One of the most versatile pieces of a cyclist's wardrobe is a decent gilet and as the RH+ Acquaria from RH+ is so lightweight and packable it's a proper three season item of clothing.
It's made of a single layer coated fabric called Airdry which is intended for mild and windy conditions and is designed to be worn between 14°C and 22°C.
With a mesh back it's highly breathable and wicks sweat away quite impressively for this kind of fabric.
Reflective piping all around is a welcome addition for a garment that is likely to be worn around dusk and dawn. There is also a central red stripe up the rear which is a bit of an attention grabber.
RH+ say it's a Regular fit, which is their way of saying it's close-fitting without being a whippets-only race cut. It gives you plenty of room to move without having any excess fabric blowing about in the wind. The neck is nice and high as well which also stops drafts from whipping down your spine.
When it's not needed the Acquaria folds into its own pocket which gives it a tiny pack size. It's a no brainer to grab before going out for a ride. It weighs absolutely nothing as well so you don't even know its there. The arm holes are deeper than usual which makes getting on and off while in the saddle fuss free too.
Layered up with jersey, arm warmers and base layer it'll easily cope down to temperatures in the high single figures so it'll see you through spring, summer and autumn.
Priced a tenner cheaper than the full jacket at £55 the bang for buck is impressive with good looks, performance and fit. Available in black or white and the size range goes from S – 3XL so there should be something there for virtually everybod. These are Italian sizes though, so you might have to go up one from your norm.
Overall the Acquaria Pocket Vest ticks all the boxes that a gilet should and at a very competitive price. Its small pack size is one of its main attributes as you don't need to leave something else at home so that you can put it in your jersey pocket. The finish quality is very good and the material seems up to shrugging off most scuffs and knocks with ease as it still looks brand new after two to three months use and being stuffed in a pocket.
Highly versatile windproof gilet that offers top performance and looks.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: RH+ AcquariaPocket Vest
Size tested: Large, white
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?
Its a windproof gilet that folds down into a very small package. Ideal for inclement weather and cool starts/finishes to a ride.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Air dry fabric is a very breathable windproof material
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
great, its easy to put on and off while in the saddle
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
some more colour options would be nice
Did you enjoy using the product? yes
Would you consider buying the product? yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes
About the tester
Age: 34 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Ribble Winter Trainer for commuting, Genesis Flyer My best bike is: Sarto Rovigo
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.