Vespertine Vesp Reflective Mini-Waistcoat  £45.00

9/10

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

by Elaine Curtin   March 3, 2013  

Vespertine Vesp

£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 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

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.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [774 posts]
4th March 2013 - 8:24

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£45 for a high vis vest you are kidding

posted by Wesselwookie [111 posts]
4th March 2013 - 12:30

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RIDICULOUS

Me, Myself and I

posted by phax71 [300 posts]
5th March 2013 - 9:44

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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.

Smile

posted by BigDummy [280 posts]
5th March 2013 - 11:42

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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?

posted by BigDummy [280 posts]
5th March 2013 - 14:17

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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.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3009 posts]
5th March 2013 - 15:54

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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. Nerd Smile

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
5th March 2013 - 18:54

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In honour of Bradley Wiggins I'm going to design a mod- cut jacket made entirely out of fluoro

posted by to masks [1 posts]
5th March 2013 - 22:24

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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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posted by Fixie Girl [115 posts]
6th March 2013 - 23:35

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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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posted by giff77 [1041 posts]
7th March 2013 - 10:18

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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.....

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1099 posts]
7th March 2013 - 16:53

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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?

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3009 posts]
7th March 2013 - 17:54

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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.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1099 posts]
7th March 2013 - 18:15

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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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posted by Sarah Barth [957 posts]
7th March 2013 - 18:58

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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.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1099 posts]
7th March 2013 - 19:03

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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 ?

posted by Littlesox [89 posts]
7th March 2013 - 19:41

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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. Thinking

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
7th March 2013 - 21:42

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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.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
7th March 2013 - 21:56

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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...

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
8th March 2013 - 8:40

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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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posted by chrisl [31 posts]
8th March 2013 - 15:35

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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 Big Grin

Follow me on-
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posted by stuke [302 posts]
8th March 2013 - 22:41

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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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posted by Dave Atkinson [7269 posts]
8th March 2013 - 22:53

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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?

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
9th March 2013 - 9:30

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no. i'm not saying that. i'm saying that the more expensive something is relative to the other products available, the less value is a factor in your decision to buy it. so something cheap can get a good mark, and something expensive can get a good mark. really. it's not that hard.

if you just want to look at some stars and get the thing with the most stars, and not actually read the reviews, then there's plenty of places you can go. that's not really the purpose of this site.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7269 posts]
9th March 2013 - 9:42

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Dave Atkinson wrote:
no. i'm not saying that. i'm saying that the more expensive something is relative to the other products available, the less value is a factor in your decision to buy it. so something cheap can get a good mark, and something expensive can get a good mark. really. it's not that hard.

if you just want to look at some stars and get the thing with the most stars, and not actually read the reviews, then there's plenty of places you can go. that's not really the purpose of this site.

Last question... so if I am reading a review of two jackets one cheaper than the other, the cheaper one is better in every way, both get identical ratings ... how can I tell that the cheaper jacket is the best one to buy and not waste my cash on the other?

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
9th March 2013 - 9:49

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I think I get it (?) ... road.cc review ratings are designed to provide an indication of how well a product meets it's function, regardless of price. This makes it possible for elitist manufacturers to submit products for review without fear of comparison against much cheaper (and possibly better?) mass market competition. In this way road.cc can attract elitist designer brands to submit products for review and advertise on the website without being subjected to 'unfair' comparisons against cheaper rivals. The consumer reads the reviews and mistakenly believes the ratings can be used to narrow down a selection of products for purchase. The elitist manufacturers are happy as for once they are getting good review ratings and sell more products to customers that have misunderstood the ratings system. Thinking

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
9th March 2013 - 12:17

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People will always decide their own price point, but people want to know how good it is to the person whose price point it has met.

You make the comment about elitist costs. Lets take a waterproof jacket: they are the most technical of items. It has a very specific job, to keep the rider dry in wet conditions. Cheaper brands will make a cheap version - most likely it will not have breathable qualities and the rider will boil in the bag, and may not have other functions that cause water to invade over time. It will most likely score lowly because it does not meet its functional use. The manufacturer will likely have other products which are progressively better, perhaps scoring 8/10. They may even have created one which is stylish too (maybe scoring highly).
But here is where the elitist brand comes in, they will also create products which they believe are stylish with a low price point, hoping to entice people who will maybe offset the technical aspects of a better jacket (cheaper brand), and their 'more stylish' product. This cheap version may score poorly because it doesn't meet the technical aspects, but unlikely to be any better than the cheaper brand at their low price point. The point being that the technical aspects are similar and so it's the individuals price point that makes their decision. The review lets people know how much that product met expectation.
Of course their are always intangible (non-technical) elements about the way an item may make you feel, which are more likely on less technical items, such as jerseys. Though usually a higher price means better fit and shape, and better finishing. Though every now and again an expensive brand will produce a product which easily falls apart, and a cheaper brand will create something iconic and useful at a remarkable price, but each manufacturer knows the market they are aiming for.
This isn't to make the 'elistist' brand happy, but common sense. But as its a subjective process one man's 5/10 maybe another ones 7/10. Plus of course you may end up getting the garment/bike/tool that chooses to spontaneously combust. It's just a means of a guide, as these things are subjective and not empirical.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1099 posts]
9th March 2013 - 14:05

