The Santini Vega Multi Women's Jacket is a high-quality option for riding through foul, wet conditions down to high single-digit temperatures – and that can be extended with the addition of a baselayer. It's great for those days when there's rain about, or already on the road, and you'd be very grateful for some breathability as you are digging deep at times during the ride. However, you might find the fit around the arms isn't quite what you're looking for – the sleeves are much baggier than the fit of the rest of the jacket and they come up slightly short, too, so sizing down really isn't an option.
The jacket uses Polartec's Powershield Pro, a three-layer softshell fabric that consists of a hydrophobic outer, breathable membrane and fleece-like gridded inner, which has a fairly soft finish.
It isn't aimed at extremely cold days; rather, the softshell is more of an insulating layer with effective waterproof protection thanks to the Polartec fabric and details including a high collar and a considerably dropped tail flap.
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In terms of waterproofing, Santini gives the jacket a 5,000mm water column rating, and the seams are taped, or thermowelded as Santini puts it, to keep the rain out, and I found it did keep me dry on rainy rides.
Santini reckons the jacket works best in temperatures between 5 and 15°C, but I found this estimate a bit generous at either end – unless you're particularly impervious to the cold and are happy to take it really easy in milder weather. But five degrees is still fully manageable when in combination with a good baselayer.
The zipper has a sizeable tag so I was able to grab this with full-fingered gloves to cool myself down on a milder winter day or after putting in a higher-intensity effort up a long steep climb.
The fit is comfy and relaxed, well suited to everyday riding and long winter endurance rides. It's reasonably close fitting across the chest but there's plenty of stretch to the fabric and it's in no way restrictive. Santini classes it as 'Slim Fit', which sits between its racier 'Sleek Fit' and regular 'Classic Fit'. The idea is that it still gives you a sleek profile that remains close in order to minimise drag.
That said, there's enough room underneath for pulling on a baselayer when the weather takes a cold turn, and with the fairly close chest cut I was able to comfortably throw on Santini's form-fitting Redux Stamina gilet on top on days where the temperature dropped during the ride and I needed a touch of extra warmth.
The sleeves, though, are much baggier than I was expecting, and they're also a touch on the short side. I certainly needed to wear gloves with a particularly long cuff to avoid painfully cold wrists.
The jacket stays put thanks to the silicone strips along the edge of the very much dropped tail. It does a pretty marvellous job of defending against road spray flicking up if you've yet to put your mudguards on, or more likely, you're one to just yolo it in the winter with your race bike.
You've got three reasonably sized rear pockets with slightly dipped outer edges for easier access while riding, as well as a handy zipped waterproof pocket on the exterior of the middle pocket for stashing valuables. The entrance, which measures 11.5cm, is wide enough to slot in my large smartphone. While the pocket will take my phone, it only does so by tucking it underneath the overhanging fabric at the top of the pocket, so it's not possible to retrieve it quickly during a ride.
There is the choice between two bright shades, orange or light blue, and navy blue or black if you want a slicker look.
If you do opt for the darker shades for a more subtle look during the daylit hours, you'll be pleased to hear this jacket will still cover you past sunset or before sunrise too with that reflective strip that runs down the back of the jacket. The Santini logo on the dropped tail is also reflective, and there's a reflective shoulder band.
At £215 it's not unreasonable for a jacket using such high quality fabrics. It's a little less than Castelli's Alpha RoS 2 Light Women's Jacket (now £240) which really impressed Emma with its suitability for such a wide range of temperatures and weathers.
> Read more road.cc reviews of women’s cycling jackets here
dhb's Aeron Women's Rain Defence Jacket makes use of the Polartec Powershield Pro fabric for a much cheaper price of £150, though, and Lusso's Aqua Repel Jacket, with Windtex's alternative three-ply fabric called Stormshield, is also much cheaper than Santini's offering at £134.99.
> Buyer’s Guide: 55 of the best winter cycling jackets
Overall, the Vega Multi is a wonderfully warm and functional option for braving challenging weather conditions. The aim of this jacket is to provide a good balance between warmth and breathability, in weather that could include very wet conditions, and it very much achieves this. The fit around the arms could be improved, though.
High quality and versatile, breathable enough to be ridden in the dry while also fending off the rain, but check the fit
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Make and model: Santini Vega Multi Women's Jacket
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: "Vega Multi jacket is designed to guarantee complete thermal balance in different climatic conditions. Ideal for very wet weather, the jacket, remains light and breathable."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
EXTREME RAIN PROTECTION
Made of POLARTEC®'s Powershield Pro fabric, totally waterproof (5000 mm water column) while remaining light and breathable. Ideal for very wet weather, the jacket is completely thermowelded
ENHANCED FIT AND INSULATION
Ergonomically-cut waterproof sleeve cuffs and tail made from fleece-lined Superoubaix fabric, with a fully waterproof PU outer layer to repel water. Waterproof internal zipper flap
EXTRA WATERPROOF STORAGE
Additional zippered waterproof rear pocket lined with a breathable membrane fabric
Reflective shoulder band and back insert and reflective Santini logo on the back tail to ensure maximum safety in the darkest hours.
Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
Rate the jacket for performance:
Rate the jacket for durability:
Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
Rate the jacket for fit:
The fit is the main thing that lets this jacket down for me. The sleeves are much, much baggier than the rest of the jacket and also come up slightly short, so sizing down isn't an option.
Rate the jacket for sizing:
Rate the jacket for weight:
Rate the jacket for comfort:
The fabric is comfortably soft. As the sleeves are short you'll likely need to pair it with long-cuffed gloves for full protection.
Rate the jacket for value:
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
It performs very well on rides when there's rain about, or the roads are already wet. It keeps you warm and dry down to high single-digit temperatures by itself, and with the help of a decent baselayer you can head out on colder days too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The balance between waterproofness, warmth and breathability is great, and covers a lot of typical riding conditions.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The sleeves – both too short and too baggy.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Slightly cheaper than Castelli's Alpha RoS 2 Light Women's Jacket (£240), but you can find the high-quality fabrics Santini has used on more affordable jackets – dhb's Aeron Women's Rain Defence Jacket also features Polartec Powershield Pro and is much cheaper at £150.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? No, it's high price for a fit that doesn't work for me.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes, but would recommend they try it on first.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Polartec's Powershield Pro fabric provides a good balance between warmth and breathability, and is excellent in weather that could include very wet conditions. A high collar and a considerably dropped tail also help provide protection, but the sleeves are short and also seem unnecessarily baggier than the rest of the fit, so it's not possible to size down.
Age: 24 Height: 177cm Weight: 62kg
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
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