Conquest's Water Resistant Cycling Gilet offers lightweight protection from the weather and it's easily packable into its own rear pocket when not in use.
The gilet is very lightweight, mostly made from a polyester fabric with mesh panels down the sides. Like all of the Conquest clothing we've tried here on road.cc, the cut is slim – a performance-style form fit – although those mesh panels do provide quite a bit of stretch to accommodate various builds.
The main panels are pretty much windproof and they're water resistant too. Rain can soak through but if it starts hosing down the lack of sleeves is going to be a greater concern – you'll need a waterproof jacket in those conditions anyway. More relevant, the water resistance is enough to keep out road spray and misty air.
The full-length front zip comes with a silicone pull that's easy to grab with gloved fingers and a flap behind it to stop the wind whistling through. That flap extends over the top of the zip at the neck too, stopping irritation under your chin.
Reflective tabs front and rear add to the visibility, and the fact that the gilet is white helps on that score too. Obviously, the downside to that whiteness is that it shows the dirt although all the grime I've managed to accumulate has washed out fine so far.
Unlike many gilets, Conquest's comes with a small pocket at the back that's big enough for a couple of energy bars, or other small stuff you want easy access to. As I said up top, when you don't want to wear it you can fold the whole gilet into its own pocket. It'll easily fit into a rear jersey pocket like that, with space to spare.
Loads of brands make a gilet a lot like this – there's nothing especially innovative going on here – but Conquest's does the job well all the same.
Lightweight protection from the wind and road spray that packs down small enough to carry in a rear pocket.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Conquest Water Resistant Gilet
Size tested: medium, 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?
"Probably the most versatile piece in your cycling wardrobe, our lightweight gilet offers breathable, highly portable, wind and weather protection. Its water resistant coating and high stretch mesh side panels ensure adequate ventilation, rain shielding and a form fit. This lightweight cycling vest is designed to allow you to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your ride. In warm weather or on a hill climb, the stowaway cargo pocket on its rear panel can be used as a stuff sack for the gilet itself, allowing it to fit neatly in the pocket of your cycling jersey.
Water Resistant Cycling Gilet features:
* Water resistant coating on exterior surface keeps you dry when the weather changes
* High-stretch mesh side panels allow a form fit and ventilation
* Silicone zipper pull is easy to use, even with bulky gloves or cold fingers
* Zipper garage prevents zipper from rubbing your chin
* Reflective tab on front and rear panels for visibility
* Packs into its own rear stowaway pocket for easy on-the-bike storage
* You'll receive a complimentary wash bag to keep your gilet in top condition"
Water resistance on a gilet is a useful little extra for keeping road spray out. If it hoses down, you'll need a waterproof jacket anyway.
It's a simple design with no separate collar. The side panels are stretchy enough that the close fit probably won't feel restrictive.
It's a pretty simple job but this gilet does it well.
The weight of a gilet isn't an issue while you're wearing it, but a light weight is handy when you want to take it off and stow it in your pocket.
Stretchy side panels avoid any tightness.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does a relatively straightforward job well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I like the slim fit. I've had other gilets that are too baggy around the middle. This is more of a performance cut.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's only available in white. I like it – it looks cool – but the downside is that sooner or later you're going to get oil and gunk on it. Well, I will anyway. I'll try not to, but it'll happen anyway.
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: 43 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.