In the past, a sub-£45 rain jacket would have a got you an ill-fitting boil in the bag that resembled something a fisherman might wear, but Decathlon has changed that. Out of the box the RC500 instantly feels like something that should cost considerably more thanks to its slick styling.
In hand it instantly feels good and similar to thin softshell fabric, thanks to the soft and stretchy waterproof, windproof and breathable material.
What’s a little different with RC500 is that Decathlon uses a spray-on waterproof membrane, which means the inner of the jacket doesn’t feel sticky like some. Instead, it feels soft, which is good when you’re only wearing a short-sleeve jersey below.
It has a race-style cut and fits true to size. I liked this because all too often budget waterproofs are either oversized or ill fitting. The RC500 is neither. In fact, this jacket is thoughtfully cut and feels good on, and thanks to the stretchy material it’s not only forgiving but the fabric moves with you when riding.
The arms have plenty of length and I had no issues with bunching, so there was never an issue with water pooling.
The cuffs are a simple elasticated affair and do their job without issue. Similarly, the elastic waist hem worked fine when it came to sealing me in. There’s no silicone here but the slightly dropped tail stayed in place thanks to the stretchy fabric.
There’s also a neat contrasting bright orange rear spray flap that can be Velcroed out of the way when not in use.
I was impressed to see a waterproof YKK AquaGuard up-front zip that does a good job of sealing the elements out. Plus, there’s an inner flap that keeps drafts at bay.
Decathlon has also added zip garages top and bottom, which eradicate neck irritation and protect against premature wear on tights.
The spray-on membrane mentioned earlier comes with a rating of 8,000mm. This figure is measured in millimetres and is based on how much water passes through a one-inch diameter over a 24-hour period. It’s at the lower end compared to many cycling waterproofs, but in the rain the water beads and rolls off.
It works fine in a shower too, but in heavier downpours the fabric did eventually wet-out and I felt a bit damp after about an hour or so.
If you were using the RC500 for commuting duties it would work in most situations, but if you’re out training for longer periods you could well end up a little wet if you ride whatever the weather.
I washed the RC500 a couple of times without any performance issues, but Decathlon says the level of waterproofing falls from 8,000mm to 5,000mm after five washes.
Breathability is impressive considering the price, and even on short, hard commutes or faster training rides I stayed dry on the inside.
There’s plenty of reflective detailing that sits well with the styling of the jacket. Plus, there’s one large flapped rear pocket with a double zip. This offers plenty of storage but if you’re carrying lots of ride essentials things can get disorganised. There’s also a front chest pocket with a waterproof zip.
Overall, the RC500 is a classy looking and neat fitting waterproof that is user friendly. With its lower waterproof level, it lends itself perfectly to shorter rides in the rain, making it ideal for commuting or those racing and training on a budget.
|Price||GBP £40.00USD $55.00|
|Features||Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Waterproof: 8000 mm membrane
Pockets: Chest pocket with sealed zip and wide zip-up pocket on the back
Colours: Black, Navy
|Key features||Waterproof, windproof and zip closure|