The Cafe du Cycliste Albertine Thermal Jacket is like a warm hug even in the most inclement weather. It also costs $318, so if that’s just beyond the realm of the reasonable for you (I understand), then maybe stop reading now, because I’m not going to have anything bad to say about this thing.
The Albertine Thermal jacket is a snug-fitting road-style jacket with down insulation across the front and the outside of the arms, and then merino fleece on the insides of the arms and across the back. It also has two stow pockets across the back and a side zip pocket for things you just can’t lose. There’s also a chest pocket with a snap, which seems more like a style note than a thing I would use, but there you are. The Albertine is extremely handsome, in addition to being warm, and surpassingly functional.
It’s a super warm jacket with the functional features of a jersey. You would seldom need much more, even when the mercury drops below 20F, a base layer and this jacket, and I’m usually good. In fact, it’s so warm I almost never need it, which is a crying shame, because it’s as comfortable as any garment I own, a really fine piece of cyclewear.
Mine actually gets the most use under a shell on really frigid ski days.
Cafe du Cycliste is a French company that makes high-end and high-price bike clothing. For my taste, a lot of their stuff is a bit precious, but it is undeniably well-made, and the Albertine comes in some nice colors. I actually like the women’s version colors better than the men’s, for whatever that’s worth. It’s pricey at $318, but as I said, if you want a lights-out, solution for cold weather riding, this is it, especially for road and gravel riders who want to be warm without a lot of bulk.