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Verdict: 
Light, well made and incredibly portable. If you like the option of a hi viz over vest this is £45 well spent
Weight: 
48g
Contact: 
www.vespertinenyc.com
Vespertine Vesp Reflective Mini-Waistcoat
9 10

£45 may seem a lot for a reflective waistcoat/vest type affair, but there are a few ways in which the Vesp from New York designers Vespertine differs from the average.

First off, it packs down into its own integral pouch to less than the size (and weight) of a pair of gloves, making it super easy to pop into a pocket and therefore usefully available, rather than never where you need it to be when you need it.

Second, it's well made and uses high quality materials - 100% recycled/recyclable Eco-circle polyester, making it that little bit more environmentally friendly and the reflective tape is top notch 3M Scotchlite so it'll last well and do what it's supposed to.

It comes in a variety of colours, some higher viz than others (not sure how genuinely visible the metallic ones would be in low light, but they do look very cool!) and it's nice to have a choice of traditional yellow, but also pink and orange.

Finally, it's designed with a woman's shape in mind, yet still has plenty of scope for layering up underneath AND there's no Velcro involved in the process so it'll not eat precious jerseys or merino tops, or that favourite fuzzy scarf.

Verdict

Light, well made and incredibly portable. If you like the option of a hi viz over vest this is £45 well spent.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Vespertine Vespertine Vesp Reflective Mini-Waistcoat

Size tested: n/a

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?

Aimed at style and safety conscious female riders.

Spot on.

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

100% Eco-circle recycled/recyclable polyester

3M Scotchlite tape

One size

Packs into its own integral pouch

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very well made and uses high quality materials.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

Incredibly light and super visible.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Very tough apart from the slightly finer straps that do up at the front.

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

So light there's no reason NOT to pack it.

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

Light enough that you don't really know you're wearing it.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Very well made and high quality materials mean it's not at all bad value for the money.

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

Very well indeed.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Quality, choice of colours, weight.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Definitely.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Incredibly light and super super visible. A sound £45 spent on hi viz.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

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, general fitness riding, mtb,

 

37 comments

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
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Do any road.cc readers think this is £45 well spent?

Standard Hi-Viz vests don't exactly look good, so it is nice to see something different, and despite looking like a giant Bikini Top, this one looks ok (?) (in comparison to alternatives).

But standard Hi-Viz vests can be had for £1.99 from Lidl/Aldi when on offer, look functional rather than stylish, and pack down small enough to easily fit in a jacket pocket. They also tend to come with evil Velcro, so care needs to be taken around anything that might fray, but for £1.99 you can't really complain.  16

Alternatively, a Sam Brown Belt would cost considerably less (£5.99 on Amazon), pack down just as small, look relatively stylish, cooler in summer, is more durable, and it doesn't have Velcro.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003XEE7TK/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_r...

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ped [205 posts] 2 years ago
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For 'Verspertine' read 'Rapha', and let the usual comments commence …

Their stuff looks lovely, and if I had a SO who cycled, I'd be a customer. Perfect gift purchases.

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crikey [1252 posts] 2 years ago
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The price appears to have been made up like a scary story for children, and the garment looks like the Anne Summers fancy dress Traffic Warden top.

As for it being 'designed with a womans shape in mind', yes, ok; but £45 for a Hi Viz bikini top....

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
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ped wrote:

For 'Verspertine' read 'Rapha', and let the usual comments commence …

Their stuff looks lovely, and if I had a SO who cycled, I'd be a customer. Perfect gift purchases.

Granted, the garment photographs on their website look much better than those portrayed here, and just like a lot of 'fashion' that looks fine when worn by a suitable skinny model and photographed under appropriate lighting, the same garments worn by a 'normal' person and viewed under normal conditions can look pretty silly, or sometimes just plain awful(?).  16

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Jonomc [23 posts] 2 years ago
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seriously wtf is that meant to be for and why? More importantly who is the complete charlotten who reviewed this? p45 in the post I hope!

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purplecup [217 posts] 2 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

Granted, the garment photographs on their website look much better than those portrayed here, and just like a lot of 'fashion' that looks fine when worn by a suitable skinny model and photographed under appropriate lighting, the same garments worn by a 'normal' person and viewed under normal conditions can look pretty silly, or sometimes just plain awful(?).  16

still, you can look 'stylish' in a triumph-branded buff, i seem to recall. so i guess it's not really an issue for you  39

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
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purplecup wrote:

still, you can look 'stylish' in a triumph-branded buff, i seem to recall. so i guess it's not really an issue for you  39

You're right, but I bet I don't look half as stylish as you do wearing a Vespertine Hi-Viz mini-waistcoat.  3

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Gizmo_ [1333 posts] 2 years ago
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crikey wrote:

The price appears to have been made up like a scary story for children, and the garment looks like the Anne Summers fancy dress Traffic Warden top.

