Superlight, packable and a little water resistant, we put the all-new Velocio Ultralight Hooded Jacket to the test.
We’ve enjoyed reviewing plenty from Velocio here at ADVNTR, from summer trail collections to luxury bib shorts and bras, their Alpha winter layering system, all made with their ethos at the centre: ‘A better way’. But what does that actually mean?
From product design to material choice, sustainability to social responsibility practices, Velocio does questions the status quo of bike kit, and aims to make it better. We’ve been super impressed by the quality and durability of what we’ve tested so far, although this – along with novel recycled materials – does typically come at a more weighty price.
Ultralight Hooded Jacket on test
The Ultralight Hooded Jacket has been on test through the very changeable spring months, on gravel rides, bikepacking tours, big mountain bike days out and even road rides, which is testament to its versatility. Rather than separate road, MTB and gravel collections, Velocio just have either road or ‘trail’, and this falls into the latter category.
Fit and sizing
I had the women’s size medium on test, and there’s a wide range of sizing available from XXS to XXXL. According to Velocio’s handy size guide, this should suit riders from 4’10-6’+ (147-183+cm) and 90-250lbs (41-113kg).
The fit is beautiful: loose enough to allow for a full range of movement, especially when combined with the generous stretch, but also tailored, with gentle curves in at the waist and slender sleeves. If you prefer a closer fit, you might want to size down, or consider the hoodless option which is more road-orientated.
Adjustability is minimal to keep the weight and pack size down, I assume, so the cuffs feature a thin black elasticated hem, the same as on the back hem, with a folded and bonded hem at the front.
Three elastic portions are sewn into the hood, at either side of the face on the hem, and a wider strip across the back of the head, to allow the hood to be compatible both with or without a helmet. The hood’s peak features a thin insert for rigidity, to help it stay perfectly in place. I tested this both with standard road and MTB style helmets, and found the limit only with a set of goggles on the back of the lid too.
Features and packability
The jacket is light on features to keep it packable, with just a single zippered pocket on the rear right hand side, measuring 22 x 12cm with two welded seams. It is this pocket that the jacket then packs down into. Packed down, the jacket only weighs 130 grams: well worth throwing into a pack, just in case.
There are a few reflective details for low light conditions: a reflective tab on the left hip, plus reflective print logos on the left chest and shoulder. In a darker print, by day these are barely noticeable on the ‘deep sea’ colourway. You can also choose the ‘fire red’ colour if you’re looking for something a little more popping.
Materials and function
The Ultralight Jacket is made from 50% recycled Nylon, a flyweight 50gsm Quantum Air fabric from Pertex with generous stretch. Considering how thin it is, it’s remarkably resilient (I’ve even crashed in it, nothing to see there), and provides excellent windproofing. It’s the sort of layer you can whip on and off really easily as the weather changes its mind time and time again…
An ECO DWR (durable water repellent, PFC-free) PU coating means that to a degree, water droplets bead off the surface, keeping you dry in light drizzle and from trail spray. In heavier downpours you’re definitely better off with a purpose-made waterproof jacket, but as a layer for better-looking days, it’s a good choice.
In all honesty, I didn’t find the jacket to be as breathable as I’d hoped, but as such a light layer it’s so easy to take it off and stow in a hip pack or even cargo pocket, so that wasn’t much of an issue. You can also unzip from the bottom thanks to the two-way zip for more air flow.
Although you should avoid excessive washing to preserve the DWR coating, I found it really easy to clean at 30 degrees with other cycling kit after a fair few uses when it was pretty mucky. The dark colour is a real winner for preventing staining.
The Velocio Ultralight Hooded Jacket verdict
I’ve barely ridden without the Ultralight Hooded Jacket this spring, with sunshine one day and downpours the next. It’s like the perfect windproof from my road cycling days that you whip out at the top of a mountain pass to descend in, or pop on at the coffee stop to prevent chills.
Being so thin, it’s certainly not a winter cycling jacket, but for spring, summer and autumn use it’s super valuable, even if it’s just an insurance policy in your pack or bag.
I love the tailored cut and soft feel of the fabric, and the 50% recycled content is a major plus for me. I’m not too worried about aerodynamics, so this serves its purpose well for all cycling disciplines, plus I can see it being really handy for hiking and general outdoor use too.
There are few negatives to the Ultralight Hooded Jacket, but I can’t help but question the price. I know that recycled materials and improving the process will surely cost more, but £188 for a technical windproof is unfortunately out of my league.
Perhaps if you lived in drier climes than the South West England and you could get more use out of it, it would be totally worthwhile, but unfortunately I have to default to a waterproof jacket more often than not. Certainly one I’d look out for in the sales!
Velocio Ultralight Hooded Jacket review£188 €214 $229
Last modified: 3rd June 2021