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Yes, these things are subjective and not empirical. Maybe, giving readers the ability to assign ratings would help, as when averaged out you reach a common consensus that will more accurately reflect a products true value for most users. Personal opinion would then become an insignificant factor in the ratings.

The current ratings system tries to rate items in relation to the target buyer/market. How does the reviewer know what the opinion of the target buyer/market is? ... unless she considers herself to be part of that market. Reviews can be very tricky to get right...

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
10th March 2013 - 15:20

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nbrus wrote:
Yes, these things are subjective and not empirical. Maybe, giving readers the ability to assign ratings would help, as when averaged out you reach a common consensus that will more accurately reflect a products true value for most users. Personal opinion would then become an insignificant factor in the ratings.

Why don't they just stop getting any products in to review and let a bunch of people who have never seen/felt/used them to rate them on the basis of a couple of images on a website?! Thinking

As for your other assertions that Rapha or Porsche could never be good value, all you've shown is that you're too blinkered to ever think that anybody else could have a different (yet valid) view to yours. How many Porsches have you driven? How many Rapha products have you used? What's your disposable income level and how inclined are you to spend it on luxury items for yourself? What right do you have to pass judgement on how others spend their cash?

How about you tell us what your 'thing' is so we can pick holes in your choices? Posh wine? Nice suits? Hi-fi? Good steak? Enthusiasts of anything will find small but satisfying reasons to buy/use nice stuff, and it's really not your place to decide whether, for example, I can tell (and indeed appreciate) the difference between a M&S suit, and a Ted Baker suit.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3009 posts]
11th March 2013 - 15:13

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notfastenough wrote:
Why don't they just stop getting any products in to review and let a bunch of people who have never seen/felt/used them to rate them on the basis of a couple of images on a website?! Thinking
Do you think the reviewer rated the item referred to here based on how it looks on her having used it? It seems more likely to have been rated based on a couple of images on a website. It's also still valid to rate an item without having seen/felt/used it ... I am pretty certain that I would look daft wearing a pair of yellow underpants on my head, and don't believe I need to see/feel/use said item to give a valid rating. Being more sensible, reading a review and looking at the pictures provides quite a lot of information ... more than enough to form an opinion. In fact, this is the very purpose of a review ... to help potential buyers (whom have never seen/felt/used a product) form an opinion on whether a product meets their expectations.

notfastenough wrote:
As for your other assertions that Rapha or Porsche could never be good value, all you've shown is that you're too blinkered to ever think that anybody else could have a different (yet valid) view to yours. How many Porsches have you driven? How many Rapha products have you used? What's your disposable income level and how inclined are you to spend it on luxury items for yourself? What right do you have to pass judgement on how others spend their cash?
Firstly, all views are valid, though I doubt you would find most people would agree with your opinion that Rapha or Porsche are good value brands. Their target customers are relatively well off and value is not a primary concern. Maybe you are just making a token point here? I could care less for how you choose to spend your cash. I like Porsche, and would consider buying one if I was affluent enough. Rapha make one or two items I quite like, but I'm not sure I would buy them, even if I could justify the cost.

notfastenough wrote:
How about you tell us what your 'thing' is so we can pick holes in your choices? Posh wine? Nice suits? Hi-fi? Good steak? Enthusiasts of anything will find small but satisfying reasons to buy/use nice stuff, and it's really not your place to decide whether, for example, I can tell (and indeed appreciate) the difference between a M&S suit, and a Ted Baker suit.
Ok, my 'thing' is this Vespertine Hi-Viz vest ... lets see you pick holes in it. If you have an opinion you are free to share it ... if you don't agree with my opinion you are free to share yours ... everyone has an opinion, and you are free to ignore someone elses if you so choose. The thing is, most of us like to have other peoples opinion to balance our own, and I am happy to hear yours. If you like wearing Ted Baker suits, then fine ... doesn't mean I have to like Ted Baker suits.

Nic

posted by nbrus [279 posts]
11th March 2013 - 19:38

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