As for it being 'designed with a womans shape in mind', yes, ok; but £45 for a Hi Viz bikini top....

Exactly.

Good value? Ridiculous.

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Wesselwookie [212 posts] 2 years ago
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£45 for a high vis vest you are kidding

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phax71 [284 posts] 2 years ago
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RIDICULOUS

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BigDummy [314 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

the garment looks like the Anne Summers fancy dress Traffic Warden top

For that reason alone, I'm IN.

Look, if you "just" want a hi-vis vest then £45 is a stupid amount of money to pay for one. What you're being offered is a (the following list of adjectives is entirely subjective) stylish, cutesy, whimsicle-phuckery "fashion" piece that works as hi-vis. You're not supposed to wear it over your horrid Karrimor Cagoule while riding your horrid Ridgeback commuter with its horrid gel saddle cover and lamp brackets held on with duck tape to your horrible office off the bypass in Slough. You're meant to wear it (along with your Ally Capellino satchel, a flared 50s party dress, some thick-rimmed specs and a neck-tattoo featuring some cupcakes) as you ride your chromed retro-fixie to an amazing party in a loft somewhere in East London inhabited almost entirely by people who work in new media, graphioc designers, musicians and artists who make sculptures of the prophet mohamed out of chewing gum.

And if you fancy that, and if you've got £45 spare, knock yourself out.

 1

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BigDummy [314 posts] 2 years ago
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I was highly critical of this hi-viz vest:

http://road.cc/content/review/62921-vizavee-reflective-union-jack-vest

I stand by that. £20 for a fluo vest, or £45 for a fashion-forward sexy traffic-warden outfit?

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 2 years ago
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crikey wrote:

looks like the Anne Summers fancy dress Traffic Warden top.

Yeah, but that's about the same price, and includes the cap and fluoro panties, although the latter do chafe.

Allegedly.

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
BigDummy wrote:

£20 for a fluo vest, or £45 for a fashion-forward sexy traffic-warden outfit?

Taken in that context, this garment doesn't seem so bad, though its still a bit pricey. Maybe a review of the matching knickers is next up.  26 1

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to masks [7 posts] 2 years ago
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In honour of Bradley Wiggins I'm going to design a mod- cut jacket made entirely out of fluoro

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Fixie Girl [125 posts] 2 years ago
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Wesselwookie wrote:

£45 for a high vis vest you are kidding

I had to check the calendar to see if it was April 1

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giff77 [1191 posts] 2 years ago
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It would appear that the makers are pitching this at the terrified risk averse market who seem to be happy to shell out ludicrous amounts of cash for garments that the majority of motorist quite happily ignore. A Sam Brown will be as light, probably packs down better and will fit any body shape for a fraction of the price.

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Colin Peyresourde [1636 posts] 2 years ago
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Poor Leonie is not a natural clothes horse, but this outfit does nothing for her (except improve visibility - not something she should wish for while wearing this garment).

I checked out the website and can't for the life of me see where their market comes from. There aren't too many rich, blind, and fashion foolish cyclists out there.....

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 2 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Poor Leonie is not a natural clothes horse, but this outfit does nothing for her (except improve visibility - not something she should wish for while wearing this garment).

I checked out the website and can't for the life of me see where their market comes from. There aren't too many rich, blind, and fashion foolish cyclists out there.....

Perhaps I'm reading it wrong, but there seems something slightly hurtful towards the author about this comment?

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Colin Peyresourde [1636 posts] 2 years ago
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Wasn't meant to be hurtful, but to say that this does not look good on Leonie - she's not a 5ft 11in lollipop favoured by the fashion magazines. The website that this is marketed on does not show it in any better light.

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Sarah Barth [86 posts] 2 years ago
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Leonie's body (or indeed that of the model wearing it for the photo) is simply not up for discussion here Colin. Keep your unpleasant opinions to yourself. If you find the garment unattractive, that's another matter altogether.

Unless of course you fancy sending in a Lycra clad pic of yourself for our critical appraisal?

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Colin Peyresourde [1636 posts] 2 years ago
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Sarah Barth wrote:

Leonie's body (or indeed that of the model wearing it for the photo) is simply not up for discussion here Colin. Keep your unpleasant opinions to yourself. If you find the garment unattractive, that's another matter altogether.

Unless of course you fancy sending in a Lycra clad pic of yourself for our critical appraisal?

You really wouldn't want to see it.

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Littlesox [78 posts] 2 years ago
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I can't beleive what I am seeing, (or indeed reading in the comments above).

£45 ?

Are they having a laugh ?

For Pete's sake, firms like Dickies work wear do Hi-viz vests (and boy oh boy, are they visible) for £8.

How on earth can what is shown above be even contemplated for £45, and how on earth can it be rated as 8/10 in the value for money stakes ?

