Review: Ciovita Ladies Botanica Lava Jacket

This modern riding jacket does far more than a mere lightweight windbreaker will.

There is much to love about this super useful road or mountain bike jacket from Ciovita. Designed and made locally, with Italian brushed lycra fleece, it is ideal for days when the temperatures are below 20-degrees.

Kate Slegrova of Pretty Pedal in action on her mountain bike with the Ciovita Ladies Botanica Lava Jacket riding on the Twelve Apostle mountain range near Cape town South Africa

Features

What’s to love? Let’s just start with the look which is striking and unforgettable – roses are a girl’s best friend but so is a slim fitting and oh-so-stylish riding jacket. The torso is slightly longer than average and the silicon grippers hold the look you are after. The front and rear panels are cozy Italian fleece lycra whilst the side panels are a combination of spandex and polyester which improves overall breathability. All three rear pockets are elasticated and the jacket has subtle reflective detailing to aid visibility.


Comfort and Function

The comfort is similar to what I imagine a million bucks refund from SARS feels like; amazing. Even though it is pretty compressible, I wouldn’t recommend it for rides when the temperature rises above 20-degrees – it gets warm. On long climbs, the full-length zipper helps regulate core temperature and if you do unzip it completely, it is easy to line the tabs back together again. After a few months of use, I haven’t experienced any issues with the overall durability and it has not developed any odor issues.

This jacket reduces the misery of a long chilly ride and it’s breathability plus snug fit outperform what a mere windbreaker will. The long arms extend over the wrists and tuck into winter gloves providing total insulation. The front and rear panels take the edge off when the air is chilly. It is not waterproof but will withstand a drizzle and it does dry quickly. What I really love about this jacket is it’s ablility to handle the transition from bike ride to chic style, for any post ride activities around town.


Takeout

I tested this jacket on the road and mountain against the best and worst of the Cape’s winter. Through the frisky Atlantic ocean breeze, flash storms and general winter conditions I was seriously impressed with its go-anywhere and handle almost any climate functionality. It does have a snug and tighter fit than other jackets so perhaps order one size up if you don’t like your kit very tight. 

Kate Slegrova of Pretty Pedal in action on her mountain bike with the Ciovita Ladies Botanica Lava Jacket riding on the Twelve Apostle mountain range near Cape town South Africa

| IMAGES: Gary Perkin, REVIEWED BY: Kate Slegrova |


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