The Vulpine Regents Mac, available in Classic Navy as tested, as well as in Charcoal, is a stylish raincoat for cyclists that is practical and good looking both on and off the bike and has a host of cycling-specific features – although the price tag may be too steep for some potential buyers.
> Buy now: Vulpine Mens Regents Mac for £99.99 from Sportpursuit
"Wow. That's lovely," was my partner's reaction the first time she saw this jacket – and coming not only from someone who isn't usually so enthused by items of cycling clothing, but also worked twice a year at Milan Fashion Week during her student days in her home city, it's quite the compliment. It also stands out from most of the tops in our best cycling jackets buyer's guide.
Vulpine says it makes premium clothing for everyday urban riding, harnessing the traditions of British tailoring and with an emphasis on detailing, and this Mac, available in versions for both men and women, ticks all of those boxes.
Comfortable to wear on the bike, and meeting its brief when the rain is falling, it's versatile enough to look the part whether teamed with a pair of jeans, hoodie and trainers, or dressed up with tailored trousers, cashmere sweater and smart shoes.
The detailing is superb, much of it as you would expect, given the audience, specific to the needs of cyclists.
The external pockets – two at the side, plus a larger one on the rear – are secured with magnetic closures, making them easier to access when wearing gloves than ones with buttons or zips might be.
There's a full-length, two-way front zip at the front, where there are also four buttons, the buttonholes sitting inside the placket, which means that if you're wearing an over-the-shoulder bag while riding, the strap won't get caught on them. Those buttons, by the way, are secured inside the garment by smaller buttons, making them less likely to become dislodged.
A pair of buttons on each cuff allows it to be tightened or loosened according to personal preference, weather conditions, or the extra wiggle room you may need if, say, you're wearing a suit jacket and dress shirt with cufflinks underneath. In a nice touch, the stitching on the inner pair of those buttons is in Vulpine's signature green.
Each cuff also has a small reflective tab to aid visibility to road users behind you when signalling, and there are larger reflective strips both running along the full length of the inside of the collar – which when flipped up, stays in place – and on the inside of the single rear vent, which has a narrow hem again finished in that distinctive green.
Breathability, of course, is vital in any outerwear destined to be worn on the bike, here provided by a pair of eyelets under each armpit, plus a small mesh panel across the shoulders that is hidden from view by a yoke across the shoulders on the outside of the coat.
Even when wearing several layers underneath, plus a scarf wrapped round my neck, I never felt uncomfortably hot while riding – though of course, this is a coat aimed at everyday riding around town, rather than when you're trying to beat your PBs on Strava around Richmond Park.
Another important factor for cycling clothing is the amount of movement it affords. The size tested was a large, but despite those layers underneath and with a Litelok worn around my waist, I didn't feel unduly restricted.
While some cycling coats and jackets at the smarter end of the spectrum will often have side zips below the armpits to afford some extra give when riding, this one doesn't, with the sleeves spacious enough not to make you feel constrained around the upper arms, though some might welcome a couple of side vents rather than the single rear vent to give a bit more room for manoeuvre in the thighs.
The outer shell is 100 per cent recycled polyester, with a pleasing softness to the touch, and it does its job of repelling water well, whether that be a brief shower or a longer downpour, while also providing excellent windproofing – essential during the winter months when the temperature drops.
There aren't many obvious rivals to the Vulpine Regents Mac but a few jackets we've tested recently have at least some crossover.
George reviewed the Nalini New Adventures Jacket, which is sold as having a 'high-fashion look' but while warm, it didn't have enough cycling-specific features.
Stu liked the £225 Showers Pass Men's Navigator Jacket, another top designed to be worn and off the bike, for its waterproofing and its subtle but effective reflectives, but he wasn't convinced it was breathable enough.
The Chapeau City Jacket is nearly £100 less expensive than the Vulpine and a lighter, more packable jacket, but Hollis was impressed by its looks, its resistance to the elements and thought it ideal for down-tempo riding.
The price may be off-putting to some – but for others, the Vulpine Regents Mac's performance styling, attention to detail, versatility and suitability as a wardrobe staple will make it one that is well worth paying. On price, it's also worth pointing out that SportPursuit usually carries an extensive range of Vulpine clothing – including the Regents Mac at heavily discounted prices, at time of publication this was £99.
