HOY Vulpine Portixol waterproof jacket - review

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HOY Vulpine Portixol waterproof jacket – review

Excellent waterproof jacket to provide protection from the elements

The Hoy Vulpine Portixol waterproof jacket is an excellent winter outer layer providing fantastic protection from the elements thanks to the fully waterproof and windproof fabric. Well-placed vents mean breathability is also good.

Although technically the HOY Vulpine brand – Vulpine’s off-shoot with Sir Chris Hoy – has been around for less than a year, they’ve managed to make some impressive early kit. We recently reviewed the Roubaix jersey and found it to be an excellent start to the debut autumn/winter collection and the Portixol waterproof jacket continues that.

The HOY Vulpine Portixol jacket is an excellent outer layer, proving to be both waterproof and windproof

As with any waterproof jacket designed to keep the elements out, the first thing to consider is how it perform when it starts hosing it down with rain. I wore this jacket in some of the worst conditions I’ve experienced so far this winter, with freezing rain driven by strong winds, and it didn’t let in a drop. This is thanks to the superb fabric, which has a 15,000mm waterproof rating, and the zip is also waterproof. The jacket has a waxy texture and this also helps keep water out and the fabric is reassuringly thick, meaning it doesn’t get the crinkled look when it comes out of your pocket.

It’s also impressively windproof, again down to the excellent fabric, and it meant that when it was freezing out it kept me warm when wearing regular non-windproof gear underneath, even if it lacks much insulation in itself (though the high collar has a snug fleecy lining).

That wind and waterproofing doesn’t come at the cost of breathability. The fabric itself has an element of natural breathability but the jacket also has a series of substantial but strategically placed vents. There’s one under each arm and one across the top of the back. To stop these letting in rain they have flaps over the top, which makes them almost act like gills, not letting any water in, but allowing moist air out. It means that the jacket is very well ventilated and I didn’t feel like I was overheating when wearing it if correctly layered underneath.

Another important aspect of any waterproof jacket is the packability. Id’ describe it as ‘ok’ on this, in that the thicker fabric means it doesn’t pack down as small as others I have used. That said, it does still fit in a rear jersey pocket, passing that crucial test, just it isn’t as compact as others I have used. However, given the level of protection the jacket offers it’s more than forgivable.

Strategically placed vents under the arms and on the back ensure there’s an outlet for moist air

In terms of looks, the jacket comes in either black or red. We tested the red version and I think it looks good. The cut is sharp and has almost a racing fit, but still looks fine for more casual use. In line with most other HOY Vulpine clothing, the sizing is a little bigger than you’d normally expect for cycling clothing (editor’s note: our jacket was photographed on a model who is not the reviewer, and who would take a medium in most clothing but often a small in HOY Vulpine).

The jacket also has a decent amount of reflective detail, with a small HOY Vulpine logo on the chest and right arm, and large logo on the dropped back. The hem is elasticated on the left and right sides and ensures the cut stays sharp on the back.

The dropped tail  provides excellent coverage at the back of the jacket and the large HOY Vulpine logo is reflective

The jacket comes with an RRP of £99, which is reasonable for a jacket of this quality. It is well-made and the tough ripstop fabric has proved very durable so far.

Conclusion

I’ve been impressed by this jacket. It may not pack away as small as other jackets but, on the flip side, it provides better protection from wind and rain that most, and that counts for more, while also offering a good level of breathability.

Pros

– Very windproof
– Very waterproof
– Strong look and good cut

Cons

– Doesn’t pack away as small as some other jackets

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