A high-performing and versatile rain jacket that does a great job of keeping the wind and rain out, only slightly let down by its bulkiness in the larger sizes, making it tricky to stuff into a pocket.
- Excellent waterproofing and windproofing
- eVent fabric breathes from the get-go
- Luxuriously soft to the touch
- 3D-shaped for superior on-the-bike fit
- Stretchy low-profile cuffs play well with gloves
- Dual YKK zipper for thermoregulation on the go
- Rear vent provides access to jersey pockets
- Lacks a pouch or pocket for packing into
- Feels too bulky to easily stash away
- Not cut well for curves, meaning some compromises need to be made
- Sizes run small
Velocio has certainly made a name for itself across the globe as a premium cycling wear brand, despite consisting of a small 15-person team located in chilly New England. Aesthetically, the brand is very much a return to basics, using block colour design and going against the ‘racecar jersey’ that is prevalent in the cycling kit market.
It is a brand not only of sharp designs, but of sharp morals as well, ensuring gender parity by producing all garments in both male and female versions in the exact same quality (something that larger competitors still haven’t mastered), as well as keeping things as sustainable as possible by incorporating recycled materials into all its wares.
All Velocio clothing is designed in New England and mostly manufactured in Italy, with some products now produced in Albania before returning to Italy for quality control. However, despite being Italian-made, its kit is true to size. What’s more, the sizing isn’t linear. Velocio doesn’t have one pattern that’s enlarged as you go up through the size range; instead, each garment has an individual pattern that’s tailored to work with each size body. This is largely due to the fact that the brand designs and owns all of its patterns, giving it complete control, as opposed to using an off-the-shelf pattern as many other brands do.
- Best women’s waterproof cycling jackets: stay warm and dry so you can pedal for longer
- Best waterproof cycling jackets: cycling jackets to keep you dry when the weather turns wet
This latest model of Velocio’s Ultralight Rain Jacket is a refurbed version of the previous year, complete with a brand new pattern to incorporate 3D shaping, and articulated sleeves, shoulder and back. It’s designed to allow a range of layers underneath and to work as an all-season protective layer, rather than just a rain jacket.
To that end, we put it to the test in some of the most changeable weather conditions that Britain has to offer. Riding throughout the wet and rainy winter we just had, as well as through blustery and chilly days when that extra layer can make or break a ride, we explored everything this jacket has to offer, and here’s what we found.
Design and aesthetics
The Velocio Ultralight Rain Jacket sports a minimalist design that’s in keeping with the rest of the brand’s range. It offers a simple and clean silhouette with minimal branding, save for some subtle yet effective reflective details and logos on the front and rear.
The jacket is 3D-shaped and cut for the riding position, which means it does have a bit of an odd fit off the bike. I would argue that it’s not designed well for curvier figures; in my case in particular, in order to accommodate a large bust, my size XXL jacket hangs quite loose at the back and on the sleeves. However everything settles into place when you’re riding, and the benefit of sizing up (which we’d recommend, since the range does run small) is that it becomes much easier to layer up underneath and continue using the jacket into the colder months of the year.
Back to the design: the collar is cut high to keep wind chill at bay, and lined with a soft microfleece material that feels luxurious against the skin. The front hem stops just below the stomach, while the mid-length drop tail sits low enough to protect against most tyre spray. The tail is fully elasticated and features a rubberised band on the hem to hold everything in place. Instead of exterior pockets, you’ll find a large caped vent on the back which is not only there to help heat escape, but also doubles up as access to your jersey pockets.
The full-length dual YKK zipper at the front allows you to unzip from the top and the bottom in order to regulate your body temperature as needed, and on the inside left there’s a zippered valuables pocket large enough to store most phones, alongside a media port for those still using wired headphones.
The sleeves are cut long to accommodate a relatively aggressive ride position, while the cuffs feature a four-way stretch panel to allow for a comfortable fit. The cuff edges, meanwhile, are pressed flat instead of sewn, making them low-profile enough to cooperate extremely well with gloves, regardless of whether you choose to wear them over or underneath.
