I’ve always thought it strange that anyone would want to buy a clear jacket. They look a bit odd and why not have something coloured, grey or black? Then I had the pleasure of doing some racing last year including the Amateur Worlds in Denmark and realised that a jacket needed to be transparent so that your jersey colours and your race number would be visible from underneath. Suddenly it all becomes clear!
So for the first time I was in the market for a see-through, packable, lightweight, rain jacket. And after a fair while trawling through the usual websites I had almost resigned myself to ‘investing’ in a overpriced Castelli item that I may not actually end up needing; it wasn’t turning out to be as easy as I’d thought. There were plenty of good looking options that were out of stock, discontinued or only available in size XXL.
Fortunately in desperation I turned to Amazon and there I discovered the Tenn Outdoors jacket for only £11.99. So I snapped it up; maybe buying a rain jacket in August is the best value option because now in February they are retailing for £22.99.
This winter here in the UK has been pretty mild, we’ve not had the usual frosty, snowy or wintery days. Instead we’ve had plenty of drab, wet and rainy days. So this rain jacket has come out quite regularly in recent weeks. As such I thought it would be a good time to do a review!
Remember this is an inexpensive option. It packs down pretty small but I’m sure those for 5x the price go smaller. I find it relatively breathable but I’m sure others are more so. This is where you as a consumer need to use your decision making powers and choose something that suits your needs personally, both in terms of performance and also price.
Lets go back to the packability. It comes with a small drawstring bag; it’s a tight fit getting it in but never a major struggle. Once in, the bag will happily fit in one of my jersey pockets although my preference is to slot it into one of my bottle cages on the bike. It’s smaller in size than a small 500 mL bottle but it still fits fine in my cages.
If I decide to get it out during a ride then it’s simple to put on as it’s a full zip jacket, so there is no need to put it over your head or anything awkward like that. It has a elasticated bottom hem and elasticated wrists, this is to keep it in place and keep out maximum rain. It also has a very small ‘valuables’ pocket on the front, so if at the point of torrential rain you also want to pop your cycle computer off your bars and put it in there you can fairly easily. It’s not something I’ve ever done but I can see the point of the pocket. I’ve also found the pocket handy for putting empty wrappers in.
So on to the much loved question of breathability and waterproofing. For me it’s suitably breathable; that is when I finish a long ride it’s not soaking inside from condensation or sweat, sure sometimes it’s a little damp to the touch but nothing to complain about. Of course if you are 5 stone overweight and sweat buckets when riding then it will be a different matter for you! With regard to waterproofing, it hasn’t leaked in on me yet, which is good.
One thing I do like this jacket for is the windproofing. Sometimes I’ll get it out on a perfectly dry day just to provide an insulating layer against the cold wind. For this purpose I can’t fault it. In fact for me, I can’t fault it’s performance at all, especially for the £11.99 that I spent on it! It even fits me perfectly too. I’m usually a size ‘small’ so I ordered a ‘small’ and it fits me well. It is a cycling jacket so it’s been designed size wise to fit over a jersey with a baselayer underneath, it probably won’t fit if you want to wear it over the top of a coat or other jacket.
So in summary, I like this jacket. It has served me well so far and I would definitely buy it again and certainly recommend it to my friends and followers.