I’ve been wearing Leatt’s HydraDri 4.0 MTB jacket through the worst winter and spring weather and this is what I learned

Can clever features create outstanding performance from an OK fabric in Leatt’s mid-level, weather beating jacket?

Leatt HydraDri 4.0 MTB jacket
(Image: © GuyKesTV)

BikePerfect Verdict

Durable, reasonably waterproof and bearably breathable jacket for fans of big hoods and lots of vents. Beware tight arms and shoulders if you’ve got some muscle though.


  • +

    Excellent high protection, magnetically secured hood design

  • +

    Front vents boost breathability

  • +

    High volume pockets

  • +

    Tough, easily washed fabric


  • -

    Awkwardly tight arms and shoulders

  • -

    Big hood/high collar will be overkill for some

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Leatt’s HydraDri 5.0 MTB jacket is designed to be their best waterproof jacket option, but the HydraDri 4.0 MTB jacket uses a lot of the same features with a lower spec fabric. What does that mean for overall performance and who do I think it’ll work well for?

Design and specification

Leatt build the 4.0 from their three ply HydraDri Evo fabric which comes with decent, if not outstanding, 20k waterproofing / 20k breathability ratings. That’s a lower spec than the 30/30k HydraDri 5.0 jacket and pants, but you’re paying a lot less. There’s no internal seam sealing though and the fabric doesn’t stretch a meaningful amount either. 

There’s a massive menu of features though so I’ll start at the top. Leatt started their brand with neck protectors for downhillers and there’s a lot more thought gone into the neck and ‘Ride Adaptive’ hood area of this jacket than normal. The hood is shaped to go over a helmet and there’s a magnetic catch with a glue-on pad for your lid to keep it in place on descents. The peaked hood also gets an elasticated, cord locked drawstring for extra security/weather protection, the fleece-lined collar comes right up over your chin to complete the schnorkel-style sealing. You can also fold the hood and collar several different ways to give different levels of protection/ventilation, with embedded magnets holding it stowed when not in use.

The main body has two very large, two-way zipped chest to bottom of ribs pockets which also act as vents. The right-hand one includes a tethered glasses/goggles wipe and an elasticated draw cord for the hem. The main zip is another YKK piece with chunky plastic puller and a press stud secured ‘ClimbVent’ strap that can be used to stop the jacket pulling open completely when the zip is undone.  Further ventilation can theoretically occur through the open but overlapped yoke across the shoulders. There’s a small zipped ‘lift pass/key’ pocket on the left hip too. The sleeves ends are cowled with an elasticated underside. Shoulders and inside elbow bends get plasticized scuff guards.

Leatt HydraDri 4.0 MTB jacket back view

The big hood is held in place on helmet or shoulders by built-in magnets (Image credit: GuyKesTV)


Fabric and features are important, but fit can be a make or break suitability for some riders. While the jacket body, upper arms and hood of the HydraDri 4.0 MTB are generously sized, the lower sleeves are obviously tight if you’ve got any muscle there. The shoulder cut means that becomes even more obvious as I leaned forward into a riding position. It even feels restrictive while I’m sat here wearing it while typing. This can accelerate arm pump and numbness dramatically on descents and it also restricts warm blood flow to gloves at the same time as the tight fit pulls up to create wrist gap. The tight shoulders and lack of stretch mean the yoke vent doesn’t really do anything either.

In contrast, the structured, secured and generously sized hood makes it feel like your head stayed inside while the rest of your body went out riding. If you’ve not experienced a really good hood before, it’s hard to underestimate how much this can improve your quality of life when the weather would be enough to make Noah nervous. The fabric itself is usefully waterproof even in heavy rain and while the lack of seam sealing worried me at first, the actual amount of damp that got through the stitching was never really an issue.  

Lack of seam tape (which never breathes well) also enhances the ability of the jacket to shift sweat. The big front zips and strapped main zip can also create plenty of air-con through the front and flanks. The upshot is that it will keep you drier for longer than the 20k breathability stats would suggest. In practical terms that means you won’t get too soggy just pedaling around at an average pace. When it does start wetting out from the inside, it’s the end of the sleeves where sweat becomes obvious first. 

The HydraDri Evo fabric has also proved very durable over winter despite a few spills and it still cool washes clean after dirty days with enough DWR coating left to shrug off water droplets for a while. There’s no recycled content in the jackets, but they do use non-PFC DWR and plastic-free packaging. There’s a wide range of sizing particularly in the plus direction too.

Leatt HydraDri 4.0 MTB jacket hood detail

Leatt's ‘Ride Adaptive’ hood offers excellent multi mode head protection but it does add bulk and cost compared to simpler designs (Image credit: GuyKesTV)


Leatt’s HydraDri 4.0 jacket brings a fantastically protective multi-mode, magnetic hood design, breathability boosting vents and durability wins to the mid-price jacket market. Skinny sleeves and lack of stretch will be a fit, comfort and control issue for more muscular riders though. Eventually, leaky seams undermine extended rain waterproofing too, but it’s still worth a look if you can find a good deal.

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The lowdown: Leatt’s HydraDri 4.0 MTB jacket
PerformanceReasonably waterproof and breathable, great hood★★★★
Fit and comfortSkinny arms can be awkward★★★
DurabilityStill going strong after a long winter★★★★
Value for moneyRRP is high, but there are lots of deals about ★★★

Tech specs: Leatt HydraDri 4.0 MTB jacket

  • Price: $189.99 / £169.99 / €199.00
  • Sizes: S-XXXL
  • Options: Timber (tested), Black, Titanium
  • Weight: 560g (medium tested)
Guy Kesteven

Guy has been working on Bike Perfect since we launched in 2019. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.

Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Forbidden Druid V2, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg