The Specialized/Fjällräven Räven Women’s Anorak is a practical outdoor jacket with some bike-specific features but no waterproofing or real cutting-edge technical details. The classy look and great comfort rate make it a great option for someone looking for a casual, well-made jacket that can be worn on and off the bike.
- The best waterproof mountain bike jackets
- Buyer's Guide to Winter Kit for mountain biking
- Five ways to survive winter riding if you hate mud
Specialized/Fjällräven Räven Women’s Anorak - technical details
The Räven Anorak is one of the outer layers the Specialized and Fjällräven collection offers, and it has used Fjällräven’s classic Räven jacket as the base but features Specialized’s on-bike fit to make this the perfect jacket for both biking and hiking adventures. The torso of the anorak is made in G-1000 Lite Eco fabric and four-way stretch fabric on the back and lower sections. Wind resistance has been added to where it’s most needed and the stretch allows for great freedom of movement. For safety, the brands have added reflective details on the articulated, engineered sleeves that have been optimized for bike riding, and also to the lower back. If things get heated, the two-way zippered ventilation openings on the sides offer easy cooling.
This jacket has five pockets in total; secure zippered hand pockets with inside mesh pockets that are reinforced at the bottom, two chest pockets with snap buttons – perfect for your wallet or phone, and one zipped chest pocket.
To make pulling the jacket on easy it has a half-zip at the front, and the side zips open up quite high so you have plenty of freedom to wiggle into the sleeves. There is also an adjustable cinch at the hem and the collar hides the towable hood that has an accent colour.
The jacket is available in three colours; navy, green and pomegranate red and in six sizes ranging from XXS to XL.
Specialized/Fjällräven Räven Women’s Anorak - on test
During the test time, the Specialized/Fjällräven Women’s Anorak has become a staple in my wardrobe, and not only on the bike. The jacket has been perfect for casual after-work spins in the woods but also on shopping trips and weekend hikes.
As a fan of practical garments, I am not taken with the fact you need to always pull anoraks on over your head, using two hands. The Specialized/Fjällräven Women’s Anorak is no exception. It is extremely comfortable but putting it on and taking it off is more of a chore than a regular, full-zip jacket.
Bearing in mind this jacket is made for a cyclist, I don’t think the half zip is very practical for an outer layer, as this means you cannot get the jacket on or off very quickly - and certainly not while riding your bike - unless you’re very skilled. But what this feature lacks in practicality, it adds in style.
The jacket looks pretty both from afar (I’ve never got as many “nice jacket” compliments as when wearing this one) and also on closer inspection. From the buttons and zip cords to the S/F patch on the sleeve, the detailing is beautiful and features the two brands’ logos integrated into one.
The jacket's main material, the G1000 Lite Eco is water-repellent and protected me effectively from light showers and wind. This fabric on the shoulders and sleeves is treated with Greenland wax and although this adds a lot to the durability of the fabric as you can also re-apply the wax, it doesn’t make it a garment for very wet conditions.
For something meant for bikepacking adventures, this jacket doesn’t quite offer the warmth of a puffer jacket or the weather protection of a waterproof jacket, but it is certainly versatile for drier, warmer trips. It also makes a decent pillow if wrapped into itself, and the side ventilation zips make it more breathable than many other, similar-weight jackets.
The five pockets are all rather spacious. I’ve comfortably fitted a spare tube and a mini-pump in one and a phone and wallet into another. I didn’t find much use for the snap button chest pockets, but the zipped one was excellent for storing my phone - and it fits quite a large phone as well. However, the hand pockets sit right next to the side zips, and if you have those open, I'd double-check whether you're putting your phone into the pocket or just slinging it through the vent... Something I learned the hard way.
Overall, the Specialized/Fjällräven Räven Women’s anorak is very comfortable - it offers a relaxed fit that suits all body shapes and pairs well with other cycling or casual clothing. When riding, it’s long enough to cover the back easily and the stretch on the sides and long-enough sleeves allow for a comfortable riding position. On chillier evenings I could easily fit a jumper underneath for some extra warmth.
And lastly, an attribute that I liked about this jacket is how well it deals with dirt - despite taking it to an evening campfire and on multiple sweaty rides, it had absolutely no stains or odour to it. I only washed it to see as a test measure - but I really wouldn't have had to. And that's something you want from a jacket that costs as much as this one does.
Specialized/Fjällräven Women’s Anorak - verdict
This is not a performance, aero garment that will make you faster. Instead, I found that I really enjoyed wearing the jacket on both urban and off-the-grid adventures where numbers weren't the goal, but chilling and enjoying riding were.
The Specialized/Fjällräven Räven Anorak Jacket sets you back £265, which is a good chunk of money for a jacket with no waterproof properties. It's also a garment that is hard to compare with anything else in the cycling apparel market, as the anorak is a rare design and most cycling jackets have at least waterproof or thermal properties in this price bracket. Take for example the Endura MT500 Waterproof Jacket II (£230) and the 7mesh Copilot Women's jacket (£220) that Rachael really liked - these are both waterproof, all-season jackets that you can wear to the pub if you wish.
This jacket is a stylish, windproof and durable piece of kit for on- and off-the-bike adventures, which is its main selling point. I think Specialized and Fjällräven have found a good balance in adding some bike-specific features such as the longer-at-the-back cut and stretch to an already good-quality outdoor jacket - but that doesn't really make it a cycling jacket.