Test: Alpinestars Marshall Drystar jacket

Stylish jacket also has surprisingly good winter performance

Alpinestars Marshall Drystar jacket

How much: £270
From: Alpinestars
Pro: Looks good, warm, dry, hood
Not so: Nothing so far really

When I started out in this game, the holy grail of bike jackets was a leather one, which also 'looked good in the pub'. Now, this Alpinestars Marshall jacket isn’t leather, and it doesn't look instantly like a bike jacket, but I do think it looks pretty decent when out and about. Best of all though, it’s actually a really good all-round riding jacket, with a warm inner liner, a very waterproof outer shell, and plenty of pockets and protection.

I've had it since the beginning of this winter, and to start with, I thought it was just an urban-type scooter jacket, that wouldn’t be serious enough for big miles. But I've worn it on a couple of bike launches since, as well as one or two longer rides in the UK, and it's had the performance of a much more serious-looking winter jacket. The removable liner is very warm (almost too warm at times), and even in horrid Portuguese rain on the CB125R launch, the water couldn't get through the Drystar breathable outer membrane. It's also really really comfortable, and nicely cut.

There's a waterproof clear pocket on the sleeve where you can put your phone for easy access in town. And off the bike, it has a smart removable hood, to keep the rain off. There's even a clever fastener on the back to hold the hood in place when riding, so the wind doesn't blow it about. A couple of vents on the side open to let a breeze in when it warms up too, which I'm hoping to use at some point this year...

It's decent value, at around £270. That might sound a bit much for a light urban coat – but for the performance you get, and the solid style, it's actually not bad at all. It’s by far my favourite go-to jacket for general riding nowadays.