The Hump Flare men's gilet is a wind and showerproof 'warm weather safety layer'. In my view, Hump has struck the right balance between safety and comfort, and the adjustable fit means it can be racy or relaxed to suit your riding.
Its made from our old friend polyester, which is pretty much standard at this end of the market. Easy to care for, yet offering decent technical properties, it's well made with uniform stitching, and backed with a two-year warranty against manufacturing defects. On the face of it, I can't see many people claiming on it, but this kind of confidence is reassuring.
Performance is pretty much on par with several others in my wardrobe and pretty much what I've come to expect at this price-point. Worn over a long-sleeve jersey on blustery mornings, the fabric does an excellent job of blocking chill, keeping my core temperate between 7 and 12°C.
Hunkered low and descending at 35mph, there's been no hint of flutter or drag. Dropping the zipper tag 25% to compensate for an unexpected spike in temperature introduced a little to the mix – more than compared with a more traditional racing gilet but nothing to write home about. Talking of which, the tag is easy to grip and the zipper action smooth, so no risk of frustration or distraction.
At a steady 18-23mph and in temperatures between 5 and 12°C, with a decent baselayer on, moisture management is similarly good. Expect a bit of misty creep but nothing more. On the flip side, it's shower resistant, protecting the chest, back and vital organs from cloudburst and road-spray. Everyone's tolerance to rain and cold is different, but spells of 30 minutes or so is optimal. More sustained/intensive stuff calls for a light shell over the top, unless you don't mind soggy arms.
I really like the 'atomic blue' blue/black and retro-reflective design, and there are shocking orange and safety yellow versions, too, should you prefer. The retro-reflectives are sensibly deployed; very bold chevrons at the back and print are tempered by subtle yet similarly effective piping up front. I'd say it's not as visible as the Proviz Reflect 360 (review to come), but the reflectives are very eye-catching and do their thing in the classic Hump tradition. The big logo also seemed to keep me on other road users' radar when entering the flow of traffic, or orbiting roundabouts.
Graced by car headlamps, bike and street-lighting, friends reckoned they'd spotted me at 150 metres, even without other forms of lighting and through suburban stretches. Maybe a little more along open roads and on clear nights/mornings.
Storage is limited to a single breast pocket, which is roomy enough for larger smartphones/compact cameras/wallet or similar. It's also suitably reinforced, so heavier tech and wallets shouldn't bounce around annoyingly.
Elasticated arm openings and an adjustable 'shock cord' waist allow for fine tuning of the cut and ensure it doesn't look odd either with more relaxed, street-style clothing or training attire. It's a sporty cut, catering for most riding contexts, and the tail and fleece-lined neck are sufficiently long to protect these regions from cold and wet when you're hunkered low over the bar, without fouling helmet cradles or getting in the way when checking over the shoulder.
It's not the most packable – it'll fit into a larger poacher type, but most terraced jersey pockets proved a non-starter.
Provided you tackle it promptly, greasy spatter is easily dismissed with a damp cloth. It also machine washes beautifully at 30 degrees, and dries in around 35 minutes or so at room temperature – quicker on the line, aided by some autumn sun and a stiff breeze.
The Hump Flare is competitive both in terms of performance and pricing. Adjustability means it caters well for general riding, training and commuting. Personally, I would like a second, poacher type pocket at the rear, say for stashing gloves or a banana, but it's a good design as it is, and well worth a look.
Lightweight yet surprisingly durable gilet offering good weather protection and visibility
road.cc test report
Make and model: Hump Flare men's gilet
Size tested: Medium
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?
* Warm weather safety layer
* The Flare gilet provides a windproof layer and illuminates you around motorists in low light
* Huge reflective chevrons across the back of the gilet give great night time visibility
* A fully reflective front zipper, reflective piping on the upper back as well as additional prints complete the Flare gilets vast array of night time safety features
* The showerproof and windproof Flare gilet keep the worst of the weather away from your body core
* An adjustable shock cord at the waist allows you to fine tune the fit to help keep the elements out
* Elasticated arm hole binding and snug collar makes for a great fit
* A conveniently placed chest pocket gives you quick access to your essentials
* HUMP's two year guarantee covers your gilet against manufacturing defaults
I have no quibble with this – it seems to perform well in temperatures ranging between 7 and 16 degrees.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Very thin but surprisingly resilient.
Two-year warranty is very reassuring.
Just the right side of snug.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
So far, no problems: 30 degrees, minimal detergent.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Hump is a great gilet that can be whipped on/off effortlessly and packs very small when not required. The colour ensures you'll remain conspicuous, while the fabric offers decent protection from wind and showery rain. It also evicts rider-generated moisture at a reasonable rate and doesn't feel like a bin-bag in milder weather.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Subtle but effective colour, great fit, nominal weight but sturdy fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing in particular, given the design brief and price point.
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
It's a nicely designed and executed gilet.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)