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review

Specialized Men’s RBX Softshell Jacket

8
£150.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Cosy, breathable and comfortable – ideal whenever the cold, wind and rain is just 'meh' rather than extreme
Warm and cosseting
Comfortable
Breathes well
Keeps the wind off
Slightly loose in the torso and forearms
No bright colours
Weight: 
434g

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The Specialized Men's RBX Softshell Jacket is cosily warm, soft against the skin and usefully windproof. It still breathes really well too, and is a really good option for a lot of UK days, as long as the slightly loose cut suits you.

What little Specialized says about this involves it being for the 'shoulder season', by which I assume it actually means spring and autumn, although in much of the UK you can extend that to considerable chunks of the winter as well. Obviously it depends on what you pair the RBX with, but so long as it's mostly dry it's not out of its depth until you're around 0°C.

> Find your nearest dealer here

> Buy this online here

At the other extreme, it's happy up to 15°C or so. Though it can get a bit sweaty, it breathes well enough that it never feels clammy or uncomfortable even then. That probably covers 95% of our autumns, springs, winters and summers...

The cut

The fit is slightly relaxed – I find it loose enough to fold a little across the chest and stomach, and it doesn't sit flat on my forearms either. It doesn't flap or cause any discomfort, though, and it does at least leave room for bulky layers beneath.

Actually, it does cause one small issue: beaded rain can't roll away within the horizontal folds. Consequently, showers always soaked through the crooks of my elbows and the seam across my chest first.

2021 Specialized Men's RBX Softshell Jacket - chest.jpg

On the upside, it takes a while to do so, and it needs to be either prolonged or heavy rain to really penetrate. At which point you'd probably put on a rain jacket.

The build

The construction and fabrics feel really solid; the stitching is great, the soft lining feels lovely against the skin, and the overlocked seams cause no issues at all.

2021 Specialized Men's RBX Softshell Jacket - inside.jpg

The collar is well-judged for height and width too, proving effective without strangling you. The 'fancy bit of string' zip pull looks a bit naff but works well enough, too.

2021 Specialized Men's RBX Softshell Jacket - collar.jpg

The RBX isn't a cheap jacket, but even high-value brand dhb's Aeron All Winter Softshell is only £30 less at £120, while the Rivelo Thorncombe is £160 – if looser-fitting than this – and the Rapha Pro Team Winter Jacket is £180.

> Buyer’s Guide: 55 of the best winter cycling jackets

> How to dress for cycling in autumn

And you can go a lot higher: the Castelli Alpha RoS 2, for instance, is £300.

Overall

This is a warm, wind-resistant but very breathable jacket that's extremely usable both for the shoulder seasons and the (presumably) off-the-shoulder seasons. It feels solid, protective and built to last. As long as you don't mind the slightly loose cut, it's a great choice.

Verdict

Cosy, breathable and comfortable – ideal whenever the cold, wind and rain is just 'meh' rather than extreme

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Specialized Men's RBX Softshell 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?

Specialized says: "While finding the perfect jacket at either end of the temperature spectrum is pretty easy, the temperature range in between is where you'll spend the majority of your time on the road – and that's where the RBX Softshell Jacket shines. It's stretchy, wind- and water-resistant, and is sure to keep you warm in the Shoulder Season."

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

Specialized lists:

Three back pockets help to secure all your ride needs, right where you want them.

Fabric Content FRONT 88% Polyester, 12% Polyurethane - OTHER: 84% Polyamide, 16% Elastane

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:
 
8/10

It's only water-resistant, as you'd expect, but water beads off well. It fends off even repeated showers quite impressively.

Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for fit:
 
8/10

It's fairly relaxed so not the most aero, but doesn't flap or bunch, and the length in the torso and sleeve length are good. It also leaves room for bulky layers beneath.

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

Fine for this level of protection.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for value:
 
5/10

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

No issues.

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

It's great – it keeps the wind off, the warmth in and breathes well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Quality build, pleasing comfort and smart looks.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Only niggles: a brighter colour option would be nice, and the fit could be a tiny bit slimmer.

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

It's not the cheapest, but it's not outrageous either. High-value brand dhb's Aeron All Winter Softshell is £30 less at £120, while the Rivelo Thorncombe is a tenner more at £160 – if looser-fitting than this – and the Rapha Pro Team Winter Jacket is £180, but you can pay a lot more: Castelli's Alpha RoS 2 is £300.

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

This is a warm and cosy softshell that proves very comfortable in those middling-to-rubbish temperatures the UK specialises in. It's really well made and looks great, and though the fit is slightly looser in places than you might expect, it does stay comfortable with bulky layers. There's really nothing to seriously dislike.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,

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