For most people riding in the most common winter riding conditions, the Assos Mille GT Winter Jacket is the only jacket you’ll need. Only the absolute worst weather or the coldest days call for anything different and anything else needs only an adjustment to the layering system underneath.
- - Low bulk
- - Perfect fit
- - Cavernous pockets
- - Small tooth zipper
The extremes of winter riding are fun to talk about. The epic days spent battling the coldest temperatures and the worst weather are days that require specialised gear and a lot of resolve, but the truth is that those days are not the norm. For the kind of riding that most people ride in most winters, a more well-rounded jacket is a better investment, and the Assos Mille GT Winter Jacket is as well-rounded as they come. It might be the only winter jacket you need and is a true contender for our guide to the best winter cycling jackets.
Assos is a company with a well-deserved spot on our list of the best cycling clothing brands and the Mille GT Winter Jacket is an integral part of the lineup. Great brands and integral pieces only go so far though. The question is always will it work for you? Keep reading to see how this piece might fit into the riding you do and if it makes sense for you.
Design and aesthetics
Assos gives you two divergent visual directions you can take with the Mille GT Winter Jacket. If you prefer a subdued aesthetic then the blackSeries meets the need. For those that prefer staying as visible as possible in the winter gloom then lollyRed covers the front panel and upper back in a blindingly bright red colour. Either way, the rear retains a pair of reflective hits at the pockets.
The other difference between the two colours is a small detail with the use of the Assos icon pattern print. The blackSeries puts it to use in the underarms. For the lollyRed Assos leaves the underarm black and moves the pattern to the interior of the jacket.
These little aesthetic choices take on an added importance in this jacket. It covers such a wide range of temperatures and conditions that there's a good chance for it to see a lot of use. For some people, riding in black in the winter is off the table and Assos has you covered in that case.
It's also worth noting that there are two versions of this jacket available. The Assos Mille GT Winter Jacket and the Assos Mille GT Winter Jacket Evo are functionally the same jacket. They are so similar, in fact, that even the tag behind the zipper is the same. The only differences include a different placement of the reflective strips at the rear and the availability of a visibilityGreen colour option.
Aesthetics aside though, the reason it works so well is the technology on board. The front panel is the warmest on the jacket. Like other Assos pieces that means a proprietary fabric and in this case it's a three-layer bonded PU membrane fabric called NEOS medium. It's as waterproof as a softshell gets, totally windproof, and of course, it's still breathable. The inner face of it carries a waffled texture almost reminiscent of wool.
Move out to the arms and upper back and you've got another version of the NEOS material. The NEOS light used in these areas is a more breathable solution that feels almost exactly the same as the medium. The big difference is in the lack of the heat-trapping interior pile fabric.
The pieces of the jacket still left are the back and the underside of the arms. For these areas, Assos borrows the RX fabric from their bib tights. It's a soft material that lacks the hard, water resistant, outer found in the NEOS materials. Instead of relying on a membrane, RX uses a water-repellant treatment. Inside it's even softer with more volume to trap heat. In the rear, covering the mid and low back plus the pockets, is a heavier RX while the underside of the arms gets a lighter version.
Officially this jacket carries the regularFit designation, but don't expect that to mean relaxed. In the Assos parlance, it takes a fit so aggressive that it's not comfortable off the bike for a jacket to carry the aeroFit description. Instead, expect a fit that's tight but true to size and comfortable enough while not actively pedalling.
Along with the "trim" fit, you can expect incredibly low bulk compared to the warmth. The Mille GT Winter Jacket is such a low bulk design that you could actually get it into a jersey pocket. That's not what it's meant to do but it's illustrative of how impressively low bulk the design is for the amount of warmth it provides.
The NEOS fabrics almost straddle the line between a hardshell and a softshell. Unlike most soft shells where water sitting on the forearms will soak through in heavy rain, the NEOS can handle heavy rain without issue. The RX fabric on the back and underarms takes care of adequate breathability.
This collection of traits adds up to a jacket you can wear all winter long. In the early season, pair the Mille GT Winter Jacket with a lightweight base layer and you'll stay comfortable even if the end of your rides sees temperatures as high as thirty degrees above freezing. Later in the season, paired with your warmest base layer, you could go out the door with temperatures around ten degrees above freezing.
For the riding I do, the magic that makes it all work is the rear panel of RX fabrics. Assos knows how to do pockets well and that rear panel covers not only the mid-back, but also the low back and the pockets. The reason that's important is because RX has tons of stretch. The pockets are already low on the back and wide. The added stretch of the RX material means that I can ride from sunrise to sunset with everything I need packed into the pockets.
Softshell jackets are the most comfortable to ride with in most cases, but they don't always handle hard rain all that well. With the NEOS fabric Assos has overcome one of the biggest drawbacks that softshell options present. Paired with low bulk, impressive breathability, and perfect pockets, this is a jacket that will see you through most rides, most winters. The only times you'll need to look elsewhere are muddy rides and exceptionally cold rides.
Tech Specs: Assos Mille GT Winter Jacket
- Price: $319 / £230 / $450 AUS
- Materials: 46% Polyamide, 35% Polyester, 19% Elastane / NEOS Medium front panel, NEOS arms and upper back, RX Heavy low back, RX Light rear back
- Weight: 375g size small
- Size availability: XS-XLG and TIR (XLG but wider)
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