It’s unlikely that many cyclists will be missing a gillet from their cycling wardrobe. For me it’s an essential. It’s very rare that I leave the house without one of some form, either on me or in my pocket or saddle bag. It’s only on one of those very rare days that we’re guaranteed warm sunshine that I will venture out without one.
My main gillet is my Club one that I wear over either a jersey or my Perfetto from Autumn through to Spring. It’s usually too heavy for Summer use and as it’s not waterproof I also need something for the cooler days and/or when I can expect a heavy shower or two. That’s when the Reflex comes into play.
I bought my first one of these a good few years ago, not long after I started cycling regularly and when I realised that a full waterproof jacket wasn’t going to be practical on the warmer days. I’m one of those people that generate a lot of heat and I’m most comfortable when my arms are bare or just lightly covered.
This gillet is still in decent shape but the lack of visibility of the black colour concerns me on duller days and the reflective strips are getting worn looking having been stuffed and unstuffed countless times over the years. I’ve been very happy with it so when the time came to replace it Sportful was my first choice again.
The design had been updated slightly over the years and now has a much better reflective pattern. There are a number of colour choices with Sportful showing fluro yellow, white and black on their website and Wiggle giving a further two of fluro orange and blue. I went for the yellow this time as I wanted something to increase my visibility.
I’ve worn it quite a number of times now and find it really good at what I want it to do. I mainly use it as an additional windbreaker over my Club gillet and Perfetto on very cold Winter days or just over a jersey on fast descents on cooler days. It also gets good use when I get caught in heavier, more prolonged showers when a soaking is unavoidable and unwanted. It has a very handy integrated stuff sack that allows it to compress into a very neat package for a jersey pocket or saddle bag. I’ve also worn it out running on warmer but wet days and found it good for keeping me dry while preventing overheating.
Overall I’m still happy with the new version but I do miss one feature from the original. It had mesh panels down the sides that made it much more breathable. I’m sure removing them has made it more waterproof but they suited me.
I’ve seen some negative reviews on Wiggle that the zip is flimsy but so far I’ve had no issues. They may have upgraded it as it looks and feels sturdy to me.
Value: 9/10 simply because I’m tight fisted and always feel like I’m paying too much! It was €40 when I bought it which is pretty much the RRP.
Durability: 8/10 a decent zip and robust fabric. Negative reviews on Wiggle have me cautious for the longer term.
Effectiveness: 8/10 a great windbreaker, about as waterproof as a gillet can be but would have preferred to see better breathability via the older version mesh panels or a shoulder vent.
Overall: 9/10 highly recommended.
Manufacturer’s Website: https://www.sportful.com/ii/men/collections/protection/p/110163620P-002
I have a built-in Gillet these days, its called fat. Gone are the days when mum would tell me I was too thin. Keep those peddles turning.
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