The Bike List

Louis Garneau Massimo Jacket £126

Tested by Oliver Laverack, tester for The Bike List

Cold weather riding jackets face a conflicting set of rider demands. They need to be waterproof and windproof to combat rain and chilly headwinds but they also need to be breathable to let your sweat escape. And they need to protect you from the elements while offering a stretch and flexibility that allow you to ride naturally.

As winter morphs into spring the compromises in this Louis Garneau jacket start to pay dividends.

It is not 'waterproof' to the extent that it can beat a decent downpour. Light showers will bead on the jacket but it took less than an hour for the fabric to saturate in heavy rain and for the water to seep through to baselayers.

On the plus side this makes it both cooler and more breathable than say the Gore Phantom jacket, which is welcome when you're riding hard or carrying a rucksack. Thoughtful selections of fabric make the chest area more windproof and robust than the thinner stretch panels on the back and sleeves, although the high number of panels necessitates a high number of seams, and sadly the first is starting to unpick after three months' use. Disappointing on such a beautifully finished jacket.

The Massimo is generously cut, so if you are a borderline size it's wise to opt for the smaller size, which will help to maximise the benefits of its closely tailored fit that is ideal for road riding. There's good length in the arms and tail, close fitting cuffs and a wide storm flap behind the zip to protect your front from the breeze. There are a few reflective details, although there's scope for more to boost your safety on the road.

Three deep rear pockets offer ample carrying space for spare inners tyre levers, a pump and energy gels, while a zipped chest pocket provides good security for keys or phone.

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At a glance

Verdict A stylish, breathable, showerproof jacket that's ideal for cool spring rides.

Louis Garneau says:

The Louis Garneau Massimo Jacket is the ultimate in cold weather protection and cycling performance, the Massimo 2 jacket consists of a waterproof, breathable, and stretchable fabric. Yet the fit and comfort of this jacket are unprecedented with brushed inside and inserts on the sleeves with a 4-direction stretch fabric that is form-fitting and provides ease of movement.

  • Fabric: WindDry 12k/HeatMaxx
  • Cut: Race Fit
  • Sleeve Length: Long Sleeve
  • Fastening: Hidden front zip with sublimated flap
  • Pockets: 3 angled back pockets
  • Reflectivity: Front, back and sleeves reflectors