This jacket from Oxford is in their new-for-2019 Advanced range, which is full of new technologies and is part of their push into serious gear for serious riders.
I love the quote from Oxford’s website about the Advanced kit: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear!” An attitude like that appeals to me because if it’s heavy rain outside and I have the choice of car or bike I’ll take the bike every time.
Oxford claim the Continental Advanced jacket is perfect for all weather conditions and I wanted to know if it lived up to the promise.
When I first put it on the jacket felt very well made and all the zips, poppers and stitching suggested quality was important to Oxford. At the time the jacket cost £200 and that seemed very reasonable compared to others with this spec.
It’s a touring jacket, but it isn’t that long – it’s probably only a couple of inches longer than a sports cut. I used it mainly on my KTM, but also wore it a few times on my old BMW S1000RR; it didn’t ride up when in the sports position, but it’s more suited to sitting up.
I’m a size 44-46in chest so I went for the 2XL size, which is a relaxed fit with plenty of room for layers underneath.
Seeing as I only wear a base layer underneath and I can get a good handful of jacket, this suggests an XL would fit just fine. This is exaggerated when the waterproof and thermal linings are removed, because the jacket becomes much baggier. I would consider trying different sizes to get the fit that suits you.
At the cuff I struggle to get a long glove under the sleeve and I’m only just able to get one over the top, which would then render the vent at the wrist useless. This jacket is best matched with a short glove.
The quote that this is a four-season jacket is a pretty tall thing to stand by, especially as I am quite picky person and can’t stand it when things don’t do what you’ve paid for. On this occasion I’m happy to say this jacket does certainly does what it was designed for.
When I first got it the temperature was around 1°C and even with just a base layer on the jacket’s thin thermal layer kept me nice and warm on the daily commute or on the occasions when I could head off to find green lanes to play on.
The thermal layer is made of Oxford’s WarmDry fabric, which gives high insulation and less bulk. It did its job and is very easy to remove via numerous poppers and zips. It’s a little fiddly to put back in, but I soon got the hang off it. My number one pet hate is liners poking through when you put your hand through the cuff, but this jacket doesn’t do it. Hooray.
Its waterproofing performance, hand on heart, is amazing. Oxford’s new Dry2Dry waterproof membrane suffered no leaks whatsoever. The waterproof liner does an amazing job at keeping the water off your body whilst not affecting the temperature of the thermal liner next to it.
I’ve been through some pretty heavy rain periods and it hasn’t failed once. It has a nice high collar which prevents rain from entering the jacket through. The liner is also breathable so with the new WarmDry thermal layer keeping you warm the Dry2Dry waterproof layer allows excess moisture to escape.
The waterproof liner is removable via zips and poppers, but I need to make it very clear: I’ve experienced zero waterproofing when riding without the liner.
I was caught out massively the other week when riding without the liner. It was beautiful sunshine when I left home, but an hour and a half later it turned to torrential rain, heavy winds and even hail. Not one part of my body was dry – but on a positive note a couple of hours in the airing cupboard saw it pretty much dry again.
The one area where I feel weather protection could be improved would be the addition of a neoprene-style cuff to prevent wind and water getting up in the sleeve. Even with the cuff done up as tight as possible I had some water getting in past the short gloves that worked best with the jacket.
On dry, sunny days where I could confidently whip out all the liners the jacket was very well vented. With two vents on the chest, two on each arm and a pair on the back the jacket was very good at getting cold air in and hot air out. The collar can also be held back to allow airflow around the neck.
The CE-approved elbow and shoulder armour fits nicely in place and has taken the odd whack on a tree and left me with no marks surprising. There’s no back protector as standard and I’m not a fan of the fish-shaped insert Oxford sell for this jacket, so I used a rectangular Safe-Max RP1001, which fitted nicely and felt comfortable.
Practicality is good – the four pockets on the exterior of the jacket are glove-friendly but not waterproof and the two on the inside of the thermal liner, which will keep your stuff dry.
For an all-seasons jacket at £200 this is a steal. It’s very warm even when it’s freezing outside, with no wind getting in, it’s waterproof in monsoon conditions, yet very cool and vented in warmer weather. So does it live up to the quote about four-season performance? Yes, it does! It will be a shame to give this jacket back now the review is written. Well done Oxford.
Fit & Comfort
If you’re after a relaxed loose-fit stick with the size chart – for a more fitted feel go down a size. Pay attention to how different the jacket feels without the liners in if you’re going to be using it in warm weather. The jacket feels extremely comfortable and has numerous adjusters to finetune the fit.
All the armour as standard is CE approved. This jacket’s armour has taken some bumps and I’ve come out unbruised. The lack of back protector as standard knocked some points off.
The jacket has never leaked during my review period. I’ve knocked a point off because the cuff design could be a bit better. It certainly isn’t waterproof without the liner in place.
The jacket’s build quality is very good. It has not failed anywhere on the jacket. The waist adjuster feels a bit cheap, though that is me being picky.
The inclusion of a back protector as standard (it’s an optional extra) is the only extra I'd like to see.