The Giro Wind Guard Scuba Base layer is a really versatile piece of kit that can not only be used as a sub-zero baselayer or a casual outer layer, but also as a nifty makeshift ninja costume.
I've been reviewing this since autumn, so it's been quite tricky given the huge temperature fluctuations, but what I've found is that the durability and versatility of the Wind Guard Scuba make it a real pleasure to use.
The first area to address with the top is the hood and chin guard, which give it its unique look. The idea behind this is simple: to provide protection in the freezing cold without needing to have a separate hat or scarf. You can also wear them as either just a chin guard or a hood – you're not forced to have them up all the time.
Although I can't judge how effective they are in freezing conditions, the warmth provided on some pretty cold days suggests they would perform well.
The material used throughout the rest of the top is interesting, with ridges running across the inside. The idea behind this is to create warm pockets between them to increase insulation. This works well – it is a very warm piece of kit; a little too warm to wear as a true baselayer on milder days, though as the mercury creeps closer to zero it will be very useful.
Handily, it doesn't act as a baselayer alone: with a second windproofing layer on the front, I frequently used it as a casual outer layer in milder conditions. It has a decent level of breathability, making it comfortable to wear in mild conditions without overheating. The only drawback of using it in this way is the lack of pockets on the rear, so a bag/seatpack is necessary for carrying items.
The cut of the Wind Guard Scuba is fairly tight, but not uncomfortable. It also has a lowered back panel, which is useful when using the top as an outer layer, to protect your lower back when riding.
With an rrp of £99.99, it's expensive for a baselayer, but more acceptable when you consider its versatility and performance.
Overall, I was very impressed with the Wind Guard Scuba. Despite its high price, it's worth considering for anyone doing a considerable amount of cold weather cycling. Or you want to look ninja-esque...
Warm, breathable, strongly performing baselayer, which also makes you look like a ninja
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Wind Guard Scuba
Size tested: Medium, Black
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?
Designed as either an outer layer for casual rides in milder conditions or as a high performing baselayer in freezing conditions.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Adjustable scuba hood,
Micro suede zipper guard,
Fabric & Construction
Fabric Main Body: High efficiency Polartec ® Power Dry: 90% Polyester / 10% Spandex 118 g/m 2 Fabric Wind Block Overlay: 100% Polyester stretch twill 178 g/m2
S - XXL
The fabric used makes me think it must have been complicated to machine effectively given its ridged nature, but strong stitching means the construction is excellent.
Works well in serious cycling conditions and for a more casual outer layer. The ridged material keeps you warm and the breathability keeps you dry – what else do you want from a baselayer?
Seems well made and unlikely to fall apart any time soon.
Breathability combined with warmth makes this a winner, and the material is also soft against the skin.
It is expensive, but for those looking for performance it is a fair price to pay.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performs well. I didn't experience it in sub-zero conditions but from the coldest temperatures I used it in, I am confident this would perform very well as the mercury plummets.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The breathability and warmth combined make this a winner. Plus it makes me look like a ninja.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
When using it as an outer there are no pockets, which means you need another way to carry anything.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
A baselayer that excels where it needs to: it keeps you warm, dry and gives you the opportunity to dress like a ninja...
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.