On first look, the jacket feels solid – not overly weighty, but reassuringly tough, and it subsequently delivered in a variety of winter conditions. It’s a class design to the eye but where the jacket really stands out is in the choice of fabrics and how they perform.
The Climb and Conquer jacket is made from three fabrics, dubbed Iceberg 100, Tempest and Pixel 100. The Iceberg 100 is a stretchy, heat-regulating fabric which is also waterproof and breathable. Tempest is a thermal, breathable, brushed microfibre that keeps the warmth in. Most unique is the Pixel 100 fabric, which is made up of three layers, to form a waterproof and breathable material which is also very reflective. This is positioned on the back of the jersey and offers a very broad area of visibility, ideal for winter riding.
I was initially a little sceptical on the effectiveness of the jacket with three fabrics and so many claimed functions in one piece but one ride for two hours in zero degrees, with snow, sleet and wind helped quash those doubts. I was wearing two base layers, one short and one long sleeve, and I was comfortable, and at no point felt chilly or like I was over heating. On returning home, the base layers were a little damp in the usual places, but the moisture transfer was really effective from the jacket.
Riding in slightly milder temperatures, the jacket also works well, but its inherent warmth means it’s probably not one for above ten degrees. However, for long, chilly days in the saddle, it’s a very reliable winter companion which will offer plenty of warmth and comfort.
The fit of the jacket is not quite ‘race’, but certainly not ‘commuter’. It’s close, with no areas of undue fabric to flap in the wind, but there’s enough space for movement and additional layers. The height of the neck line is good and close, without being restrictive or claustrophobic, and the arm length is excellent, with the close-fitting cuffs (longer than most) helpful in ensuring a good glove and jacket cross over. As usual, the tail of the jacket is dropped but – and this is a small gripe – it could be marginally longer (or, like some other jacket, have a mud flap). It certainly doesn’t leave any of the back exposed, but a little more length would provide a little more protection and help stave off the dreaded soggy chamois if you don’t run mudguards.
The three rear pockets are regular in size, providing plenty of room for winter ride essentials, and there’s a handy vertical zipped pocket on the right side for keys or money. The corners of the pockets are double stitched to increase their strength and, hopefully, longevity. There is also a headphone cable port should you require it. One final thing to note; while our jacket has red detail, it’s also available in green.
The main standout feature of the Stolen Goat Climb and Conquer Jacket is the cost – at £129 it offers real value, function and fit. It may not have the subtle design features and crafted fit of top-end jackets, but as a solid, reliable and really warm, well-thought out jacket it performs superbly.