review

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket

8
£179.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Casually styled waterproof that fits well, on and off the bike, but best suited to easy commutes as the breathability isn't brilliant
Waterproofing is top-notch
Casual styling
Great fit on and off the bike
Chest pocket is a little small
Weight: 
345g

Shimano's Transit Hardshell Commuter Jacket is great for urban commutes with a very good and relaxed on-the-bike fit that doesn't look out of place with casual clothing. The waterproofing is excellent, but the jacket can be a little sweaty if you have a big climb to tackle.

In normal times, my commute to the road.cc office is not the longest. Just a few flat kilometres through Bath doesn't require any Lycra, and the lack of traffic on my cyclepath route means I'm happier with something that I can wear to post-work drinks rather than something fluoro-yellow. This casually styled jacket from Shimano fits that perfectly. And It's waterproof too. Handy, because it rains in Bath sometimes.

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While Shimano says that this jacket features an on-the-bike fit, it's a slightly relaxed commuter cut rather than 'road racer'. The tail of the jacket is slightly dropped and there's just a little more length in the arms than I'd expect on a regular jacket. I found that this offered the perfect balance between fit while riding, with coverage of the wrists when wearing with gloves, and fit when off the bike.

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - riding.jpg

The waterproofing is very good indeed. Coming out of winter and into spring is the prime time for getting caught in heavy showers, so having a jacket that will cope with heavy rain is essential for commuting in the UK. The Transit is, as the name suggests, a hardshell jacket. It deals easily with rain and has performed perfectly here.

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - chest.jpg

That waterproofing does mean that breathability is a little compromised. There are overhang vents under the arms and across the back that help a little, but this is a casual commuter jacket, and I would recommend you keep it for more relaxed commutes. If you've got hills to contend with, things can get a little sweaty. For my riding in town, with just a few short drags, it was fine.

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - rear vent.jpg

For maximum defence against the rain, the full-length zipper is waterproof and the seams are sealed too.

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - taped seams.jpg

The jacket features no insulation, but the windproofing afforded by the hardshell design does a lot to keep you warm. The relaxed fit means that there's also room for a thick jumper underneath in the depths of winter.

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - rear.jpg

The cuffs are finished with an elastic section that makes getting gloved hands through easy. The inner surface of this material is also slightly grippy, offering a great fit with gloves that won't leave you with exposed skin in cold weather.

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - cuff.jpg

The rear hem of the jacket is slightly dropped, giving a good fit on the bike while still looking like a normal jacket off the bike.

Soft fabric lines the neck, keeping the jacket comfortable against your skin here, although some might not like the lack of a barrier fabric between your skin and the jacket elsewhere, but I can't say it bothered me.

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - collar.jpg

You get two zippered side pockets and a small zippered chest pocket. There's also a pocket on the back on the right-hand side, where you'd find a normal jersey pocket. While the main zip is waterproof, none of the pocket zips are.

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - pockets.jpg
Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - rear pocket.jpg

The chest pocket is quite small. It's too small for my iPhone 11 with a case, just to give you a size reference. My phone, wallet and keys live in my rucksack while riding anyway. But for off-the-bike use, I'd prefer a larger chest pocket with space for a modern smartphone, possibly even moving the access to inside the jersey.

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - chest pocket.jpg

One neat feature that I didn't know I'd like until I tried it is the detachable hood. As I don't commute with a helmet, the hood allows me to keep my head dry, and can be rolled up and stowed in the back pocket on nicer days.

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - hood.jpg

Shimano has placed small reflective details around the jacket, but if you're looking for maximum visibility, this isn't the jacket for you. The construction is good though. Everything feels solidly put together and the taped seams have not been troubled by my daily use of this jacket.

Shimano Transit Hardshell Jacket - toggle.jpg

While the £179.99 price tag might seem high, the Transit jacket compares pretty well to other commuter jackets that we've tested recently. Resolute Bay's Reflective jacket is £200, though you do get the added visibility, and Rapha's Hooded Rain Jacket II is more expensive still at £230.

You can get cheaper, though – Vulpine's Portixol is £100 (but you don't get a hood), as is Rapha's Commuter Jacket, and Howies' Herald is £139.

> Buyer’s Guide: 28 of the best waterproof cycling jackets

If you're looking for a casual jacket that performs well on urban commutes and can be worn off the bike without screaming 'cycle commuter' then the Shimano Transit Hardshell is well worth considering, doing a great job of protecting you from chilly winds and heavy rain.

Verdict

Casually styled waterproof that fits well, on and off the bike, but best suited to easy commutes as the breathability isn't brilliant

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Shimano Transit Hardshell 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?

From Shimano's UK distributor Freewheel's website: "Urban style meets weather protection, to keep you dry, safe, and comfortable"

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

Freewheel lists:

DRYSHIELD waterproof fabric with seam-sealed construction and waterproof zipper

Ventilating under-arm zippers

Detachable hood stows in snap-button collar

Low profile, elastic arm-cuff design

Two zippered side pockets, plus one zippered chest pocket

Discreet reflective elements for low-light visibility

Adjustable drawcord waist

On-the-bike cut so size up for a more casual fit

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
8/10
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:
 
10/10

Zero issues here in heavy rain.

Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
5/10

It's okay. If you're rolling through town to meet friends or heading into the office, the venting is fine.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
8/10

Slim fit with enough room underneath for a thick jumper.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
8/10

This medium (what I wear in normal clothes) was perfect.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
7/10

Some might not like the lack of a barrier fabric between your skin and the jacket, but I can't say it bothered me.

Rate the jacket for value:
 
5/10

It costs a lot more than some commuter jackets, but is cheaper than others.

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

As rain runs straight off, it stays very clean. Mud splatter can be wiped off using a damp cloth.

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

Works well on casual commutes and urban rides. I had no issues in the heaviest rain and the fit is good too.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

The casual styling means that this doesn't scream 'cycle commuter'.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

The chest pocket is a little shallow for my phone.

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

It's cheaper than some: the Showers Pass Elite 2.1 jacket is £199.99, Rapha's Hooded Jacket II is £230 and Resolute Bay's Reflective jacket is £200; but more than others: Vulpine's Portixol and Rapha's Commuter jackets are both £100, Howies' Herald is £139.

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

Top-notch waterproofing, great fit, and a casual style that works on and off the bike – it's not cheap but it's very good.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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