In a country that often seems to have four seasons in one day, bike gear needs to be practical, and that means adaptable. We take a look at the new Atlanta jacket from Weise, which claims to morph from cosy jacket when cold to cool covering for the heat. It looks good for the money, with a budget price of around a hundred and sixty quid, but can it really cope with all that the four seasons of the English weather can throw at it? We find out.
When you pick up the Atlanta it feels impressive; Good quality materials, chunky zips and detailing (like the adjustable soft-touch storm collar) that you’d expect only on more expensive gear – it’s a lot of jacket for the money.
Waterproofing is via the proven drop lining, which means that the outer jacket will get wet but that won’t work its way through to you. It’ll breathe easy too.
One of the key features of the Atlanta are the vents. These are closable openings aimed at circulating cooling air around your hot little body as fast as possible.
Combine this with a removable, quilted inner liner, and so the theory goes, you have a jacket that is as fit for winter as it is for summer.
The Atlanta is made from tough 600 denier Polyester reinforced at key impact points. Zips are YKK and should last well. The liner is a standard quilted job – nothing high tech, but it’ll be up to anything if paired with the right base and mid layers.
Both the liner and inner jacket beneath are blessed with pockets, so you don’t lose internal storage if you take the liner out, neither do you have to fight through it to get at your stuff. There are discreet reflective features and a plethora of adjustment points and straps.
What you get
The Atlanta has only two external frontal pockets, but three internal, including one below the removable lining, which is handy for summer when the main liner is out. There’s no rear zip pocket.
The quilted liner zips quickly out, and, as temperatures rise, there are no less than 8 variable vents, two each front and rear, plus two on upper arms and two on lower. The neck is crucial for temperature regulation in a bike jacket, and the Atlanta has this covered with a high but adjustable soft storm collar.
Fit is one of the most adjustable and comfortable we’ve seen on a jacket at this price level. Quilted panels make movement easy and adjustable poppers, and numerous Velcro adjusted belts enable tailoring to your own body shape reducing flapping at speed. There’s a short zip to attach to trousers and reflective features for night-time riding, although they are not very pronounced.
Keeping you safe
The polyester construction is tough enough, while not being as abrasion resistant as higher cost jackets – about par for the course. For the best performance you’d need to spend a shed load more – like Rukka’s Armas or Weise’s own Avance. But there’s CE approved armour to shoulders, elbows and back ready fitted – so you don’t need to fork out on a back protector as with some jackets at this level. Armour is of course removable for cleaning or to upgrade.
The Atlanta performs better than average when the temperature falls – the new liner being cosy right down to about 5 degrees C at speed. (about 40 F) – good enough for a typical UK spring. But you’ll need a mid layer for winter unless you’re built with extra seal-blubber like our Dave (ahem). No problem with that – many jackets are the same.
When the thermometer gets above 20 degrees C (65 F) the internal liner pops easily out. Above 25 (75 F) or in slow traffic, the vents can be opened up, giving you a flexible way to adapt the cooling effect – which is considerable. Airflow around the body is excellent making use of even a gentle breeze to keep you cool.
Living with it..
Our tester wore the jacket for four weeks in temperatures ranging from 5 to 15 degrees C (40 to 60 F), and from early spring sunshine to bone-chilling sleet. We also tried our jet wash test (5 mins at the local car wash resisting a jet washer) which it passed. Total distance covered was just under 400 miles, equating to 15 trips.
No problems were experienced with zips, poppers or stitching, which confirms the initial impression of good build quality you get when first grabbing the jacket off the rail. Our rider stayed dry even in prolonged heavy rain. Front pockets however proved to be non-waterproof, so keep keys inside jacket.
Sizing and cut
Sizing is reasonably accurate, meaning that an L is pretty much what passes for L in the majority of brands – and equating to a real world 40 / 42 chest. Sizes run through a very wide range – from about 38 (S) to approximately 52 inches (Unbelievable XXXX XL). Cut is fairly generous but can be tailored nicely due to the large number of adjusters (three sets on each arm alone).
Fit can be nice and snug using the adjusters, reducing billowing at speed, but changing to airy if you slacken the belt and open the vents as you might want to do on a warm weather cruise around town. All good.
In many ways this is a typical Weise jacket; pretty much a budget price, above average quality and therefore good value for money. But, as often with this brand, the product manages to squeeze in a few bits of unexpected up-marketness – like the waterproof zips or the soft storm collar.
We’re happy enough with overall robustness (and the Weise 2 year guarantee) to recommend this as a commuting jacket for short to medium distances. For longer trips or for touring you’d probably want to look elsewhere (or higher up the Weise range) where you’ll get more pockets, heavier duty fabric and more waterproof external pockets.
But does the Atlanta deliver true 4-season capability? That was always going to be a big ask at this price level. The answer however is a qualified yes – and consequently it will do as your only textile, so long as you’re prepared to adapt with base and mid layers.
The Atlanta is a good buy if you want one jacket for all year round use and are on a budget. It delivers better than average quality and comes at a keen price with a good guarantee. It’s comfy and highly adjustable too – so will fit both men and women despite being marketed as a men’s jacket. Best of all you get some advanced features not usually seen at this price point and it looks good – like a more expensive item in fact. Another winner from Weise.