The way the weather has been going as far as 2013 is going an easily stowable jacket like the RH+ Acquaria Pocket Jacket is pretty much a must on most rides at the moment.
With a name like Acquaria you'd expect the Pocket Jacket from Italian clothing specialists RH+ to offer some type of water resistance but it is actually designed as a windproof.
It's made of a single layer coated fabric called Airdry which is intended for mild and windy conditions. Normally these types of jacket get pretty clammy in use but the fact the Acquaria is intended to be worn between 14°C and 22°C means that the breathability of it is actually rather good.
There are vents at the rear which helps the warm air escape should your work rate increase, but it's more at home when descending or riding in a group, not necessarily pushing too hard sitting on a wheel.
The Airdry material is quite soft and feels just like a normal jersey against the skin. The fit is what RH+ call 'relaxed' which while that means it isn't a close fit. It isn't flapping about in the wind either. Elastic keeps the wrists and hem in place but aren't tight enough to make putting it on or taking it off difficult when in the saddle. The full zip ran smoothly and a neat little tab covers the zip when it's up against your neck to stop things rubbing.
When the Acquaria isn't needed it folds into its own pocket easily - fitting in a jersey pocket meaning it's a no brainer to grab it before each ride especially on chilly mornings or evenings.
On the whole it's a sensible addition to your wardrobe and can easily be used for three seasons with a bit of layering. The performance is impressive as I mentioned above keeping windchill at bay without the rider getting sweaty and clammy underneath.
Although thin, the material seems pretty robust, I've snagged it a couple of times on branches and parts of the bike and there aren't any signs of damage so it'll obviously handle a bit of abuse.
The white version is ever so slightly see through so can be used for racing allowing your race number to be seen. A neat idea is the black stripe which runs up the back so if you get caught in the rain without guards the jacket won't be stained by muddy road spray. It also comes in black and the sizes are the RH+ usual of S-XXXL.
It is £65 which is well priced considering the quality, performance and versatility and you'll definitely get plenty of use out of it.
Three season windbreaker looks good while striking the difficult balance of warmth against breathability.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: RH+ Acquaria Pocket Jacket
Size tested: White, large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Acquaria is a breathable windproof jacket that packs down into its own pocket for minimal size.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Airdry material is coated fabric that acts as a windbreaker.
Breathability is impressive for a windproof jacket.
Good considering how thin the material is.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, it is impressively breathable considering the windblocking material and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Breathability and looks.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A dropped tail would be the only thing I'd add.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 34 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Ribble Winter Trainer for commuting, Genesis Flyer My best bike is: Sarto Rovigo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.