Review: Leonie Cyclist Cafe Jacket

The insulated front panel of the Leonie Cyclist’s Cafe Jacket does a fantastic job of keeping your core warm, but the limited stretch of the fabric used here can make the jacket feel tight around the shoulders, and some aspects of the fit may not match. the size. guide.

The Leonie has a classic fit, which Cafe du Cycliste says means “cut close to the body and designed for serious riding”, but with “a slightly more relaxed shape” than its racing clothes.

> Buy now: Cafe du Cycliste Leonie from Cafe du Cycliste for £206

It comes in sizes from XS to XXL, which covers chest sizes from 88cm/36in to 110cm/44in, and I tested an XS as I fit within that size limit, being 5cm below on chest and waist measurements. With the limited stretch of the windproof front panel, I wouldn’t have wanted anything tighter, so if you’re close to the upper limit, you might want to size up.

However, the sleeves are long and have a much looser fit, which caused the material to bend in several places, mainly near the shoulders, even when riding in a lying position. My arm length is maxed out for size XS so it has nothing to do with having short arms compared to my chest/waist. It didn’t affect performance, just looks and styling.

While the front part was quite tight, the rear falling below the pockets was loose and I could feel it shifting and flapping while riding.

2022 Cafe Du Cycliste Leonie Mens Insulated Cycling Jacket - back.jpg

Fit issues aside, the jacket does a great job of keeping the core warm. It uses two distinct fabrics: the three-layer windproof front and the ribbed material on the back, collar and sleeves. The sleeves are also partially protected, with forward-facing areas covered in windproof fabric.

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I’ve used the Leonie on the road in a range of temperatures from near freezing to mid-teens Celsius, and overall it was comfortable and warm. Its ability to block the winds was welcome, especially against biting northern cold, although on colder or windier days I could definitely feel the distinction between the windproof and non-windproof sections of the sleeves. .

> 10 of the best windproof cycling jackets – packable outer layers to keep out the cold

The insulation is also effective, and the fabric mix and back panel, in particular, regulate body temperature well. It kept me warm when I needed it, but as the temperature rose or my stress level increased, it didn’t make me overheated or sweaty.

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The jacket has zippers on each shoulder, designed to improve airflow and help control your temperature, but I found I barely used them. Even on the hottest days, the back panel combined with the main zip offered effective control – and this zip is much easier to open and close while riding than those on the shoulder.

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While the deep cuffs have a snug fit to keep cold air out, they aren’t tight and I found them comfortable at all times, with or without gloves; there’s also a lot of stretch if you’re wearing a watch.

2022 Cafe Du Cycliste Leonie Mens Insulated Cycling Jacket - cuff.jpg

The neck area was very well constructed – when zipped up it has a high, snug fit, effectively blocking the wind, and I found there was no need to pack an extra neck warmer with me on cold weather rides. There is also a large garage area at the neck for the YKK zipper, as well as a long section of fabric underneath to prevent it from catching the skin.

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Although not designed for riding in wet weather, with no waterproof fabric or DWR treatment, the Leonie shrugged off a few short rain and hail showers. The pockets also provide plenty of storage space, meaning it’s totally possible to carry a lightweight packable jacket for those changeable days. There are four pockets in total, three deep and easy to access, plus a zipped pocket which would be suitable for keys or cards.

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Although you only use the Leonie on the road and take care to wear and wash it, the sleeves started to fray early on.

Another black (or blue) mark is that the jacket is only available in this dark blue, and there is very little shimmer.

Value and conclusion

The jacket costs £206, which is expensive compared to other winter jackets that also don’t have waterproofing, such as the Rapha Pro Team Winter Jacket which Rob tested last year, which is still £180, and The Albion 3.0 Insulated Jacket at £165, which Hollis tested in January, despite not having back pockets.

the Assos Mille GT Evo is a little more, though, up five since Stu tested it last year, at £230.

> Buying guide: 37 of the best waterproof cycling jackets

Overall, the Leonie is a jacket that holds up well to winter conditions, and although you can feel the cold wind coming in through part of the sleeves, I still found my core to stay warm. Just be aware that the sizing doesn’t seem to quite match the guide; you might want to size up, but then you might run into the problem of extra-long sleeves that roll down.


Comfortable jacket that performs well in a range of conditions, but some question marks over fit

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Brand and model : Léonie Cafe Cyclist Jacket

Tell us what the jacket is for and who it is for. What are the builders saying? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Cafe du Cycliste says:

With design elements inspired by the high hills that stretch behind Nice, Leonie combines protection from the cold with an evolving signature style. Built around a mid-weight, highly breathable blend, the jacket delivers warmth on cold roads without adding unnecessary weight or bulk.

The three-layer midsection is constructed with a windproof face, lightweight insulation, and a permeable mesh interior to perfectly balance active performance and protection on cooler rides. The sleeves also include windproof panels while the back fabric is highly absorbent and ribbed to ensure excellent temperature control.

The jacket features a contrast zipper as well as three cargo pockets and a valuables pocket to provide ample capacity for longer journeys. Reflective elements provide increased visibility and safety in low or low light conditions.

Tell us a bit more about the technical aspects of the jacket?

The Café du Cycliste lists:

98% Polyester | 2% elastane

windproof panels

light insulation

three-layer construction

high breathability

three cargo pockets

zipped pocket

reflective elements

classic cut

made in europe

Rate the jacket for build quality:


Rate the jacket for its performance:


It works great overall and the front panel is great, but without full windproof coverage you can feel the wind coming through parts of the sleeves, especially on colder days.

Rate the jacket for durability:


There is a little fraying of the fabric on the sleeve.

Rate the breathability of the jacket based on the manufacturer’s rating:


Evaluate the fit of the jacket:


I’m below the recommended maximum for sizing, but the fit didn’t seem quite right. The chest and waist were tight, while the sleeves were long. The front panel has little stretch and I could feel tighter stitches near the shoulder, while the sleeves had lots of pleats. I could also feel the lowered rear thump occasionally.

Rate jacket for size:


Rate the jacket by weight:


Rate the jacket for comfort:


Soft and warm materials help make it comfortable.

Rate the jacket for its value:


More expensive than most, if not all, non-waterproof insulated winter jackets.

Is the jacket easy to maintain? How did it react to the wash?

Easy enough. Washed several times at 30 degrees and air dried. Although it has an insulating material, it did not take too long to dry after washing.

Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used as intended

It kept me warm on the coldest days and the high, fitted collar is fantastic, eliminating the need for a neck warmer. The pockets are well shaped and sized, providing enough space without being too loose and risking contents falling out.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

The stand-up collar that cuts the wind while remaining very comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly hated about the jacket

The inability of the front panel to stretch enough could sometimes be felt near the shoulders when riding.

How does the price compare to similar products on the market, including those recently tested on

More expensive than most windbreaker jackets – Rapha’s Pro Team Winter Jacket costs £180 and Albion produce the 3.0 Insulated Jacket for £165, although it has no back pockets. The Assos Mille GT Evo is a bit more, however, at £230.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? No, just a bit too expensive and not quite perfect on the fit.

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Maybe, if the cut suited them.

Use this box to explain your overall score

It’s a great quality jacket that works well to keep you warm, but the windproof front lacks stretch, which you can feel around the shoulders.

Age: 35 Size: 168 Mass: 62

I usually ride: My best bike is: Cannondale System Six

I have been riding since: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would classify myself as: Expert

I regularly practice the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, sports, mtb, lots of gravel style