Albion’s Rain Jacket 2.0 is a performance waterproof made from a lightweight and packable three-layer material, which uses 100 per cent bluesign-approved nylon, and promises “ultimate protection for wet and windy conditions.”
While the jacket mainly focuses on keeping you protected from outside elements, with few pockets or vents, there are features to help keep you dry inside too, with the promise of high breathability.
Albion Rain Jacket 2.0 details
The jacket is a one-piece waterproof and windproof shell, but it doesn’t feel fragile thanks to its three-layer construction, and it has a very slight stretch for added comfort.
The nylon fabric is bluesign-approved, which means the production process has met a standard that’s considered to be safe for the environment, workers and end customers. Sustainability is an important consideration when looking for a new product, so it’s great to know the jacket has made as little impact on the environment as possible.
The packaging is also fully biodegradable, which is even better – take note, big brands.
Albion has updated the jacket from the original design, seeing a refresh to the cuff construction, a new zip guard, and a lighter YKK Aquaguard two-way zip with a useful cord puller. It’s available in an understated, smart-looking slate colourway and this high-vis orange.
Poor weather usually means difficult driving conditions, so having a really visible rain jacket is an absolute must for me when road cycling. Happily, it also matches my long-term 2020 Cannondale Synapse test bike.
The jacket also includes some tasteful and practical design notes, such as an Albion logo on the left-hand sleeve, a short front and properly dropped rear with grippy trim, and a reflective logo on the back. The overall design works really well and is functional yet clean-cut.
I weighed the size small at 160g, which is 30g heavier than a medium-sized Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gore-Tex ShakeDry jacket. I suspect many riders considering a jacket like this won’t be too concerned about weight, though, and Albion is better known for its more rugged, adventurous look than pure road racing, anyway.
With an RRP of £175, the Albion Rain Jacket costs £10 more than Endura’s Pro SL Shell Jacket II. Both jackets use a three-layer construction and offer great performance in wet weather while managing breathability. The Endura certainly impressed us recently, scoring five stars.
Albion Rain Jacket 2.0 fit and performance
It’s fair to say the jacket has a sporty fit and has been designed to provide plenty of protection out on the open road.
Zipped up, the jacket instantly felt snug to the body with a distinct lack of excess material. Its fairly close fit and good length in the arms and body give a sense of protection, too, even before heading out in the rain.
However, the cuffs are really tight. My hands are pretty wide, but I had to pull hard on the sleeves to push them through, and remove the winter gloves I was wearing before I could get the jacket on – and with cold hands, it took a good bit of effort.
This isn’t ideal when stopping on the side of the road in a heavy rain shower. One advantage, though, is a dry connection around the glove and cuff junction – an area many jackets can become uncomfortable as water makes its way up the sleeve.
So far, the Albion Rain Jacket 2.0 has proved to be extremely waterproof, even after cycling in heavy rain for 20 minutes – something I experienced the second time I wore it. The durable water repellent (DWR) finish was clearly doing its job of shedding water.
However, because the three-layer material relies on a DWR finish to stop the fabric from wetting out, after a number of wet rides, I have noticed some areas of the jacket where the beading is not quite as strong as it once was.
This is normal, though, and I haven’t felt the need to reapply any DWR coating just yet. Once the jacket does begin to wet-out it can create a wind-chill effect, so I’ll be keeping an eye on things.
As for breathability, the jacket continues to perform extremely well. I have used it on a couple of faster-paced training rides and managed to keep moisture inside the jacket under control.
This is mostly down to the performance fabric, but also the two-way zip that allows me to easily unzip from the bottom.
I really like this feature because I can dump off excess heat when climbing, for example, and can also access my jersey pockets much more easily. The zipper cord pull has proved handy, too, especially when wearing big winter gloves.
I have stored the jacket in jersey pockets and various frame bags on rides when rain threatened – which is most of the time during a UK winter – and it’s given me a great sense of confidence to keep riding that little bit longer.
Albion Rain Jacket 2.0 bottom line
The Albion Rain Jacket 2.0 might have been primarily designed to offer protection from rain and wind, but it does a good job of dumping heat and being breathable thanks to its lightweight material and YKK Aquaguard two-way zip.
The close yet comfortable fit, small details and tasteful design make the jacket a joy to wear, even when riding conditions are tough. But be prepared for those tight-fitting cuffs.