Design classic kit review: the Vulpine Harrington jacket
A staple in the Vulpine collection since the company’s inception, the Harrington is designed to perform while on the bike and remain stylish during pit stops.
With the aim of bringing a traditional, tailored feel to the world of cycling apparel, Vulpine consider this to be one of its staple and essential pieces, designed to suit everyone and every style of riding.
Bike Clothes’ Amy Tocknell put the petrol-coloured women’s jacket through its paces on a 100-mile day in the saddle.
- Properly cut and designed for women’s bodies
- Easy to care for
- Looks great on or off the bike
- Limited colour options
- At £195, it’s not the cheapest cycling jacket on the market
“This isn’t just a smaller version of a men’s jacket – it feels perfectly cut for women.”
The Harrington harks back to traditional tailoring and is designed to be a key piece for both on and off the bike. You can see and feel that a lot of time went into its styling. The curved lines and back vent give this a classic Mackintosh look, but in a practical length, and in two attractive colourways.
This isn’t just a smaller version of a men’s jacket either, as it feels perfectly cut for women.
8 out of 10
The crux of the matter with women’s cycling apparel is usually fit and I had no problems with the Harrington. The cut is a little closer than standard outdoor coats, but it fits in all the right places, thanks to the adjustable waist.
The collar wasn’t so high as to feel choking, and there was a comfortable amount of under-arm room.
Constructed from high quality ‘Epic Cotton’, the fabric is breathable, so no ‘boil in the bag’ concerns here. Plus the jacket sat comfortably over jeans, later in the day.
The jacket was taken out on an unseasonably warm day, without a drop of rain, but it was still comfortable and airy enough for a full day’s riding. In cooler, wetter conditions, this would have felt like a godsend.
9 out of 10
I felt well ventilated and comfortable on the bike all day. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test the jacket in the pouring rain, so the waterproof credentials of its ‘Epic Cotton’ went unsubstantiated. However, after some discussion, I agreed to have a glass of water thrown at me. Not entirely scientific, but I am quietly confident that I wouldn’t have returned home drenched, should the sky have opened up.
I was also pleased to see that the fabric dried out quickly, suggesting there’s no soggy riding when it comes to the Harrington.
7 out of 10 (only because untested in wet conditions)
The devil’s in the details and the Harrington has some lovely touches. My favourite is the subtle magnetic closures on the pockets and collar. They give a very satisfying snap when they close.
The fleece-lined cuffs will be a welcome addition in winter, but for the perfect combination of style and function, the reflective waist adjuster tabs take the prize.
8 out of 10
The Harrington is easy enough to wash: just pop it in your machine at 40 degrees. It needs no special waxes or products to re-waterproof the fabric. Apparently, it remains in tip-top condition for 200 machine washes.
9 out of 10
My jacket arrived promptly, two days after ordering, so you can’t say much fairer than that. Vulpine have a quibble-free return, exchange or refund policy and offer free returns postage within the UK.
Also free is the Vulpine repairs service and, in a move that reaffirms the connection to classic tailoring, alterations are possible too. In effect, you have the opportunity to buy custom cycling apparel, off the peg.
The customer service team are fast to respond and great to deal with. You may even find Nick, Vulpine’s owner, dealing with frontline queries.
10 out of 10
Value for money
The Vulpine Harrington is not cheap – but it’s a classy, good-looking thing. And – with all the extra touches (waterproofing, ventilation, reflective strips, adjustable waist, off-the-bike wearability), it’s pretty good value for money. If more colours were available, I think we’d see many more cyclists making an investment.
7.5 out of 10
An easy-to-wear, aesthetics-driven jacket, the Harrington doesn’t disappoint. There’s no compromise on performance for the sake of fancy branding or unnecessary accessories.
Understated and gender-neutral, this is a piece of clothing that will quickly become an integral part of any rider’s kit, being grabbed before heading out of the door without a moment’s hesitation, whether it’s going for a short commute or a long, hard-going day in the saddle.
9 out of 10
Where to get it
Visit the Vulpine online shop for: