The Condor Professional Gilet is aimed at racers and those who like to ride at a high effort, thanks to its minimalistic design and its ability to let as much heat as possible escape. You'll need to check the fit, though. I don't normally have a problem with clothing, but this was oddly restricting in places.
There is virtually nothing to the Professional Gilet: you get a windproof membrane at the front and upper back, with the rest being a large mesh panel for breathability.
This means the Condor is one of the lightest we've tested at just 78g, making it barely noticeable scrunched up in your back pocket. This is where it is likely to find itself most of the time, as it's one of those garments you'll get out for a chilly descent or a section riding into an icy headwind. It doesn't give much more protection from the elements other than that.
As far as windproofing goes, it's pretty impressive. The parts of your body protected by the front of the gilet do feel noticeably warmer, especially when you are travelling at speed, and the high neck stops any draughts whipping in over the top.
This windproof fabric travels over the shoulders and covers your upper back too, as these parts can still be in the line of fire from windchill.
If you are smashing it along or happen to hit a hill and overheat, the rear mesh allows a huge amount of body heat to escape. The Condor never made me feel clammy, even when really working hard on some off-road ascents.
You don't actually get any pockets, but to allow you access to those on the rear of your jersey there are two openings, one either side, for you to get your hands in. They are positioned well, although with a close fit when you're on the bike it can be a struggle to get a gloved hand in.
The cut isn't quite as racy as I expected, with the sizing around the chest and arms coming up a bit small. At 96.5cm I am right at the bottom end of this medium's size range, but it felt quite restrictive across the chest and the arm holes were tight. Going up a size would have made the already generous lower half too big and flappy in the wind.
I also found the tail wasn't very dropped compared to the front, which seems odd for such a race-intended garment where you find yourself very stretched out on the bike.
In terms of value, the Condor is pretty good, matching up well against the same priced BTwin and a tenner cheaper than the very similarly styled but heavier dhb Aeron, but the Professional Gilet is let down by that sizing oddity.
If it fits you, though, it's a great emergency or race day gilet.
Ideal gilet for those iffy weather days, but check the fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Condor Professional Gilet V2
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?
Condor says: "Block the breeze. The Condor Professional Gilet beats whipping winds in gusty lanes, and if conditions change you can pack it down small and slot it into your rear jersey pocket. Weighing a mere 75g, our vest can be easily carried on long rides. The rear mesh panels ventilate your core and control moisture build up. Reflective detailing on the back provides added visibility."
The Condor is very much an emergency style gilet that you'd chuck on for a descent or something, rather than one you'd plan on wearing for the entire ride.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Easy access to jersey and jacket pockets through discrete openings
Reflective print on the back
Rear mesh panel for moisture control
Fit where it touched – see below.
I'm right at the lower level for medium, although it felt very restrictive around the arm holes and chest. It fit fine around the stomach and waist though.
One of the lightest we've tested.
Price-wise it's on par with similar ones we've tested.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It came clean every time.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a windbreak it does a good job.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How light it is.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The restrictive fit.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No, it doesn't fit me right.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but try before you buy.
Use this box to explain your score
The Condor Gilet is good at what it does, a lightweight emergency pocket stuffer or race gilet, but the fit is just a little odd.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.