Rather than a raincoat, the Guard Nimbus feels and looks more like a lightweight, windproof jacket with its stretchy jersey material, which feels odd at first but once zipped up has a second skin-like fit.
It’s a cut that’s certainly streamlined for aerodynamics and fitted me well, but larger riders might want to size up.
The double-layer fabric, which Santini calls Grimpeur, is essentially a hydrophilic (causes water to spread across the material) inner membrane bonded to a soft woven outer. The inner feels great over a long-sleeve baselayer or against bare skin and breathes well.
As added waterproof protection, all seams are thermo-welded, which also keeps weight and bulk down.
The sleeves have ample length and coverage, and the thin, wide neoprene cuffs seal well while sitting comfortably.
The front of the Guard Nimbus is high cut and, while the rear is dropped, it isn’t as long as some. While out riding post-downpour, I found the jacket does a reasonable job of keeping road spray off, and it stayed in place thanks to the elasticated hem and overall stretch of the jacket fabric.
Santini employs a reverse-style front zip that seals well and the large zip-pull was easy to use, even when fumbling around in gloves. A nice touch is an additional small piece of fabric at the bottom of the zip that is designed to prevent rubbing on your tights.
Despite being a minimalist jacket, there’s a single rear zipped pocket that offers enough space to stash essentials – phone, energy bar and keys – and the brightly coloured zip-tag makes life easier on the move, too. Reflective logos front and rear, and a large area of reflective dots on the front, help with visibility.
In light rain, the Guard Nimbus delivered an impressive performance for such a lightweight and form-fitting jacket, and saw water bead and roll off. I found it worked well in showers but after a few hours or so in prolonged heavy downfalls damp did start to penetrate.
If you need a jacket that will keep you dry for six hours in heavy rain this won’t be for you, but for those who need protection on shorter riders or in showers, this could be a great option that isn’t overly expensive and feels great on.