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The Santini Nebula Storm Women's Packable Wind Jacket is a great pocketable wind-breaking and showerproof layer that excels on blustery days when there's a chance of a shower. It's a practical option, too, thanks to the three reasonably sized rear pockets that enable you to store nutrition and essentials within easy reach if you're wearing it for most of a ride. Then, when you do want to tuck it away, the pockets help you pack the jacket into a compact package.
If you're pacing it up climbs, though, the absence of a mesh back panel could leave you quite sweaty, and the fit is proportionally tighter around the forearms, which could make layering more difficult.
Are you already an owner of a basic long sleeve jersey for riding through the transitional seasons? Well, a wind jacket is a great layer to add on top in numerous scenarios, on days where it starts or ends cooler, conditions are changeable, a long descent awaits, or simply for extending the use of your existing layers to colder winter conditions.
Tailored for women, the Nebula Storm is made from the two-way stretch Tovel Bio Zerowind fabric with a double-layer membrane for wind and light rain protection. Unlike some wind jackets that opt for a mesh panel at the rear for maximising ventilation when your body builds up heat – on a taxing climb, say – the Nebula Storm features the same windblocking fabric throughout.
While wind-defending fabric can be strategically placed on the front panel to provide adequate protection, by using this fabric across the rear the Nebula Storm means you're better sheltered from showers, which it holds off well if you do get caught out.
The Nebula Storm comes in Santini's slightly more relaxed classic fit, but it by no means flaps about. The jacket sits well across the chest and over the shoulders and biceps, but further down at the forearm on me the fit is proportionally tight. It was fine when worn with a short sleeve jersey or baselayer beneath, but I found that when paired with some long sleeve jerseys it became a little uncomfortably tight in this area.
The sleeve length is very good and the thin, elasticated cuffs keep the ends in place. The zipper feels robust and has a long enough tag for grabbing with full-finger gloves.
Its dropped tail fits over filled pockets, and while there isn't a silicone band in the rear hem, with the fairly long cut I didn't find the jacket wanted to roll up, especially if I had something in the pocket of my jersey beneath.
Unlike some wind jackets, the Nebula Storm has three rear pockets of its own and it handily folds away into the middle one, which allows you to pack it away compactly when it isn't needed; it also keeps things neat when packing in a kit bag for an event.
To enable this, the middle pocket is slightly wider than the outer two, 12cm compared with 10cm. All are 18cm deep, which is just about enough to tuck away my large smartphone.
Reflective detailing for visibility in low light conditions is decent on this jacket. Across the top of the rear pockets is a reflective band, and there are also thin slivers on the outer edge of the left and right pockets.
I like the look – the explosive print pattern is different and mixes up your style, and it's available in brighter 'Granatina Pink' and 'Aqua' blue options too.
Weight-wise, the Nebula Storm tips the scales at 134g (size small), which is by no means heavy considering you get three pockets, although you can certainly go lighter. Assos focused on making its UMA GT Wind Jacket as light as possible, and it weighs 107g in a size up but comes without a stuff pouch or pockets. Pactimo's Women's Divide Wind Jacket is also lighter, at 117g.
At £119, the Nebula Storm is also a little more expensive than the very breathable and light UMA GT (£110), which seriously impressed Emma. The Specialized Women's HyprViz Race Series Wind Jacket is less, too, at £100, and that Pactimo Women's Divide is £92.
Overall, the Nebula Storm is a useful packable layer. It works well on colder days when you're likely to wear it with a basic long sleeve jersey below for most of the ride, and it's also light and packable enough that you'd happily stash it in your pocket, just in case the weather turns. Breathability is certainly good given the all-round protection you'll benefit from, but if you're expecting to pack your rides with full-on efforts, jackets with a mesh back panel will suit you better. You may also find the cut is a little tight around your forearms, which reduced its versatility in my experiences.
Packable windbreaker with self-storage system and shower protection throughout, but check the sleeve fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Nebula Storm Women's Packable Wind Jacket
Size tested: Small
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?
Santini says: "Packable windbreaker tailored for women. Nebula Puro folds into it's own pocket to make it an ideal carry for wind and light rain protection."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
WINDPROOF AND RAIN RESISTANT:
Made with the 2 layer Tovel Bio Zerowind membrane fabric. Ideal for wind and light rain protection.
POCKETABLE AND ECO-FRIENDLY PACKAGING:
NEBULA PURO can be easily folded into its back pocket so you can pack it during rides. This self-storage system is also used as the poduct's packaging, reducing plastic waste.
Tailored for women, it features an innovative Storm design to add style to your ride.
Reflective band on back pockets for extra safety in low visibility.
Excellent across the chest and shoulder/upper arm, but unfortunately it was too tight at the forearm for me, which made it tricky to pair with layers beneath for warmth.
With the inclusion of three rear pockets it's unsurprising that it weighs more than other wind jackets such as the Assos UMA GT and Pactimo's Women's Divide.
The jacket uses a fairly soft fabric that's comfy and has sleeves that are long enough to provide protection just above the wrists where gloves end. However, the tight forearm cut was not comfortable for me, and was slightly restrictive.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
All good when machine washed at 30 degrees.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great versatility. You could choose to wear this layer for the whole ride as there are three rear pockets so you have easy access to nutrition, and thanks to the all-round shower protection it will also cover you if you do get caught out. Then, when you do want to pack it away, the rear pockets make it easy to tuck it away neatly. It's fairly light too.
For further versatility I would have preferred a looser fit around the forearms so I could layer with long sleeve jerseys.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Its self-storage packing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The fit around the forearms is proportionally tight which can make it tricky to layer with on colder days.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
More expensive than other wind breaker layers such as the Assos UMA GT Wind Jacket (£110), Specialized HyprViz Race Series Wind Jacket (£100) and Pactimo's Women's Divide Wind Jacket (£92).
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? No, the forearm cut didn't suit my body shape.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This wind jacket comes with shower protection throughout (back included) and is a handy packable layer that can be neatly stuffed into its own middle pocket. These three rear pockets also give you easy access to nutrition if you decide to wear it with a long sleeve jersey for the duration of a colder ride. It has the potential to be really versatile, but I found the forearm fit proportionally tight, and so when wearing long sleeve layers below it's a little restrictive and uncomfortable.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track