Mavic's Vision knee warmers are windproof and water repellent, and certainly live up to the name in being effective at protecting your knees and lower thighs from the elements. But they're also not very breathable, not very comfortable, and didn't fit me well.
Being available in sizes from XS to XL, there's enough scope that most people should be able to get an appropriate size. Fit-wise, though, there was excess fabric around the knee. This meant it bunched up behind the knee and caused chafing.
On the plus side, they are left and right leg specific and have useful labels indicating which is which, and with silicone gripper and elastic at the top, they didn't ride up or fall down. However, they were quite tight around the thigh, partly because of the lack of stretch in the main Warm Shell fabric.
I didn't find the material to be very breathable, either. It struck me that there is only a very small window of weather in which these are appropriate. Too hot and you'll overheat, too cold and your shins will freeze. Riding down an Alp, perhaps...
One thing they are good at is keeping light showers off. But... the pair I tested being white and black, the white part, once ridden in the wet, didn't ever return to sparkling white, more a dull grey. They are available in full black which would be more appropriate for British weather.
I'm also a big fan of the reflective portions, which did increase visibility in low light.
At £37.50 and with a lack of versatility, these strike me as pretty poor value for money, though you can find them cheaper online. I would certainly expect a higher level of construction for the RRP. Castelli has a competing product in its Nanoflex Knee warmers which, in my opinion, offer much higher performance and a better fit for a similar cost (also available for less online). There are many other brands who offer cheaper products that will do a similar job.
Windproof knee warmers that keep you warm at the expense of breathability
road.cc test report
Make and model: Mavic Vision Knee Warmer
Size tested: Small
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?
The knee warmers are designed for cold weather riding, day and night. I felt there wasn't really a situation I'd use them in. Could be useful for commuters not knowing what the weather will be like in the evening, or maybe for riding down an Alp...
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Mavic lists the following:
Warm Shell fabric:
Soft hand feel from its brushed inside
Wind resistance from DWR treatment and breathable membrane
360° high visibility in riding position
No rubbing at seams but pretty flimsy stitching, and elastic gripper could be better.
Good to keep the wind off the knees, but if it's cold enough for the amount of weather protection these give, my shins got very cold. Would make more sense in a full leg warmer. And I didn't find the material very breathable.
Stitching pulled while putting these on. Elastic gripper isn't very sturdy.
Tight on the thigh, baggy around the knee. A good fit on the calf!
Lightweight and will easily fold up to fit in a jersey pocket.
Not very breathable and bagginess around the knee wasn't very comfortable.
At £37.50 these are much more expensive than other options. I would expect a much higher level of performance for the money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Remained windproof after numerous washes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very visible in low light conditions, especially from behind. Keep your knees warm but in cold weather, your shins will get cold.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Visibility, comfort of the stretch fabric at the back.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Bagginess around the knees, lack of breathability.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your score
For an expensive set of knee warmers, I would expect much better. They aren't comfortable and the fit is poor. There is very little stretch to the windproof areas. Not breathable.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez My best bike is: Starley R1
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, mountain biking