With the rainy season upon us we got our hands on the Mistral Foul Weather Jacket by Galibier to test just in time for the dark wet evenings. The jacket is priced at £72.00 (€102.45/$112.35 ) which for a waterproof and breathable jacket is very competitive indeed. Another big plus is the free world wide shipping.
The first thing you notice after unpacking is how nice the fabric feels. According to the website it is made from “The Three layer, German membrane fabric which was designed for military use”. We got the large size and at 183cm tall and just over (cough cough) 80 kilos the fit was pretty perfect. As you put it on you notice how snug the cuffs are as you have to point your hand to get through them. The double cuff system keeps the rain out and the sleeves never rode up our arm even when fully stretched out on drop bars.
The cut on the front is very short which when you try on with normal clothes feels kind of funny but once you get on the bike it fits just perfect and again if you’re down on the drops or sitting up on a pair of risers there is no bunching up of the material which helps the rain run right off it.
A nice feature on the zip is the ‘zip garage’ at the top which keeps the metal of the zip away from your skin which can sometimes be quite irritating. For beard owners it also reduces any chance of that zip snagging in your pride of joy.
We tried this yesterday on a commute of about 25 minutes in heavy rain with just a single short sleeve base layer under it. The commute on the way to work is mostly flat with an elevation change of – 174ft according to strava so it’s not too taxing. Upon arrival at the office no rain had got through and the base layer was completely dry. According to the specs “The material is waterproof, but due to the superior body stretch of the material, the seams cannot be internally taped, so in downpour, the rain will eventually get through.” We will try on a longer wet spin and update this review but for now we’re happy that it is waterproof.
Temperature wise we were kept cool enough not to break into a sweat even on the commute home which is a gentle drag and the rain had also stopped and we were happy to see that the base layer was again dry after it.
The jacket is double stitched and even the seams when put under pressure don’t show any signs of weakness. An area of great importance is the zip and this was easy to close and open even when wearing gloves and has a nice smooth action unlike some cheaper plastic zips we’ve had in the past.
The three pockets on the rear have a nice little feature which we didn’t notice at first but the bottom are made from mesh which should stop any water accumulating in the waterproof material. The bottom of these pockets are separate to the rest of the pocket which gives you a bit more space in the bottom of the pocket rather than having a wedge style finish.
Compared to other jackets of similar specs but which are twice the price we couldn’t fault this jacket on fit, performance or quality. The one thing we would like to see would be the inclusion of a zipped pocket somewhere just so you can store a key and a few notes. This will be the go to jacket for commuting for the next while so we’ll update this review in the next few months. The fact it is waterproof, breathable and relatively cheap makes it ideal for both training and commuting. A quick read of the reviews is always a good thing to do when purchasing online and we weren’t surprised to read so many good reviews of this jacket. If you’re in the market for a new jacket and are sick of either getting wet from the rain or wet from sweating in a jacket that doesn’t breath this is the jacket for you.
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