The Santini Skin Windbreaker is an impressive lightweight wind jacket which provides an initial line of defence against a chilly breeze and offers some protection in light rain, while also folding down neatly when not in use to fit in a jersey pocket.

This is the kind of jacket you’ll reach for if you’ve rolled over the top of a climb and want something to pull on for the descent or if the temperature dips mid-ride. Having a lightweight jacket you can easily pull from a jersey pocket can make a big difference.

The material used to make the jacket is extremely thin and lightweight but still offers excellent windproofing. That’s the ideal combination for a jacket like this - it’s light enough that you won’t feel hampered by carrying the jacket, but is still effective in use. I used the jacket for short stints and as an outright windproof layer on colder days, and it worked well in both scenarios.

Santini Skin Windbreaker jacket, windproof jacket (Pic: Mike Brindley/Factory Media)

Santini Skin Windbreaker jacket, windproof jacket (Pic: Mike Brindley/Factory Media)

  • Specification

  • Price: £74.99
  • Sizes: XS-4XL
  • Size tested: M
  • Colours: fluo yellow; red; black
  • Website: Santini
  • UK distributor: Zyro-Fisher

The Skin Windbreaker is aimed as windproof piece, rather than a waterproof jacket, but it will offer a little protection against short spells of rain. The fabric certainly won’t stand up up to full-blown wet weather (nor does it have taped seams), but it’s up to the challenge of the odd shower. Still, if you're heading out and the forecast is for persistent rain, this isn't the right jacket to have with you.

Fit on the jacket is helped by two bands of lycra that run from the cuff to the waist, along the bottom of the arms and down your sides. These panels add enough stretch to ensure the jacket is able to move comfortably with your body.

At the bottom of the jacket and on the cuffs you’ll find an elasticated strip which also helps keeps everything in place, plus it’s made from a reflective material. All things considered, the cut generally works well but I found the jacket was prone to bunching up and flapping around the shoulders.

This is the type of jacket you're more likely to wear for relatively short spells, rather than from start to finish on a ride, but it does a good job at helping heat escape, no doubt helped by the lycra panels. While you might expect moisture to build up quickly inside the windproof fabric, it performs surprisingly well and I never really felt like I was being boiled alive, even when I was pushing hard up a steep incline.

Temperature range on a jacket like this is difficult to work out, because you could use it to keep the wind off on an alpine descent in the height of summer or as an outer layer on top of a thick winter jerseys at close to freezing. What that means, however, is that you could potentially use it through much of the year in the right conditions.

Santini Skin Windbreaker jacket, windproof jacket (Pic: Mike Brindley/Factory Media)

Santini Skin Windbreaker jacket, windproof jacket (Pic: Mike Brindley/Factory Media)

When not in use, packing the jacket down and stuffing it into a jersey pocket is really simple. I managed to comfortably fit it in a jersey pocket alongside a spare tube, a couple of tyre levers and a CO2 pump, which is really impressive.

Finally, the Windbreaker is available in black, red and the fluo yellow tested here, which is ideal for visibility, especially at this time of year. It’s a strong visual design, too - far more stylised than we’re used to seeing on a windproof jacket.

Santini Skin Windbreaker jacket, windproof jacket (Pic: Mike Brindley/Factory Media)

Santini Skin Windbreaker jacket, windproof jacket (Pic: Mike Brindley/Factory Media)

Santini Skin Windbreaker jacket, windproof jacket (Pic: Mike Brindley/Factory Media)

Santini Skin Windbreaker jacket, windproof jacket (Pic: Mike Brindley/Factory Media)

Conclusion

This is the type of jacket that can get you out of a sticky situation as an effective windproof layer, while remaining so light that it takes up barely any space in a jersey pocket. There’s a hint of water resistance but that’s not what it’s designed for. The cut could be a little slimmer around the shoulders but otherwise the Santini Skin Windbreaker performs well as an emergency jacket.

Pros

  • Windproof
  • Extremely light
  • Strong visual design

Cons

  • Fit is a little loose around the shoulders
  • Anything more than light rain will get through