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Donda Torrential Jacket review

19 Jan 2022

Sensibly priced winter jacket with bags of storage

Cyclist Rating: 
Warm • Resists light rain• Windproof • Good fit for the average sized rider • Very appealing price • Good gripper at hem
Could be more breathable • Taped seams would arguably create a more waterproof seal (but increase price) • Neck could be higher and warmer

Let’s be clear about a few things at the outset. No, the Donda in question has nothing to do with Kanye West’s latest album, and yes, the font used for the brand’s name on the chest of this jacket does look a bit familiar…

However, if you can see past those two almost inevitable topics of conversation on the group ride, there is much to commend the Donda Torrential Jacket to those of us who are out in all weather, and who therefore require a more heavyweight defence from the elements. Not least of which being the double-figure pricetag. 

Donda Torrential Jacket: Design and specs

Donda has positioned itself as a brand selling decent cycling staples at a wallet-friendly price, and the Torrential Jacket is an exercise in just that.

For your £80 outlay, you get to ride around in a jacket that’s not only cut in such a way that it will fit true to size without slicing you in half when you hunker over the drops, but which also packs some decent weather protection, as you’d hope, given its name.

A windproof and water-resistant (‘resistant’ being the key word) outer softshell layer takes care of the elements, while a toasty waffle thermal layer helps to trap just enough heat to insulate and wick enough away to keep you from boiling.

A sturdy gripper runs almost the full circumference of the hem, and the elasticated cuffs seal the sleeves away from wind and rain ingress. Three pouch pockets at the rear, plus a zipped, internal water-resistant pocket that runs along the entire lower back, ensure there’s stacks of carrying capacity.

Donda Torrential Jacket: Performance

The Donda Torrential Jacket is an item that you’re going to need from the moment you leave the house. It’s not packable; it’s for grotty days when rain, cold and wind (or at least one of those) is a certainty.

For full protection, not only would I prefer a higher neck, but also full waterproofing, but neither does it claim to be thoroughly waterproof, so it’s hard to knock it for that.

Light rain is shrugged off, but when the heavens open, water eventually seeps in. I have never wanted for more heat while wearing this jacket; that’s an area where it certainly lives up to the brief; but then, I have wanted for a touch more breathability.

The arms a little on the lengthy side for my T-Rex limbs, but you, like I, are sure to appreciate the fairly ample cut of the torso.

It’s a pleasant surprise to find external pouch pockets, although you’ll need to reserve them for items that you don’t want soaked.

For valuables and essentials, a zipped side-entry pocket that sits between the pouches and your back is incredibly capacious, swallowing a whole Subway meal (including a can of pop) on one occasion (although the stench of Bolognese was hard to shift).

Donda Torrential Jacket: Verdict

I’ve ridden in jackets that cost four times the amount of the Donda Torrential Jacket, and they were not four times as good.

Maybe a little better designed (who wants a race-cut collar on a winter jacket, for example?), but only incrementally better at keeping out the rain. Beyond the fact that this is a perfectly serviceable winter jacket, its price makes it very attractive indeed.

Throw into the mix its day-glo colour scheme, reflective stripes and a stack of storage, and it starts to make a lot of sense.


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