Aimed at the style and saftey concious cyclist ?

Do you really want to like a player on the school net-ball team ?

Can we have reviews of proper cycling gear please, not band-wagon tat ?

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Tony Farrelly [2856 posts] 2 years ago
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That's easy Littlesox, this garment isn't aimed at Lidl fixated middle aged cyclists.
It's aimed at fashion conscious young women, not all but many of whom would think nothing of spending that on a pair of tights or a lipstick despite the fact that you could have a container load of 'em from Aldi or Lidl for the same money. (I can speak with some authority on this because I have three daughters). It's their money, they can afford it I don't think it's any more or less ridiculous than the ways cyclists choose to spend their money - even the ones who fetishise Aldi/Lidl cycling promotions.

It's produced by a high fashion US brand as a functional fashion item - it's probably made in a very low run and is priced accordingly.

And of course one other thing to note - buying the Vespertine Vesp is not compulsory - not even in New Zealand or Spain. It does rather mystify me why whenever we feature something like this or from Rapha a load of people who aren't going to buy whatever it is feel the need to tell us all why they aren't going to buy it which is usually accompanied by telling us that anybody who does has more money than sense… as if it's any business of any of us what people chose to legally spend their money on.  39

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Tony Farrelly [2856 posts] 2 years ago
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Mind you, my youngest daughter just leaned over my shoulder and said "£45 for that?!" She is the sensible one though.

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
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Shouldn't review ratings reflect the expected opinion of the majority of users? Otherwise why even bother giving a rating as anyone purchasing an item based on a review rating is more likely to be disappointed than not.

And Rapha gear can hardly be called good value, even if it is well made and performs well. No one would consider a 'Porsche' to be good value (or practical), even though many believe it to be a good car.

If the ratings weren't so far off the mark there would be far less negative comments being posted ... just a thought ... in this case the garment is both poor value AND looks silly. If those with the cash don't mind spending it on their 2-star rated products, then good for them, but give that product 4.5-stars and more people will comment.

There are many upmarket brands that produce good but expensive cycle wear (Assos, Capelli, Gore, etc.) and these don't attract the type of comments Rapha and Vespertine get.

Fashion designers for the most part seem to peddle overpriced, silly looking , unpractical cycle wear at well off individuals who have no sense of style (IMHO). Rapha have their silly armband, gay pink and turquoise accents, while Vespertine just looks silly. Factor in the high price and high ratings by road.cc and you are going to get comments. Just saying...

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chrisl [46 posts] 2 years ago
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I've been looking for something like this for a while - I have a wonderful goretex jacket, but it's black and I don't trust the minimal reflective strips in London (or for that matter anywhere else). I got a hi-viz running vest to go over it, which was mildly tasteful, but it's too solid fabric and it ruins the breathability. These look great, but £45 is taking the p, so I'll have to stick with my original plan of getting creative with a pound shop hi-viz mesh vest and needle and thread!

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stuke [335 posts] 2 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

Shouldn't review ratings reflect the expected opinion of the majority of users?

Not really, the whole point of a review, whether it be online, in a magazine, on tv or asking a mate down the pub is to get the opinion of someone who has used said product to assist with making your own decision.

Leonie has tested this, she'd happily pay 45 quid for it and she has said why in her review.

If you were thinking of buying it hopefully the review has helped you make your decision either way. If you weren't, well what difference does it make  4

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dave atkinson [6139 posts] 2 years ago
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nbrus wrote:

Shouldn't review ratings reflect the expected opinion of the majority of users? Otherwise why even bother giving a rating as anyone purchasing an item based on a review rating is more likely to be disappointed than not

...

If the ratings weren't so far off the mark there would be far less negative comments being posted ... just a thought ... in this case the garment is both poor value AND looks silly.

the more expensive something is relative to the other products available, the less value is a factor in your decision to buy it. so it's ridiculous to mark down, for example, an £8k Viner bike that Mat thought was the best thing he's ever ridden, just because the majority of people couldn't afford it.

you think it looks silly. it isn't designed to appeal to you, and clearly it doesn't. but your views on what it looks like are largely irrelevant, since you're not the target buyer.

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nbrus [293 posts] 2 years ago
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Dave Atkinson wrote:

the more expensive something is relative to the other products available, the less value is a factor in your decision to buy it. so it's ridiculous to mark down, for example, an £8k Viner bike that Mat thought was the best thing he's ever ridden, just because the majority of people couldn't afford it.

you think it looks silly. it isn't designed to appeal to you, and clearly it doesn't. but your views on what it looks like are largely irrelevant, since you're not the target buyer.

I take your point Dave. Just to be clear, are you saying that the review ratings are to be taken in isolation and not to be used to compare similar products for the purpose of informing buying decisions?

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