Joe has been putting the Leatt MTB 5.0 jacket to the test to see if it can cut the mustard with some impressive features.
Riding in the rain is an inevitability during a UK winter, so a decent water proof jacket is always a good investment. The Leatt MTB 5.0 jacket is a pretty heavy-duty jacket with some neat and innovative features that stand out straight away.
Photos by Dave Price.
ClimbVent connector for pedalling with the jacket open
First off are the areas of reinforcement/protection on the elbows and shoulders. I think I have torn every riding jacket I’ve ever owned, either through crashing or catching it on brambles, so it’s nice to see a bit of protection in these vulnerable areas. The fabric is already pretty tough so with the added protection it should withstand some abuse.
The magnetic hood system at first seems to be a great idea, with a series of small magnets in the top, back and base of the hood, which are there to secure it together when not in use. There is also a self-adhesive magnet that goes on top of your helmet to secure the hood in place when in use. In reality though I found it difficult to line up the small magnets whilst wearing the jacket, having to reach up and behind my head was a bit of a faff, the only way I could get them to line up was by taking the jacket off to do it, which kind of defeats the point. The magnet on the helmet worked well, for those really foul days when you get caught out in a proper storm and need the added protection of a hood. The hood itself is big enough to cover a helmet, but with elasticated adjustment to make it smaller for when off the bike.
Another simple little thing is the what Leatt call the ClimbVent connector which is just a little strap with a popper to join the front of the jacket together when you have the zip all the way undone. It allows you to ride with the jacket open without it flapping around in the wind.
I would say I was a fairly average size person at 176cm tall and 72kg. I usually wear Medium tops and jackets, so was surprised to find the Leatt MTB 5.0 is a little on the snug size. I appreciate riding jackets are tailored to be slim fitting but I found this jacket was almost too tight. The body and arm length was spot on, but around the chest it was snug, and the sleeves could pull tight around the inside of the elbow when in the attack riding position.
There was little give in the fabric despite it being four way stretch, in particular the left sleeve which has a small pocket on the inside of the forearm. It’s a small pocket which I can only assume if for a lift pass or something similar. The additional fabric and zip caused the sleeve to pull tight and dig into my elbow pit sometimes. Obviously all of our bodies are different shapes and sizes so it is going to fit some people absolutely fine, but not be unfortunately.
What do we think?
In terms of its effectiveness at keeping me dry, I could not fault it. The fabric stood up to some serious downpours and did not let in a drop of water. In terms of breathability, I do struggle to regulate my body temperature when riding, so I did find it pretty warm and sweaty.
During most of the rides the temperature was around 10 degrees Celcius so I would usually be wearing just a single layer jersey if it wasn’t raining or too windy, so I’m always going to feel warm in a jacket at these temperatures. However, as a jacket for those proper grotty winter ride when it’s close to freezing and throwing it down with rain I think it would be an excellent performing jacket.
Incredibly water proof
Tough, hard wearing fabric
Could do better:
Fit is a little on the snug side
Fiddly magnetic hood
You can check out the Leatt Jacket MTB 5.0 on their website here.
Read all our other products on our Gear page here.