Velocio Recon Snap Jacket review – US brand's winning streak continues into commuter-wear
So stylish and so good in cooler conditions that it will become not just your favourite commuter jacket, but your go-to coat of choice in most situations
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A wonderful jacket for cooler conditions that expertly combines the demands of commuting with the desire of looking good. The price will be prohibitive to many, but if you can afford to splash out then you'll be wearing this jacket pretty much all of the time.
Repels water well
No option of a hood
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Spoiler: I like the Velocio Recon Snap Jacket so much that it’s now my go-to coat, regardless if I am cycling around town or not.
Built with the cycling commuter in mind, or the person who uses their bike to bomb around town doing errands and getting to social events, the Recon Snap Jacket is brilliant in pretty much every single way, except two bug bears that I’ll get onto.
Its excellency explains why it’s expensive - maybe prohibitively so to most people - but premium quality mixed with elegance doesn’t usually come cheap. It's one of the best commuter cycling jackets, so if you can stump up the cash, you’ll agree with me that this jacket is just wonderful.
Velocio Recon Snap Jacket: construction
Designed to be used in cool weather - whether that’s morning and evening autumnal and spring rides, or all throughout winter providing the mercury doesn’t dip too much below freezing - the jacket achieves its stated aim with a double fabric system.
The outside fabric uses Pertex Quantum Air material, a lightweight, stretchy fabric that provides wind protection and deflects beads of water. Its water repellency is enhanced by a treatment of the liquid durable water repellent (DWR).
Inside the jacket you are presented with a fleece-lined fabric that is soft to touch and provides warmth thanks to the Polartec Alpha Direct fleece insulation. The collar is lined with a microfleece to keep the neck warm.
As the name Snap alludes to, the jacket is done up not by zips but by eight individual buttons. There are two standard-sized zipped pockets on each side, and a small zipped pocket on the upper left chest that is bigger than what it looks, capable of storing more than just headphones.
Looking every bit like a fashionable jacket that could be bought on the high street, there are a few touches that nod towards its use for cycling: the tail hangs low enough to cover the lower back; there are woven forearm patches in the position that sees the most wear-and-tear; and Velocio’s name (back left) and logo (front right) are reflective.
I tested the navy blue jacket, although there is also the option of a charcoal colourway that has a slither of orange on the chest’s pocket.
Velocio Recon Snap Jacket: the ride
I have mainly tested the jacket on my old road bike that now doubles up as my fast whip-around-town steed, as well as city hire bikes with baskets that require me to be much more upright. On both types of bikes the jacket was mobile and responded to my position effortlessly.
From the look of it you would never guess it’s a cycling jacket, but it has properties that are essential in any piece of premium cycle wear: it’s stretchy (especially on the forearms), it’s a good, comfortable and slim fit, and above all it’s breathable and lightweight. The scales tell me it weighs just 353 grams, only 100 grams heavier than Rapha’s commuter jacket but Velocio’s product is far warmer and therefore more versatile.
I tested the jacket in a range of temperatures and it kept me toasty warm without overheating on any occasion. On a press trip to the Austrian Alps where I forgot my winter ski jacket, I even used the jacket to go skiing. The temperature was hovering around zero but the jacket did not let me down. That being said, the ideal temperature range is between 5 and 15 degrees.
Velocio boast about the jacket’s water repellency, and it kept me dry in semi-heavy showers and light rain. The jacket also dried quickly afterwards. I wouldn’t, however, like to head out in a torrential downpour using the jacket.
The reason it’s become my preferred jacket of choice is not just because of its high performance, but its style. It’s fashionable, and like any trendy item of clothing I feel obliged to show it off as often as possible. The eight snap buttons add to the voguish properties, and though they are not as practical as a zip, it’s possible to do all the buttons up in 10 seconds.
I cannot comment on how durable the jacket is as I only had it on test for just over two months, but the outer fabric feels abrasive-resistance, and I’ve yet to experience clothes from Velocio that have started to fray and come apart at the seams.
The biggest criticism I can levy against the jacket is its lack of reflectivity. You would think that given it’s a commuter jacket it would have more than just two small reflective panels; in particular, it seems like a real missed open goal that the forearm patches are not reflective.
Secondly, I think Velocio have missed a trick in not having the option of a hood. It’s nice to have the option tucked away up top, or being able to button/zip one back on. I don’t wear a helmet for short rides around town that predominantly use bike paths, and a hood would have been a nice addition.
Velocio Recon Snap Jacket: value and conclusion
Velocio has acquired a knack for producing some of the best (and most costly) cycling garments on the market, and their transition into the commuter range has been a seamless one with the Recon Snap Jacket.
It not only keeps you warm and dry but it keeps you looking stylish, whether you’re getting from A to B via bike or walking into a bar. A note here though: this is most certainly a city bike jacket, one to be used for pootling around town, not for a ride where you’re smashing yourself and trying to get Strava PBs.
The reason I haven’t awarded five stars are two-fold: one, the lack of reflective panels seems quite shortsighted (I imagine that Velocio are assuming that the wearer will be in high-lit areas such as town centres), and secondly the price.
At $28 9/ £229, it’s a big investment for anyone. It’s a fraction more expensive than Rapha’s Pro Team winter jacket, and significantly more costly than Rapha’s Commuter Lightweight Jacket and Endura’s Windchill jacket, both pricing around $110 / £90.
But then neither of those three jackets are designed with the relaxed commuter mind, placing it in an exclusive market. If you can afford it and you do plenty of riding around town, you won’t be disappointed.
Velocio Recon Snap Jacket: specs
Colour: navy blue, charcoal
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL
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Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.
Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.
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