Deciding what to wear at this time of year can be determined by what you can cram into your pockets/rucksack. The Oneten Pioggia Vest is an ideal companion for any ride, as this versatile gilet not only offers great wind protection but is super light and packs down really well.
The Vulpine Cotton Visibility Gilet is a hi viz top for people who don't do hi viz. It'll help you get seen on the road without making you look like a lollipop man/lady.
Now, I've got nothing against lollipop people – they do a lot of good work for the community – but they wouldn't necessarily be who I'd look towards for my style cues, which is one reason why this gilet has a lot going for it.
This Wind Pro Vest from Northwave features a kite-like polyester material, ensuring a decent level of wind blocking. With reflective shoulder straps, mesh back, zip underlay and a self packing pocket, do all these features make for a category winner?
The aforementioned polyester material is extremely windproof, labelled as 'Windshield Plus' It is almost impenetrable. It is a great option for when the weather really turns or if beginning a long descent - when you know you're going to be getting a wind battering.
I've been testing kit from budget online sellers Tenn recently and while I've been really impressed with the jersey I've reviewed, the gloves were lacking in quality and performance. This lightweight Tenn Outdoors Cycling Gilet is somewhere in the middle.
Featherlight by name, featherlight by nature, this gilet from Craft Performance is extremely lightweight and packable. Does it still do as good a job at protecting you from the elements as a gilet should?
The Sportful Hot Pack Vest is a good windproof gilet that's incredibly lightweight and takes up hardly any space in your pocket when you don't need it on.
It's made from nylon with a little polyurethane thrown in there, and rather than a vent across the yoke, you get mesh panels that run down either side of the back.
The front's fabric doesn't let any wind through while a tall, close-fitting neck and elasticated armholes and hem ensure that cold air doesn't nip in around the edges. You get a baffle behind the zip too.
Safety vests probably aren't going to win any awards at the next fashion show (although who knows, perhaps fluorescent is this years florals) but there is no denying their ability to make you seen on the road. Craft's offering is well cut and designed, with features like a meshed backing and plenty of reflective material showing their prestige as a quality clothing manufacturer.
There aren't that many companies producing female specific cut lightweight windproof gilets- that staple for providing increased warmth with a very low weight penalty- and fewer still producing gilets cut with cycling in mind, rather than running, Rapha are one of them though.
That said, though, the women's Gilet from Rapha is by quite some way the most expensive of the options available to the female cyclist, and also not the lightest. So is it worth the Rapha premium?
Louis Garneau's Electra 2 convertible windproof/gilet forms a versatile all-round outer layer for autumn and spring. it's not particularly warm or waterproof but still comes in handy until winter kicks in, and even then it has its uses.
The Rapha Gilet, from the renowned London based cycle wear brand, is designed with milder weather in mind, the sort of changeable conditions for which the British summer and indeed autumn, depending on where you live, is famous for. It certainly ticks all the boxes that define all of Rapha's kit; stylishly understated - check, well made - check, exorbitantly priced - check.