Van Rysel is part of Decathlon’s performance range, and the RCR Ultralight Packable Showerproof (not to be confused with the RCR Ultralight Packable Windproof, £29.99) focuses on being lightweight and packing down small without breaking the bank. It also looks more expensive than the price tag suggests.
Decathlon says this jacket will: “Protect you from scattered showers.” This tallies because the fabric has a waterproof rating of just 2,000mm, which was fine for a couple of hours’ riding in showery weather, but not intended to withstand prolonged or heavy rain.
Breathability is impressive, even when working hard. Decathlon gives it a breathability rating of 6 RET – equivalent to 20,000g/m2 – which is classified as a ‘good’ level. The Ultralight lives up to this and breathability is aided by vents at the back and armpits.
Being part of Decathlon’s performance range, the RCR has a semi-fitted cut but fits true to size. It’s tailored from a semi-transparent polyamide fabric (with a polyurethane membrane) that has a little stretch, which helps with the fit. Plus, there are no issues with excess material being flappy or noisy.
The front of the jacket is cut high, so it doesn’t interfere with pedalling, and the rear has a dropped tail. This isn’t as long as some, but has a wide elastic hem that keeps it in place, and it does a reasonable job of combating road spray. The wrists are sealed with soft, elasticated material.
The simple collar has no lining but there is a zip garage. A reverse front zip (sealed on the outside, rather than the inside) with an inner flap slows rain penetration. The zip is small and can be fiddly to use with gloved hands, though.
I did appreciate the small side pocket – fine for keys, bars and gels, and cards but not a phone – as well as the generous yet subtle reflective details. It has an elastic pull cord to hold things in.
The RCR is a great value, lightweight and small packing jacket that’s highly breathable and ideal for short stints in the rain, or year-round use as an emergency jacket. Decathlon has delivered on the looks and performance and it costs less than £45 / $50, which makes it ideal for those starting out or on a tight budget.