There are a wide variety of waterproof cycling jackets with various combinations of hi-visibility colours and reflective strips available. Some are better than others, and breathability can vary, depending on layers worn. I’ve tried some which are fairly heavy and are all but unwearable except in the wettest conditions. Others generate their own weather system: hot and sweaty! I’ve found the Sugoi Zap jacket to be a pleasant departure from that.
It’s a very, very basic design. One water resistant zip at the front, one rear pocket on the lower back and a half elasticated cuff, and that’s it. Inside there’s a mesh lining on the main body and lined arms. The whole package weighs in at bang on 400g.
So far, so, so.
Instead of reflective strips or piping this jacket is entirely covered with tiny, reflective beads which act like thousands of cat’s eyes. When hit by artificial light the whole jacket lights up. Every single bit. I’ve tried not to cycle wearing a backpack as this would cover a large area of the back, and I have to say it’s been pretty positive; I’ve felt that most cars have given me a touch more room than usual. The jacket has been comfortable to wear despite the apparent lack of ventilation, and I’ve only found water to seep through once; in a simply horrendous downpour where I was wearing a backpack, and as you would expect it made it’s way through where the straps were in contact with the shoulders.
The jacket retails between £80 and £90 and is worth every penny.
Size Tested: Large