Mavic's Vision Arm Warmers are a good versatile option for changeable weather – something to put in your pocket when venturing into mountainous areas, or for use in the fickle spring and autumn months in the UK. With a water repellent treatment and fleecy backed material, they provide plenty of protection – much more than a traditional Lycra or wool sleeve.
I thought these warmers were a great option for wet mornings when the weather was expected to clear up, or the inverse – where it's glorious at the start of a ride but there's a chance of rain. Keeping the worst of wet weather off really helps you stay comfortable in changeable conditions, and protective arm warmers are much easier to put on or take off than a convertible jacket.
Even in summer, when temperatures can reach into the 30s on Alpine valley floors, it can be a completely different story at the top of the high passes. These arm warmers would be a valuable thing to have in your pocket if you get caught out in cold, wet or foggy weather at high altitude.
In warm but wet weather they were usually breathable enough, but I did find myself overheating during fast rides or high intensity training sessions, and if you sweat heavily these don't do an amazing job of wicking moisture to the surface.
Mavic markets these arm warmers as being visible and the white fabric in conjunction with well-placed reflective portions contribute to good visibility from all directions. This makes them a great choice for commuting, or when setting off early on an all-day epic and when you may have stayed out long into the evening.
White does seem an odd choice for a product designed to be used in wet weather, but I didn't find the colour dulled much after multiple washes and wet rides following my considerate riding buddies with no mudguards on mucky lanes... (They do come in black as well.)
The main fabric isn't the stretchiest, so what you gain in windproofing and water repellency, you lose slightly in terms of flexibility. That said, the rear of the sleeve is a stretchy Lycra and is shaped to fit in a normal riding position, and because of this I didn't feel it restricted movement at all.
Unlike many, the Mavics come in five sizes, XS to XL. Even so, if you have skinny arms then you may find the elastic grippers aren't sufficient to keep the warmers in place at the top of your arm. Those with actual muscles shouldn't find this as much of a problem.
At £37.50 they are at the more expensive end of the market, cheaper than Gore's £39.99 Universal warmers but a lot more than basic Lycra sleeves, such as the £16 dhb Regulates. The extra weather protection is a valuable property, though, and I'd expect them to look smarter for longer than budget options. Even so, you can get cheaper rain-repellent designs for less, such as Sportful's similar NoRain warmers at £25, and dhb's Aeron Rain Defence Arm Warmers at £22, so in comparison the Mavics aren't great value.
In conclusion, the Mavic Vision arm warmers are a good product to get you out of sticky situations and to have in your pocket 'just in case', as well as for day to day use when it's not quite bad enough to wear a full waterproof jacket or rain jersey. They're pricey, though, and you do need to make sure you get the right size.
Decent weather protection and good visibility, but not that breathable and pricey compared with some
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Mavic Vision Arm 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?
Mavic says: "Perfect for day and night cold weather riding."
I did like the well-placed reflective portions as they should increase visibility.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Mavic lists these features:
Warm Shell fabric
Soft hand feel from its brushed inside
Wind resistance from DWR treatment and breathable membrane
360° high visibility in riding position
High visibility in low light for total security
Hi viz cues
Kept the wind out and light rain, but they got damp due to breathability issues. I was more comfortable without them when working hard.
Feel like they should last with flatlocked seams.
Stretch isn't amazing, but they do come in different sizes.
Pretty expensive compared with others.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy, with no noticeable deterioration of water repellency.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Generally pretty well, for particular circumstances.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The carefully placed reflective strips to improve visibility.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I got quite uncomfortable when riding hard, as they weren't very breathable.
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
They're generally a useful thing to have in your pocket for certain situations, though not the best I've used for any length of time because of their lack of breathability. I do like the extra visibility they give though.
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