The Velotec Elite camo waterproof gilet is designed to lock out early season rain and chill, which it does very competently. However, while it has certainly grown on me as the weeks passed and miles racked up, the lack of pockets and reflectives is disappointing for €120 (104).
The Velotec Elite gilet is made from a three layer polyester fabric with a water repelling coating, which supposedly blocks chill while encouraging speedy eviction of rider generated coolant, and has a waterproof zipper. The subtle midnight camouflage effect has a certain something, although I was slightly disappointed by a lack of retro-reflective technology or detailing.
That aside, the cut and fit are ideally suited to speed-orientated mile munching. Our large fitted me perfectly, hugging every contour, but was unrestrictive when alternating between tops and drops, or indeed aerobars.
Since we're on the subject, the lower back offers surprising protection from spray when riding without mudguards. The silicone gripper is similarly unobtrusive and prevents incremental creep.
Large is my default when it comes to jerseys but I'm increasingly compatible with several brands' mediums. It's worth taking a few measurements and double checking if you are proportionally shorter/longer in the torso, or fall between sizes.
By definition, it's not designed to be roomy. There's enough space for the essentials, a long sleeve base and mid layer with fully loaded pockets. There's no hint of drag, or annoying flutter, even at 40mph down a local 1 in 4 and battling an unforgiving, gusty crosswind.
Though it essentially feels like a middleweight jersey, it does an excellent job of blocking icy blasts, although I've always worn a sleeve type garment around my neck to stop chill from sneaking inside.
Adding rain to the equation hasn't foxed it, or dented my morale. Much like any decent water-repelling technical fabric, water simply beads up on the surface, then rolls away. A cheeky blast from my garden hose, aimed directly at the zipper presented no problems either.
Talking of which, I'd appreciate a slightly bigger zipper tag but otherwise, it's relatively straightforward to remove mid ride. It'll fold just small enough to stow inside jerseys with deeper pockets, although wedge packs on steroids such as the Altura Aero Post Pack are more dependable hosts.
The Velotec Elite gilet stirs mixed emotions in me. On the plus side, it's a well-made and extremely competent garment, so to that end, good value. It's made in Italy, some price differential has to be expected, over a similar quality garment made in the Far East. That said, I'd like to see some refinement: a poacher pocket and just a smattering of reflective would be top of my list.
High performance gillet with steep price tag that could use some minor refiinments
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Velotec Elite Camo Waterproof Gilet
Size tested: Camo, medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Velotec say "*
100% Waterproof sealed membrane gilet suitable for wet conditions in Spring, Summer & Autumn. It's very breathable thanks to a new generation ultra light membrane. The sealed seams makes the garment 100% waterproof".
My feelings "No quibble and worth noting that it is very windproof. However while it certainly delivers on a technical level, some reflective detailing and pockets) would be welcome at this price point.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* 100% waterproof
* Protection against wind, rain and intermediate temperatures.
* High breathability & comfort due to internal ultra- thin & elasticized jersey texture.
* Medium weight
* Made in Italy
Well made, as I would expect for a gilet commanding this kind of cash.
No obvious weaknesses in the material or zipper.
Just right. Will accommodate heavier weight base and mid layers comfortably without spoiling the snug, flutter free fit.
Certainly well made and performs to a high standard, so should last. However, pricey for a gilet that doesn't have a pocket, or reflective detailing.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Pop it in the machine wash at 30 degrees with the rest of your kit and minimal detergent. Washes beautifully.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the Velotec is an excellent three-season gilet that offers excellent defence against the elements. The cut is perfect for spirited riding and I'm rather taken with the urban camouflage design. Being similar in weight to a typical race jersey, it will just about pack down into a big jersey pocket or large wedge pack should temperatures unexpectedly climb mid ride.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, cut, design and performance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of pockets/similar detailing relative to the asking price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, albeit with the minor revisions discussed.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes but with the above provisos.
Use this box to explain your score
Competent and stylish gilet that should repay its investment in the longer term. however, lack of pockets and reflective detailing will deter some.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)