Not the first brand you'd think of when considering a waterproof jacket, but this Oxford Venture is very light but still boasts a proper 2.5 layer construction and taped seams.
It’s not specified what sort of riding Oxford Products new lightweight Venture jacket is aimed at, but looking at the cut – short at the front, long at the back – it’s more suited to road riding than mountain biking. And that’s because mountain bikers actually need a bit of extra length at the front. That said, you can totally wear this jacket off-road, and it won’t matter that it’s short, if you have a pair of water trousers underneath. But how does it stack up against the best mountain bike waterproof jackets?
To keep the weight down, this jacket is made from an in-house Dry2Dry laminate fabric. This has a 2.5-layer construction, meaning there is a nylon outer skin, a laminate and then a printed inner surface. The latter helps pickup moisture and also protects the membrane.
On the outside, the Venture gets a DWR coating, and this works really well. It also has fully taped seams to keep out the worst rain, but with a breathability rating of 10,000g, the membrane isn’t as good at moisture transfer as the best waterproof jackets, and when working hard I did get quite warm. Meaning getting the layers right is pretty critical.
The jacket does have some decent features, like a fleecy collar, but the detachable hood lacks any sort of adjustment, so is neither under or over the helmet. But the styling is definitely road-biased and to score higher the Venture needs MTB-specific features – like a proper fitting hood and a more breathable membrane.