravel rides and bikepacking, though I'd probably go for something a bit more fitted for road rides.
For a commuting jacket you might prefer something a bit more visible, but as a do-everything jacket this one has it pretty much nailed. And the lack of visibility is easily fixed with a reflective vest.
The price might be a stumbling block, but the sustainability credentials and its genuine do-it-all nature go some way to justifying the expenditure.
Great packable do-it-all jacket for on and off bike use, with good eco credentials
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Jack Wolfskin Bike Commute Mono Jkt M
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?
Jack Wolfskin says: "The windproof and waterproof BIKE COMMUTE MONO jacket combines functionality with sustainability. The 3-layer TEXAPORE shell fabric is made from recycled polyester monofilament yarn, which means the entire can jacket can be recycled.
"The fabric is very light and breathable, and the jacket is also equipped with air vents on the back.
"Multiple reflectors ensure you stay visible when you're riding. The jacket is compatible with bike outfits or office wear – the sleeve reflectors can be folded away for a more understated look."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Jack Wolfskin lists these 'further details':
jacket in mono-material
very waterproof, windproof
recycled main fabrics
Weight: 455g (size M)
The sizing is generous; I normally take a medium but should take a small according to the size guide.
See the review for details; £270 is a lot of money, but there's plenty of company in this price bracket, and it's useful off the bike too. Those sustainability credentials are worth something too, in my opinion.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Like all waterproofs, it benefits from the occasional wash-in waterproofing top-up.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a do-it-all jacket, it's worked well for me on and off the bike. While it's not the perfect jacket for a road bike ride, it's certainly capable and hasn't held me back or been annoying.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
No adjustment at the cuffs – I'd have liked to have seen Velcro adjustment here to keep the wind out.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
You can get cheaper jackets that do the same thing, but there's plenty of company in this price bracket.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Maybe, if I was after one jacket that does it all, though I tend to prefer ones with more specific roles.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? If they were looking for a do-it-all jacket with eco credentials, yes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is a really good jacket that I've enjoyed using a lot. Other than the small issue with the cuffs not being tight enough and not having adjustment, there isn't anything wrong with it really. I like the fact that Jack Wolfskin appears to be ahead of the curve in terms of eco credentials, and if it wasn't quite so expensive I'd consider giving it a 9.
About the tester
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