FWE Coldharbour Waterproof Jacket – review

Waterproof and breathable jacket with generous amount of reflective detailing

The FWE Coldharbour Waterproof Jacket offers great protection, decent visibility and isn’t bad looking either. Perhaps a little more give across the back might be nice, but it’s not a decisive factor.

At this time of year in the UK a decent waterproof jacket is a must. If you go out with a cheap and cheerful jacket the chances are you will get to your destination either soaked from the rain or from your own sweat.

FWE, the in-house apparel brand of Evans Cycles, have answered that problem with the three-layer Coldharbour Waterproof jacket, crafted from 20k waterproof and 20k breathable stretch fabric.

The FWE Coldharbour Waterproof Jacket offers excellent breathability and waterproofing

First and foremost, when you’re looking for a waterproof jacket, its ability to ward off the wet stuff is your top priority and that 20k waterproof material worked well on review. It doesn’t tend to bead as much as other jackets we’ve used but in the worst conditions still kept me really dry.

  • Specification

  • Price: £84.99
  • Sizes: S – XXL
  • Size tested: Medium
  • Colours: Navy Blue, Yellow
  • Website: Evans Cycles

Alongside the waterproof material, the seams are taped throughout and even the zip is waterproof to ensure water ingress was zero in the conditions we tested it in.

Fully internal taped seams does add bulk, of course, and the Coldharbour is definitely heavier than other waterproofs we’ve tested, but that’s where the breathability comes into its own.

The material used – which FWE says is the product of many hours of R&D – is clearly a good choice, and I didn’t get the ‘boil in a bag’ effect even during milder-but-wet days in the saddle.

At first glance, the fact the jacket is a dark navy blue colour could put people off – and I was concerned initially myself about visibility – but FWE have you covered there too, with a fair amount of reflective material thrown into the bargain.

They call it ‘strategically positioned stealth reflectivity’ – subtle off the bike, but clearly visible in low light – and that means strips across the back, down the back of both arms, on the pockets, around the arms and on the hips.

Unsurprisingly, when a light is shone at you, the Coldharbour lights up like a Christmas tree.

The fit of the jacket, meanwhile, is somewhere between casual and racing with a dropped back and relatively tight fit around the fleece-lined collar but a decent amount of leeway elsewhere.

The strip across the back does limit the stretch in that area, however, and it was certainly noticeable – making it tighter than I’d like when riding in the drops. It’s not a game-changer, but definitely something I picked up on when riding.

The reflective strip across the back can be a bit tight when riding in the drops, but it’s a small gripe and more than made up for by its visibility in low light

Finally, the jacket is finished with plenty of nice touches to enhance comfort and usability. The aforementioned fleece-lined collar, for starters, and velcro cuffs which combine to create a watertight barrier.

You also get a large rear pocket, with a fully-waterproofed zip, which can fit a huge amount in and is complemented by the (again, fully waterproof) Napoleon pocket on the front chest for your valuables.

A draw-string adjustment system keeps the jacket tight, though there’s no silicone gripper to keep it in place which would have enhanced the jacket further.

With an RRP of £84.99 – and, at the time of writing, deals to be found online – the price is fair for a jacket with this level of waterproofing and breathability.


Overall, the FWE Coldharbour Waterproof Jacket left little to moan about. It kept all of the rain out and didn’t boil me alive – you can’t ask much more of a waterproof shell. It’s heavier than others I’ve tested, and the fit across the back could offer a little more give, but these are hardly big problems and more than made up for by extra touches like the large rear pocket and fleece-lined collar.


  • Waterproof and breathable
  • Nice design features like large back pocket and fleece lined collar
  • High viz elements work well


  • Fit across the back could do with more give


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