Galibier Mistral Foul Weather Jacket - review - Road Cycling UK

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Galibier Mistral Foul Weather Jacket – review

Very good protection against wind and rain, with a comfortable fit and at an excellent price

The Galibier Mistral Foul Weather Jacket bridges the gap between a long sleeve jersey and typical winter softshell jacket. It provides a very effective barrier against wind and keeps out most rain, while remaining useable across a versatile temperature range, and it also has a number of well thought out features.

December 2015 proved to be a difficult time for riding as far as the weather was concerned, with the daytime temperature typically higher than average at around eight to 12 degrees, but still plenty of rain around. It was the perfect time to test the Mistral.

The jacket is made from a three-layer membrane fabric, with a waterproof rating of 6,000mm. The Mistral jacket’s not waterproof itself because the seams aren’t taped, and Galibier make as much clear on their website (they say the seams can’t be taped because of the stretch of the fabric). In reality, the jacket will do a good job at keeping rain out and only a small amount of water made its way through the seams when riding in prolonged rain or heavy downpours.

The Mistral may be Galibier’s most expensive jacket but at £72.99 it’s excellent value for money

Windproofing is second to none and the jacket provides a very effective barrier in that regard. In terms of outright insulation, the Mistral isn’t as warm as other softshell jackets I’ve used, but that’s no bad thing as it widens its temperature range and, because the fabric is windproof and waterproof, things have to start getting pretty downright nasty to get cold. Galibier say their goal when creating the Mistral was to keep the rider warm, regardless if it’s cold, raining or blowing a gale, and I think they’ve pretty much achieved that.

I used the Mistral with just a long sleeve base layer at around ten degrees and that combination kept in warm. When the mercury dropped further I added a light long sleeve jersey into the mix and was toasty right down to close to freezing. At the other end of the scale in warmer conditions, the jacket offered fairly good breathability. Things can still get a bit sweaty when working hard and at the upper end of Galibier suggest 4-14 degree temperature range, but I’m yet to find a jacket where that’s not the case, plus there’s a full length zip to help regulate ventilation.

The collar and cuffs are fleece lined to help keep wind out and warmth in

The fit of the jacket is also really good, with a short front which means there’s no bunching of material when on the bike. The fabric also has a fair amount of stretch so despite the relatively close fit, it’s never uncomfortable.

Clever design features include a comfortable fleece-lined collar, which adds a little more warmth in an area which can otherwise be exposed to wind and rain. The cuffs are also fleece-lined, which again creates a solid guard against the elements. On the hem there’s a silicone gripper which helps keep the jacket in place, even when there is nothing in the pockets to weigh it down.

Three rear pockets provide plenty of room for ride essentials and there’s plenty of reflectivity

Out back the Mistral has three large pockets with plenty of 3M reflective material surrounding the left and right pockets, which really increases visibility when riding in the dark. That also combines well with the clear red stripe running down the back – and it looks good, too.

Conclusion

At £72.99, the Galibier Mistral Foul Weather Jacket brings a lot to the table in a very competitively priced piece. It’s a jacket which will get plenty of use in the UK when it’s regularly cool, wet and windy, and besides offering excellent protection from the elements, the Mistral has a really good fit and a number of smart features which help seal the deal.

Pros

– Competitively priced
– Excellent windproofing
– Keeps out most rain
– Comfortable fit

Cons

– Taped seams would complete the package

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