The Adrenaline jacket from Mountain Warehouse is my basic cycling rainproof and one of the first things I bought when I started cycling.
Here in Normandy, about the only thing you can really rely on is that it will rain. In winter, pretty much, it will rain every day. Even in the height of summer it’s rare to get three dry days in a row. So a reasonable waterproof jacket is a must.
However, I am also a tightwad, so I didn’t want to splash out, at the beginning, for something like a Rapha, or even an Endura or Altura. After all, I reasoned, I’d only be wearing this when I needed to be visible on the road and (at that time) I still expected to be doing most of my cycling on the voies vertes, where could just wear my usual sludge-coloured outdoor gear.
The Adrenaline got pretty good reviews online, and since it was only £33 on Amazon, it seemed worth a punt. I liked the bright pink colour and the slimming black side panels too, better than an all-over-pink garment. A little later, I bought my Karrimor items to match it.
When it arrived, which was pretty quick direct from Mountain Warehouse on Amazon.fr, I was struck first of all by how screamingly bright the pink is. It was the first high-vis item to arrive and I wasn’t quite ready for how eyeball-piercingly bright it was. It certainly gets me noticed in the surrounding lanes, and several people have remarked that they ‘must have seen’ me the other day but not realised it was me.
The cut, I found a bit strange. It’s overlong at the back, like most cycling jackets, and is huge on the overbust line, but tight on the actual bustline, then loose on the waist but very tight indeed on the hips.
I have an hourglass shape and even many women’s clothes don’t fit too well, since clothing designers have clearly never heard of tits – but this jacket strikes me as having been designed for a man and then tweaked for a woman, which only exacerbates the issue (it’s something I’ve been running into over and again with cycling kit). I could’ve gone up a size to get a better fit on the bust and hips, but then it would have been absolutely massive around the shoulders, overbust area and waist.
To get it to fit my hips, I had to hoick it up, so the extra length was wasted on me (a cheaper, lighter-weight jacket from Karrimor arrived the same day, in the same size, and was a much better fit, and I actually wore this far more while the weather was warmer).
The neck is huge and has to be drawn in with the cord until it looks like a paper bag around my neck (it’s still very loose and I fill in with a balaclava), while the arms are extremely long to allow for a racing stance, which leaves me with an orang-utan-like amount of length in there. The tab closures on the sleeves, however, are very nice and give a good tight fit.
There are little bits of reflective paint here and there, but as with most companies, Mountain Warehouse makes rather a mountain out of molehill here. And I always dislike one of the few reflective parts being the company’s logo.
The lining is mesh, there are side zips for more ventilation, and there is a zip garage, which is always appreciated. The single rear zip pocket is big enough for keys and has a flap to keep the rain out, and the front chest pocket is handy for tissues, but you’re buggered if you want to carry anything much more substantial. The fabric is also quite pleasant to touch and the jacket generally feels pretty sturdy and well made.
Now that the weather has cooled somewhat as we enter late autumn, I’ve been wearing this jacket more often, and since I also appear to be losing weight, the fit is rather better around the hips than when it first arrived. (I still look like a dayglo sausage in it, though.)
Worn in 12-16-degree temperatures, the jacket is very comfortable, and it performs well, keeping the Normandy dreich and even true rain at bay. I’ve done several drizzly rides in it and a couple of absolute downpours and nothing at all has got through.
Nevertheless, now that it appears that I CAN cycle after all (I do 20km each morning), I will probably save up for something like an Endura, as I’ve been impressed with the one Steve bought, though admittedly it cost three or four times the price.
However, the Mountain Warehouse is a perfectly reasonable jacket for the money and a great entry-level jacket to cope with wet and drizzly weather. Its cheapness might also appeal to mountain bikers, as it’s economic to replace if it gets damaged.