The majority of the Ultralight Rain Jacket is constructed from eVent fabric, which feels soft to the touch and very reminiscent of Velocio’s Luxe collection. Unlike other waterproof fabrics, eVent is claimed to be breathable from the outset, rather than requiring a build-up of heat and moisture for that feature to kick in.
The jacket design is almost seamless, and what few seams are present are taped to prevent water ingress.
As far as a rain jacket is concerned, the glaring omission here is a hood, which may not be an issue for everyone, but for some it would seem a shame. If you’re limiting its use to fast road rides where the priority is to carry as little weight as possible, then this is a non-issue, but if your ride involves lots of cafe stops in mixed weather conditions, you may wish you had one.
At this price point, you’d expect the Velocio Ultralight Rain Jacket to perform well, and we’re pleased to confirm that this is most certainly the case. It does a very impressive job of keeping the wind and rain out, while retaining some much needed warmth when temperatures drop.
The heavy duty eVent fabric does exactly what it promises, allowing excess heat to escape and your body to breathe from the outset, while creating an impenetrable barrier against the wind and rain. I started out testing this in the depths of the UK winter, wearing thermal layers beneath it and getting caught out in torrential downpours. Regardless, I returned home feeling warm and dry. Even in the heaviest rain showers, I was sufficiently impressed by the complete lack of water ingress when removing the jacket afterwards. Even when putting in a hard effort over several hours, I never felt clammy or sweaty, and largely put the jacket’s breathability down to the eVent technology and that large vent at the back.
I’ve since continued to wear this through the shoulder of spring, taking advantage of its protection in the chilly mornings and packing it away into a bar bag when things warm up. When paired with a short sleeve jersey, the jacket feels airy and lightweight. The inner lining of the sleeves (and the rest of the jacket, for that matter) feels soft with a matte finish, so there’s no uncomfortable sticking to the skin.
Velocio describes this as “the lightest, best fitting, most breathable, most packable, most protective, most versatile jacket [they’ve] ever made”. While I’m inclined to agree on many of those qualities, one that I had a bit of trouble with was packability. Unlike other packable jackets we’ve tested, the Ultralight Rain Jacket doesn’t come with any kind of pouch or external pocket that it can pack down into, meaning you simply have to roll it up and wrestle against it as it tries to unravel in your hands. Perhaps this was mainly due to the fact that I was testing an XXL size, and therefore it has more material than, say, a Small, but with Velocio’s determination to keep every size in the range a unique and well-functioning product, I’m slightly disappointed by this. It is possible to pack it into a jersey pocket or bum-bag, but weighing 192g, it’s still pretty bulky when you do. Having something to contain it while it’s packed away would definitely help.
Despite the awkwardness I experienced when it came to packing it away, I’ve really enjoyed using the Velocio Ultralight Rain Jacket and found it to be a great staple in my cycling wardrobe. As opposed to similar garments I’ve used, I find it just works extremely well with whatever else I’m wearing. Whether that’s tucking the stretchy low-profile cuffs under some bulky winter gloves to seal out the cold, layering a thermal jersey and base layer beneath for a cold ride, or simply pulling it over a short sleeve jersey when it unexpectedly rains.
It feels luxurious to the touch, stands up well to adverse weather conditions and doesn’t rustle badly in the wind.
Overall it’s an incredibly high-performing and versatile rain jacket that provides all the weather protection you’d need in the shoulder months and beyond if used as part of a thermal layering system.
Its only drawback is its bulk, which can make it difficult to stuff into a pocket when you’re on the go, plus it would be great if the women’s cut was a bit more curve-friendly.
Tech specs: Velocio Women’s Ultralight Rain Jacket
- RRP: £281.00 / $349.00
- Sizes: XXS-XXL* (*size tested)
- Materials: 70% Polyamide / 30% ePTFE
- Colours: 3 (Celeste, Coral, Navy)
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