I've never been a fan of waterproof coats when it's raining. Apart from the old goretex coat I used to wear, they always end up being a sauna suit for me.
It's with this in mind that I decided to splash out on a carradice duxback cape at the end of the summer, and I finally wore it in the rain.
Like all things I've owned from carradice, it has a very well made and quality feel. It's a waxed cotton fabric and has a built in hood and a chunky brass zip and press stud for the neck opening. It's a dark green with a reflective strip along the small of the back.
Inside it has a waist cloth tie. To be honest this really needs to have one of those click buckles so you can pre adjust and then just click close rather than faffing about tying the ends together.
There's also a couple of loops to pop your hands through. These work and are functional
The cape has a very barbour-esque look and feel overall. I was slightly disappointed that unlike my cotton duck bag it doesn't have a tag with the name of the person who made it.
Just riding along
So I rode in it for the first time following storm Callum and the weather was patchy with varying rain and a brisk wind of about 17-19mph. Temp was about 16-18°c.
It kept me dry, which should be a given, but i didn't sweat like a sweaty thing.
There was a nice cool breeze coming from under the cape and circulating around. As it's waxed cotton where it was touching my bare arms it felt ok and didn't have that cold clammy feel you get from plastic or even a waterproof jacket. I also didn't overheat like I would have done in a jacket. The legs also stayed dry.
It was only a short (8 mile) circular ride but it didn't feel like the cape was acting as a serious windbreak although as it gives me the same aerodynamic profile of a canvas tent there obviously is some drag. The weight of the cotton meant it hardly flapped though.
It's probably not a thing for city centre riding, or for quick hops to the shops, with lots of indications needed. You'd probably look a little odd walking around the local supermarket wearing it though.
For longer stretches of just pedalling along like my commute though its fine. It's also more of a touring thing than for head down out and out speed.