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Verdict: 
Well-featured high-vis windproof gilet, but take note that it has a more relaxed fit than some
Weight: 
195g
Gore Visibility Lady Windstopper Active Shell Vest
7 10

The Gore Visibility Lady Windstopper Active Shell Vest is a bit of a mouthful, but it does what its name suggests it should very well: visibility is excellent, during the day and at night, and no cold chills get through to your body. It is expensive – you can buy a gilet for a lot less – but here you are getting a very well made garment that'll appeal to safety-conscious commuters and road riders.

As visibility is its remit, the vest only comes in neon yellow, which gives you pretty much 360-degree visibility to other road users. This extends to night-time thanks to the 11 good-sized reflective Scotchlite inserts and piping.

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Its other remit is to afford wind protection and to this end it is constructed from Gore's Windstopper Active Shell fabric. This is Gore's most lightweight material designed to offer total windproofing, maximum breathability and water resistance.

Gore Visibility Lady WIndstopper Active Shell Vest - shoulders front.jpg

Gore Visibility Lady WIndstopper Active Shell Vest - shoulders front.jpg

I found the vest very comfortable to wear, thanks to the full mesh lining that prevents clamminess, the microfibre-lined tall collar that zips up nice and snug for cool morning commutes, and the elasticated armholes.

Gore Visibility Lady WIndstopper Active Shell Vest - inside.jpg

Gore Visibility Lady WIndstopper Active Shell Vest - inside.jpg

On warmer days (there have been a few this summer!) the large mesh insert on the back goes a long way to helping the breathable fabric with extra ventilation before I've had to resort to unzipping/removing. Once removed, it fits easily into a jersey pocket.

Gore Visibility Lady WIndstopper Active Shell Vest - back.jpg

Gore Visibility Lady WIndstopper Active Shell Vest - back.jpg

While Gore doesn't advertise this gilet as being water-resistant, in showers the rain just beads on the surface, and a good shake when you take it off leaves it virtually dry.

Two 'stealth' zipped hand pockets are very useful – you can't actually see the zip when they're done up, it just looks like a seam. The zip pulls are quite tiddly, though, so quite a fiddle to operate with full-finger gloves. The pockets are big enough to accommodate keys, smartphone, wallet and the like.

Gore Visibility Lady WIndstopper Active Shell Vest - pocket.jpg

Gore Visibility Lady WIndstopper Active Shell Vest - pocket.jpg

The main zip has a storm flap behind it to keep out draughts, and its zip pull is long enough to easily use with gloves. There is reflective piping both sides of the zip for extra visibility in the dark.

The Windstopper Active Shell Vest is in Gore's most relaxed 'comfort fit' (slim and tight fit are the other two). The armholes and neck are snug, but I found it quite generous around the torso and, personally, would prefer it more tailored for a more flattering fit. Also, because it's looser around the torso than the bust, more curvaceous or bigger-bosomed women might not get on so well with the cut either.

As for length, I thought it could have been a little longer at the back to protect your derrière from road spray in inclement weather.

Gore Visibility Lady WIndstopper Active Shell Vest - tail.jpg

Gore Visibility Lady WIndstopper Active Shell Vest - tail.jpg

Finally, the price. Yes, £100 is a lot to drop on a gilet, but you are paying for German 'engineering' (Gore's description) with quality materials and excellent attention to detail. You can find significantly cheaper designs, though many sport fewer features and don't offer the same levels of visibility (check out our reviews here); if you're a fan of Gore clothing and you can afford it (and the cut suits you), you won't be disappointed. 

Verdict

Well-featured high-vis windproof gilet, but take note that it has a more relaxed fit than some

road.cc test report

Make and model: Gore Visibility Lady Windstopper Active Shell Vest

Size tested: L

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 designed to keep cyclists highly visible day and night while protecting your body from wind chill.

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

Neon yellow for visibility

Windproof fabric

Reflective piping on front and back

Reflective inserts on front and back

Reflective logo on front and back

Abrasion resistant elastic binding on hem and armhole

2 side zip pockets

Zip with semi-lock slider

Zip-underflap and zip-port

Shifted seams for less chafing

Mesh insert in back for optimum ventilation

Ergonomically shaped collar

SHELL: 100% POLYESTER, WINDSTOPPER® MEMBRANE; MESH: 100% POLYAMIDE

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
6/10

Gore has designed it in its loosest fit, called comfort fit, which I found fairly generous through the body, especially when just worn over a thin jersey.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
5/10

As above, I sized down from my norm for a better fit; I needed a 38 (size M) while in other Gore tops I take a size 40. (The photos show me in a size 40.)

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Gore clothing is generally very good quality and therefore tends to be expensive. Its Element Windstopper Active Shell Vest retails for £20 less than this vest but has far less reflective material. You can also buy high-vis gilets a lot cheaper, for example from Proviz for £33.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Machine wash 40.

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

Very well – it is extremely visible and windproof.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The visibility, snug-fitting neck and useful pockets.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes – if on offer.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

This is a quality gilet that fulfils its functions well, but the fit won't suit all.

Overall rating: 7/10

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