For commuting, cyclo-crossing or if you're just after a hardwearing packable windproof, the Club Ride Cross Vest Gilet is worth a look. Performing well for its price it's hard to knock though it could be a bit brighter for road use.
Being both water and wind resistant it makes an ideal companion for those days when a cold shower can whip up out of nowhere. The lightweight rip-stop fabric folds down small to fit a jersey pocket and with a generous fit and decent sized armholes it's easy to get on or off on the fly.
The rip-stop fabric is woven into a grid for additional strength and resistance to tearing so is ideal for lightweight applications like this gilet. Weighing just 135g you barely feel it on or in a pocket. With addition of coatings the material offers a good barrier against cold winds while still being pretty breathable. It isn't massively warm in itself working more to take the windchill off while your underlayers deal with the insulation.
The DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating will stand up to a constant drizzle or short cloudburst before getting overwhelmed. You don't get cold once wet but it does take a while to dry.
You get a nice high neck which is fleeced lined and is comes into its own on a freezing cold headwind slog. The full length zip stops short of the chin so comfort is never compromised.
For a bit of storage you get a front chest pocket and a rear one also that are big enough to hold a phone or a couple of energy bars.
The fit is close without being skin tight race style. It doesn't flap around in the wind basically and the rear and side panels have a bit of stretch to them to offer a good range of movement.
The blue accents do their best to lift the dull chrome colour but they are fighting a losing battle. I'm not fully in the hi-viz camp but I do think it pays to be noticed and you don't stand out at all on overcast days in this.
Overall the Club Ride Gilet is great in terms of fit, performance and packability plus the amount of durability the fabric gives means it'll last a long time. The price looks pretty competitive too.
Hardwearing lightweight stashable gilet for early season use; bland colour though
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Club Ride Cross Vest Gilet
Size tested: 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?
Club Ride's kit is designed for use in all types of cycling rather than just being discipline specific and this comes across in the Cross Gilet. It can be used on the club run, off road, racing or even a spin to the shops with jeans it isn't going to look out of place.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Wind2O™ Lightweight, breathable, lightweight, wind-resistant, rip-stop fabric
Zippered chest pocket
Rear zippered storage pocket
RideLight™ reflective accents
Stretch side & back panels
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I liked the gilet in terms of performance, it stood up well to wind and rain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The hardwearing material.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
The Cross Gilet is a good all rounder and performs well in every aspect with a decent price to boot. I think a better colour choice could be an option though while still allowing it look good on civvy street.
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.