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The only cycling jacket I’ve ever owned is a hi vis Gore-Tex which isn’t always the most subtle, especially when I’m riding to work or an event and would like to blend in…
I have therefore opted to wear other coats and jackets when I cycle but then I worry about compromising my visibility and safety, as well as them not always being comfortable or designed for riding.
Vaela describe their primary focus as ‘the design and manufacture of women’s clothing that looks beautiful off the bike and works wonderfully on the bike’. I have been really impressed by their other products so let’s see how I got on with their jacket.
Vaela 001 Cotton Jacket
A truly beautiful women’s jacket that is packed with discreet functionality for riding a bicycle. Big pockets and everything else you’d want from a cycling jacket.
- Stunning, elegant design
- Feels tailormade
- Perfect fit for cycling
- Not waterproof
- Very expensive
Just like the jeans and bag, Vaela’s jacket arrived beautifully presented and folded in their sustainable packaging.
The remarkable standard of Vaela’s products is striking and the jacket is no exception. It felt sturdy but supple, and the reflective elements are cleverly incorporated to keep you looking stylish and safe.
As I am quite petite, I had some reservations about how it would fit but thanks to Vaela’s comprehensive sizing instructions and design it was perfect.
The material and design make it very comfortable but also adaptable as you can alter details like the lapel, and either tie or leave the belt loose. Similarly, the reflective elements at the end of each sleeve can be folded back and the belt can also be reversed.
I liked how the jacket looks casual yet also smart as I’ve never seen a cycling jacket that so effortlessly spans both styles. As it can be worn in different ways, and obviously also complemented by other clothes, it is very versatile.
- The belt can be worn multiple ways, with hidden belt loops which are invisible when the jacket is worn without
- The belt can also be turned over to show the reflective patterns whilst riding.
- The scoop profile cuffs can be folded down to cover the wrist whilst riding, and also to reveal their reflective patterns
- The saddle shoulders have been very carefully designed to ensure that the arms are not restricted and the shoulders don’t ride up when cycling
- A little stretch in the fabric further improves comfort and fit
- The convertible collar ensures the jacket looks equally good with one button open and showing a lapel, or when fully buttoned up and with collar raised on a chilly ride home
- It’s cut longer at the back to ensure full coverage when riding and has a flattering cut out side profile that provides extra room in the hips when pedalling
- Two deep outside front pockets keep contents firmly in place and readily accessible
- Buttons made from sustainably grown Corozo nut – the ‘vegetable ivory’ of the plant world
I must admit that it has been tricky to test the jacket due to cold and wet weather as although it is versatile, Vaela have been open in acknowledging that it is not waterproof or weatherproof. This is because their passion for sustainability and sourcing high quality and environmentally conscious materials has led them to further research options as opposed to compromising their values.
However, on the warmer and sunnier days I have thoroughly enjoyed using it on my rides and thanks to the stretch in the fabric I have been able to wear it over a thick jumper.
As with the generous pockets on their jeans, the two large pockets on the jacket easily accommodate my phone, keys and more which is always a constant struggle and annoyance with other clothes for women. The location of the pockets also means the contents feel secure compared to other jackets where I find myself hitting whatever is in my pocket as I ride and worrying it will fall out en route.
Another feature which has been designed with women in mind is the above referenced longer cut at the back of the jacket. I cannot emphasise how appreciated this is as it provides welcome coverage when cycling which is often lacking in other jackets, but it also manages to still be flattering.
Vaela’s jacket is a firm favourite of mine. It looks great, fits as if it has been tailor made, and has been incredibly well designed to think about every cycling motion and need.
Ideally it would be waterproof as it seems a shame to have to hide it with my hi vis when it rains but I appreciate the environmental justification for this decision, and that Vaela are looking into other options.
It is at the upper end of the market at a cost of £210 but as with Vaela’s other products, they are perfect both on and off the bike so are a worthwhile wardrobe investment. Personally I know I will definitely be wearing this jacket even when I’m not cycling.
If you’re looking for a women’s cycling jacket that will make you feel smart, stylish and safe when you cycle then Vaela’s jacket ticks all the boxes.
To help reduce the financial burden for Discerning Cyclists, you can get 10% off at Vaela when you use promo code DISCERNING at the checkout.