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The Specialized/Fjallraven Women's Raven Anorak is a supremely practical and tough option that's as useful for hiking as it is for cycling, and doesn't scream out 'bike jacket'. It's very well made, with loads of great features and a good sustainability pedigree, but the price is pretty massive.
If you're looking for a single jacket to do double duty for hiking and biking, this is definitely one to consider. With its low-key outdoorsy styling, it doesn't look out of place for about-town use, for hiking or for buzzing about on the bike. It's not a jacket you'd choose for technical road riding, but it's great for leisurely outings or gravel rides in changeable conditions, where hike-a-bike sections are likely. It's also spot on for e-bike riders seeking something that doesn't look too technical as an outer layer.
The smock-style jacket is made from hiking and trekking specialist Fjallraven's lightweight G1000 Lite fabric, with four-way-stretch softshell panels where a bit more flexibility is handy.
The cut is relaxed but not loose, ideal for hiking and biking. The torso length is average and a nicely dipped tail keeps the bum dry when stretching forward on the bike, but it's subtle so doesn't make the jacket look overly technical for day-to-day wear, around town or out on the trail.
As a UK14-16 I sized up to an XL to ensure a fit that allowed for layering underneath, but if you wanted a neater sleeker fit, the sizing chart on the website is pretty true to reality.
The list of features is impressive, with a roll-away hood that tucks into the high collar, pockets all over the place (five!), zips at the sides that provide ventilation as well as access, reflective accents, half elasticated cuffs and a drawstring at the hem.
In wear, breathability and comfort are excellent, with plenty of ventilation. Those side zips and poppers at the neck can be closed while the zip is open, to ventilate without allowing rain in. It's an inherently nicely breathable fabric throughout the jacket.
Fjallraven's cotton blend G1000 Lite fabric is designed to be showerproof (it has a fluorocarbon-free treatment) but waterproofing can be enhanced by use of the company's Greenland Wax – and should make the jacket last.
As tested, without the extra waterproofing, the G1000 panels are reasonably showerproof, but won't stand up to longer downpours. The stretch softshell panels are much more water resistant. The G1000 fabric does dry incredibly quickly, though, if you do get caught out.
While the jacket doesn't have any insulation, it's still quite warm, with the weight of the fabric meaning it's ideal for autumn, winter or spring use, with extra layers when needed.
You probably don't need me to tell you that the Raven Anorak is very much at the premium end of the market, and many of the jackets with similar on/off bike credentials that we have tested are less expensive, such as the Chrome Storm Cobra 3.0 at £180 and the Brompton X Protected Species Parka at £210.
However, the Raven does come with the prestige heritage of Swedish hiking and outdoor specialist Fjallraven, is incredibly well made and should last years, particularly if treated with Greenland Wax.
The slightly sub-optimal levels of waterproofing in its unwaxed form do feel a touch disappointing, but if you have the money and you're after a durable and sustainable jacket that you can wear on the bike, on a hike, or with jeans around your local urban haunts, it is very good. Just don't expect it to be fully waterproof without a bit of extra help.
Expensive, but superbly well made, functional and very versatile
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized/Fjällräven Womens Räven Anorak
Size tested: Extra large
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: "Out in The Great Nearby, whether by bike or by hike, the weather can be unpredictable. Which is why we've poured our combined technical know-how into our Räven Anorak. Fjällräven's classic Räven jacket with Specialized's on-bike-fit makes this the perfect jacket for both biking and hiking adventures..."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
From Specialized: "Features a torso in G-1000 Lite fabric. Four-way stretch on the back and lower sections provide wind resistance where it's most needed, as well as greater freedom of movement. Reflective details on the articulated, engineered sleeves have been optimized for bike riding. Two-way zippered ventilation openings in the sides. Secure zippered hand pockets and inside mesh pockets that are reinforced at the bottom. Two chest pockets with snap buttons''perfect for your wallet, phone, and other essentials. Easy to pull on, with an adjustable cinch at the hem. Stowable hood. Part of the Specialized/Fjällräven Exchange series for urban rides and bikepacking adventures."
Torso in G1000 Lite fabric (65% polyester/35% cotton)
Other panels in stretch soft-shell fabric (88% polyamide/12% elastane)
Water and wind resistant
Treatable with Fjallraven Greenland Wax
It's exceptionally well made, with superb quality of finish and superior materials.
Very comfortable, gives excellent wind protection and some rain resistance.
Early days, but tough and durable cotton mix fabric should last well, and it can be reproofed ad infinitum with Fjallraven Greenland Wax.
Rated as "water resistant" by Specialized/Fjallraven, which is what it is, just not for very long. The waterproofing can be enhanced by the use of Fjallraven Greenland Wax.
Very breathable and comfortable to wear.
Fit and cut are a good balance between on-bike performance and off-bike style and hiking.
Sizing is pretty much as per the website size guide. Sizing up is a good option if you want a looser fit or more options for layers underneath.
It's not designed to be a lightweight and packable jacket. But it's not the heaviest either.
Very comfortable to wear.
It's very pricey compared with others we've tested. That said, if you have the money, it offers a lot in terms of quality, style, comfort, pedigree and practical versatility. It's a well-made, durable and sustainable jacket with a lot of uses.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed fine and dried quickly.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Style, versatility, number of pockets, sustainability, environmental credentials, comfort...
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The price, and it just wasn't quite as water resistant as I'd have expected.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's very much at the premium end of the market. Many of the jackets with similar on/off bike credentials that we have tested cost less, such as the Chrome Storm Cobra 3.0 at £180 and the Brompton X Protected Species Parka at £210.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Very much.
Would you consider buying the jacket? Possibly
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The quality of this jacket is exceptional and it is practical and functional for a variety of uses, plus it's super durable. However, it is expensive, and the water resistance is a little disappointing. As is, I don't think it's quite an 8, but would be if it were a little more weatherproof.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.