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Verdict: 
Distinctively styled and fully featured cycling gilet – but it comes at a price
Weight: 
131g

If you're after a gilet that's loud and proud, then the Ion Women's Reze Vest should fit the bill. It's certainly not just about looks, though – it has the performance to match. Zip it up and your torso is instantly protected from the wind and, to a lesser extent, rain.

For a relatively simple garment it packs in a lot of features, including a ripstop wind and water-resistant fabric, multiple pockets, storm flap and zip garage, but the standout aspect is the cut.

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It's far longer in the body than most cycling gilets. The photos are of the size medium, which was a little too big for me, but even the size small reached down to the top of my thigh at the front and tucked under my bottom at the rear. It's held in place with silicone grippers in the elasticated hem.

I like this extra length, as when zipped up it kept me feeling nice and cosy. Likewise the tall, close-fitting collar (again, the photo shows the medium) kept draughts out.

The half mesh back was also welcome, especially when slogging up climbs, as I'm prone to overheating. The medium on me was a little roomy, but though the small was still a little loose there was no flapping.

The usefully generous pockets are worth a mention, too, in particular the handy side zipped one. You can easily stuff the gilet inside itself in one of the pockets for storage, but I was baffled by Ion's description of the 'Pouch Storage System', which says you can pack the vest into its collar. 

Also, while it lists reflective details as a feature, these are very minimal, and if you're wearing a pack then the logo on the back is hidden. But these are minor niggles for what is a very good, if pricey, gilet – as long as the paint splash styling is to your taste.

Check out our buyer's guide to the 10 best windproof jackets here

Verdict

Distinctively styled and fully featured cycling gilet – but it comes at a price

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Ion Vest Reze

Size tested: 36/Small, Cerise Pink

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?

This gilet is, according to Ion, a "super lightweight wind jacket for your all day ride" and that's exactly what it is – a minimal layer for added core body warmth.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Ripstop nylon fabric

Windproof material

DWR - Durable Water repellent finish

Three open rear pockets

One zipped side pocket

Stretch mesh insert on back (nylon and spandex)

Storm flap behind zip

Zip garage

Reflective accents

Elasticated hem with silicone grippers

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

The cut is notably long in the body, unlike many gilets. Stitching is tidy and well finished throughout.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

It does what you want of a gilet – zip it up and it keeps the wind chill off your front, especially with the snug, high neck and extra long length. Light rain beaded well too, and the mesh back helps prevent you overheating.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

It's bearing up very well to being worn under a backpack and going in the washing machine.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
9/10

So light you don't notice it.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
9/10

I found it very comfy to wear and especially liked the long length of the body and the tall, snug fitting collar, which made it cosy on cooler days.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

£75 seems like a lot to spend on something so minimal when there are plenty of gilets that cost far less, but it does have lots of great features and does its job well. Plus it's by no means the most expensive out there, and you'll find it discounted online.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It performed very well - the windproof fabric really does make a big difference to your body warmth for a garment that's so lightweight, and the water-repellent finish is sufficient to keep the worst of the rain off in a light shower.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

As well as the cut - long and fairly slim fitting in my size small – I found the pockets very handy. The zipped one is especially good for stowing cash and the open side ones are easily accessible even when wearing a pack - ideal for emergency Jelly Babies.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing, although the styling might be a bit loud for some. The reflective accents are very minimal too.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

The overall score was brought down by its value rating.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 170cm  Weight: 60kg

I usually ride: Marin Point Reyes 29er  My best bike is: Giant Anthem X1

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, mountain biking, audax

 

3 comments

Avatar
themartincox [553 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

i'm a loud and proud clothes wearer, but i think 'distinctive' could easily be replaced with 'popping' as an aesthetic description!

Avatar
hsiaolc [360 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I wouldn't wear it I doubt most other ladies will find this appealing.

Avatar
WolfieSmith [1381 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Ugly gilet of the year