Barbour International Trials jacket, £229.95
Miles covered/time: 3500/ten months
What’s good? This is an absolute classic jacket, originally developed in 1936 for the International Six Day Trial (ISDT). It has been the popular choice for both trials and road riding, a total icon of the sixties. It’s one of those jackets that the more you wear it, the older it gets, the better it looks. Made from heavyweight 8oz waxed cotton it’s great for summer riding as it is a very breathable jacket, it is only when it rains that the fibres swell and close up the tiny gaps between the treads making the jacket waterproof. There are the distinctive brass popper fasteners in the pockets and cuffs, with a buckled strap to secure the corduroy lined collar, perfect for stopping the wind blowing down your neck. During the winter months, for extra warmth, a warm pile liner can be fitted in, available from Barbour for £39.95. A great jacket and with any luck in 20 years it should look as good as my old one! A good test venue for Barbour international was the Lake District, where you can almost guarantee rain. After a full afternoons riding in heavy precipitation only a slight dampness found its way through, with no actual wet patches, remarkable for waxed cotton!
What’s not? It’s not so much a bad point, it is the fact it does not have any armour. It is a traditional jacket, made in a traditional manner, but if you were worried about this, there is no reason why you shouldn’t wear some body armour underneath.