Santini Vega multi-weather jacket
As the name suggests, Santini’s Vega Multi Jacket is designed to cope with a variety of weather conditions from autumn through to spring, whether it’s cold, wet or windy.
Santini uses Polartec’s Powershield Pro lightweight fabric, which is warm, waterproof, windproof and highly breathable.
Powershield Pro is a robust three-layer softshell fabric with an outer shell that protects you from the wind combined with a soft-to-touch grid pattern inner. These sandwich the permeable functional mid layer. Unlike some membranes, vapour easily moves through this permeable layer without the need for high internal pressure, delivering impressive breathability that’s essential on a do-it-all style jacket like this.
The Vega Multi Jacket features thermo-welded seams to keep dampness out and comes with a waterproof rating of 5,000mm, so is classed as waterproof, but this is at the lower end of the scale when compared to dedicated rain jackets. This meant water did eventually get through when riding in heavy rain on longer days, but for most rides and in showers it worked fine.
I liked the fitted race-cut with its high front, and the thin, softshell fabric hugs the body. Unlike some softshell jackets, it moves easily with you as you pedal without feeling stiff and cardboard-like. Being an Italian race brand meant that the fit was small and I had to size up, and I imagine most mortals will probably have to size up too.
Once zipped up, the Vega almost felt like a second skin and it sealed well all round. The soft collar is taller than most and delivers a cosy, draft-free ride. Despite the lack of zip garage, the inner draft flap, which extends to the top of the zip, removes any irritation, and the large ring zip-pull helped to make life easy all round.
The wide contrasting orange cuffs use a thin fabric and are not adjustable, but didn’t feel overly tight. In fact, they were slightly loose on my skinny wrists. This wasn’t an issue because it allowed gloves to sit under or over as needed to seal out the elements. I did find the arms shorter than on many other jackets, though.
On the rear there’s a drop tail with a silicone lining that does a good job of keeping it in place. Plus, Santini has added a contrasting bright orange extension flap that does a good job of combating road spray. This is made from a Roubaix fabric that also helps to keep your rear warm.
Three large, easy access main pockets and a zipped waterproof valuables pocket do a top job of stash duties. The outer pockets feature drainage holes, but not the contrasting orange, middle one.
Even on cold days the Vega offered ample insulation and coped well down into lower single Celsius digit temperatures. Breathability is good but I did find it could get warmer in milder weather or on faster paced days, requiring some front zip temperature control.
I liked the contrasting black and orange finish with reflective details that help keep you stylish and seen without looking like a neon beacon.
While it’s warmer and breathes better than many waterproofs, there are always downsides compared to a dedicated rain jacket. It’s heavier and bulkier, and not as waterproof as many, but as a general all-rounder the Vega is a good option, although you pay a premium for it.
Overall, the Vega performed well in most of the conditions it was designed for.