In summary, this is a Mac that oozes stylishness while remaining eminently practical, and which lends itself to being dressed up or down so it won't look out of place at your ride's destination – whether that be meeting friends at the pub before heading to a football match, meeting family for a celebratory lunch at an upmarket restaurant or attending a business meeting.
Stylish and practical on and off the bike, with a price tag reflecting its quality and features
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Make and model: Vulpine Mens Regents Mac
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?
Vulpine says: 'Building on the success of the Richmond Mac and infusing high performing 3-layer recycled fabric, the Regents Mac is designed to fit the demands of your active, urban lifestyle.
'Equally suited to journeys on the bike as it is on foot. Providing excellent protection from the elements, you can spend less time worrying about staying dry. Reflective detailing on the cuffs as well as hidden under the collar offer extra visibility, whilst remaining subtle in everyday use.'
A very stylish and practical garment that looks the part on and off the bike, and can be dressed up or down, with well-thought-out cycling-specific touches and which will keep you dry throughout the seasons.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Features listed on the Vulpine website are:
100% Recycled Polyester 3 Layer fabric with PFC-free DWR, high performance Polyurethane membrane for wind and water protection
Internally taped seams for a waterproof finish
5 x pockets - 2 front magnetic closure pockets, 1 invisible zipped chest pocket, 1 button closure internal chest pocket & 1 rear magnetic closure pocket
Double ended metal zip, hidden behind button placket
Metal eyelets at underarms to aid venting
Corozo Vulpine logo buttons with 'V' stitching
Reflective collar stand and piping at cuffs, to aid low light visibility
Vented yoke across shoulders, for added breathability
Printed care info (no scratchy labels)
Vulpine embroidered logo at rear yoke
V circle embroidered logo on pocket
NB The sample we tested had four pockets, not the five listed, as follows: 2 front magnetic closure pockets, 1 zipped closure internal chest pocket & 1 rear magnetic closure pocket.
Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
It's very well made, certainly as good if not better as any (non-cycling) Mac I've ever worn. The attention to detail is superb.
Rate the jacket for performance:
Obviously, this isn't a garment aimed at the performance cyclist, per se, it's for people who ride around town for whatever reason, rather than going out on a weekend club ride, but for the target audience, it performs its task admirably.
Rate the jacket for durability:
It's very well made, no signs of stitching unravelling or buttons becoming loose despite heavy use.
Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
Good at repelling water during a brief shower, and kept the water out during heavier downpours, drying out quickly afterwards.
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
Granted, I'm not riding flat out when going around town, but it never felt as though I were overheating when cycling in it.
Rate the jacket for fit:
There's enough room where it matters when cycling, ie beneath the arms, and around the chest and hips, that I never felt constrained, even with layers underneath and the Mac fully zipped up.
Rate the jacket for sizing:
Perfect for me, even with layers underneath to combat the cold.
Rate the jacket for weight:
It weighs what you would expect a Mac that comes down to mid-thigh level to weigh.
Rate the jacket for comfort:
Rate the jacket for value:
Some may find the price off-putting, but if I were looking for a Mac that performs well in the elements and that also incorporates features specific to cycling, I think it's a fair price especially given the quality of construction and the way it looks.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, and keeps its shape really well. It came out perfectly from the washing machine after an ill-advised, mudguard-less ride down the Thames Path following a heavy downpour that left the Mac caked in mud.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Highly practical on the bike, very stylish off it, it ticks both those boxes.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The look of it, the practicality when cycling, and the fact it can be teamed with jeans and trainers for a casual look, or smart trousers and shoes when dressing more formally, and looks good in each case.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Looking at other cycling jackets we've reviewed, this certainly sits at the higher end of the price spectrum, but it's not really a direct comparison; this one isn't aiming to boost performance on the bike, for example. Compared to raincoats you might find on the High Street, there are plenty that are cheaper - but none of those is designed with cycling in mind. The price point comes in at £15 below the cheapest cotton Mac you'll find on the Paul Smith website, but again, that lacks features specific for cycling.
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
A stylish Mac that does the job it's designed for while looking great on and off the bike, though you may be deterred by the price.
Age: 58 Height: 6' 1" Weight: 88.6 kilos
I usually ride: Colnago Arte My best bike is:
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, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, My bike is my main way of getting around.
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