Caldene Elena softshell jacket
- Warm and waterproof
- Appealing, clean design
- Attractive touches, such as rose gold zips
- Strange sizing, and far narrower on shoulders than hips
Price as reviewed:
Our tester struggled with the sizing of this jacket, but otherwise found it to be perfect for spring and autumn riding
The first impressions of the Caldene Elena softshell jacket are of a very appealing jacket – the styling is unfussy and the rose gold zips are attractive.
However, the sizing was strange – I’m an 8-10 and narrower at the shoulders; the 12 fitted me round the shoulders and was generous around the hips. However, this has been rectified by the manufacturers in the Sofia, the softshell that followed the Elena and which is of a very similar design; according to the manufacturers, the Sofia comes up true to size.
But the unusual sizing was the only real fault I found with this jacket. It was worn several times in October – it is best for spring/autumn weather as I have been quite warm in it early in the month, but it stood up to what Storm Brian threw at the south-east with aplomb, keeping me warm and windproofed. It has been tested in light rain and kept me completely dry – I don’t know how it would fare in heavy rain, but it is certainly — as claimed — water resistant. The fabric is thick and feels protective and would I suspect stand up to a brief heavier shower, but not a downpour.
The two-way zip is always good to have, especially in a riding jacket, and works smoothly, and the storm cuffs provide extra warmth if needed. Several people commented positively on the jacket’s styling when I was wearing it, especially the zips. You can get an iPhone 6 in the pockets — the only minor gripe I would have is that it fits vertically not horizontally — and so digs into your middle if you bend! But a smaller phone it would fit perfectly in the pocket.
This is a stylish jacket that performs well and feels well made and I would recommend it or its replacement, providing the sizing issues have been addressed, which I have been assured is the case.