Rain, rain, please don’t go away. Or snow, or wind. Stick around. I want to wear my Ana Nichoola Snow Cat jacket.
I’ve been riding in this incredible bit of kit since November and it’s no exaggeration to say I still get excited about putting it on. It’s the sort of jacket that makes you want to ride more and more, just so you can wear it. It’s packed with functional details – of which more later – but first and foremost it looks sensational.
Wind-block fabric across the chest and arms contrast with panels of fleece polyester for areas that need to breathe. This is a perfect meeting of fashion and function. Put this jacket on and you instantly look a million dollars, the panelling flattering the female form to the point where even straight-up-and-down me looks curvaceous and feminine.
The high neck features a zip and a popper fastening over the top layer, adding an on-trend biker chic vibe and also quite helpfully keeping one’s neck dry and warm without any unwanted flapping.
At the back there’s a dropped hem to keep your backside dry and protected, and an all-round silicone gripper to prevent any riding up.
There’s also two big and one small pocket at the back, perfect for storing a pump and various odds and ends without compromising the line and cut. Yes, this stuff matters. If you’re going to splash out on a jacket that makes you look like an Amazonian goddess there’s no point ruining the effect by cramming and over-stretching side pockets with junk. There is a side pocket on the Snow Cat – use it for smaller valuables.
The Snow Cat is a snug fit with a touch of stretch. I’m usually an L in Ana Nichoola sizing but I was sent an XL to review and it fits perfectly. I’m a UK size 12 or thereabouts, admittedly I’m broad in the back and carrying some baby weight but in what universe am I ‘extra-large’? Still, them’s the breaks. This jacket comes in sizes up to an XXL which should fit a 14-16. If the sizing bothers you cut the label out and forget about it.
When it comes to performance this jacket is faultless and I do mean that. It’s incredibly lightweight, so once on you feel like you’re barely wearing anything. You just notice that you look amazing. I still can’t stop checking myself out in windows.
The fleecy lining is snug and warm, but even up serious hills I’ve never once overheated in this jacket. It seems to magically keep me at just the right temperature. No nasty chills going down hills either, thanks to the great wind-block fabric.
I’m not sure if this jacket is waterproof and Ana Nichoola’s website doesn’t bill it as such, but I’ve not found myself drenched to the skin in it even in the December bluster.
The only possible cause for criticism is the colour. Black and grey isn’t the most visible combination but there’s reflective piping aplenty on the back and cuffs, and I will happily wear this in the pitch black with confidence that, between the reflective piping and the lights on my bike, I am visible.
This jacket genuinely makes me feel amazing. I want to ride more, further and faster in it. It propels me. It makes me look like a better cyclist, feel like a better cyclist and in turn, ride like a better cyclist. I love it.
– Would be nice to have a choice of colours
– Sizing on the snug side
Sizes available: XS-XXL
More information: Ana Nichoola
What Ana Nichoola says about the Snow Cat jacket
The Snow Cat is designed to work with your body with the curvaceous cut offering comfort whilst in the riding position and flatters the female form. If you look and feel amazing, the riding will naturally follow.
– stretch Wind-Block chest and arms
– fleece polyester for areas that need to breathe
– curvaceous fabric panelling for the female form
– reflective piping at key points
– anti-flap collar and zip combination
– easy access pockets with poppers
– mini pump pocket
– valuables zip pocket
– dropped back
– silicone waist gripper
– embroidered Ana Nichoola logo hoops