PEdAL ED's Odyssey Reflective Vest is part of a range designed for long distance riding, coping with all that demands and giving you loads of storage options for stuff that won't fit on the bike. The vest is the final bit that fits over the top. It comes with plenty of neat little details and works seamlessly with other parts in the line-up.
- Pros: Full but discreet reflective design, works on its own or as part of the range
- Cons: Pretty pricey for a gilet
With the increased popularity of bikepacking and adventure riding, and events like the Transcontinental, it's no surprise that someone has developed a range of clothing to suit. I've been testing the Odyssey bib shorts (full review to come) and the jersey too.
For long rides like the Transcon and long-distance audaxes in the UK it's likely you'll be riding through the night, which is why this vest has been designed to be highly reflective.
See those little silver dashes all over the red fabric? During the day it just looks like a random pattern (inspired by Japanese symbolic rice, apparently)…
…but once it becomes dark and they are bathed in light the vest looks as though it is completely silver.
From the rear it covers your shoulders and a noticeable stripe down your back. And those mesh panels aren't just there to let body heat escape, they are also positioned to allow the reflectives from the Odyssey jersey, which I've also been testing (it's excellent!), to do their work.
The red panels, 100 per cent nylon, work as an excellent windbreaker, and although it isn't massively breathable it doesn't need to be as those mesh panels do a good job at venting.
I was comfortable from around 8°C up to 16°C or so, which makes it perfect for summer night rides and early mornings.
On the inside at the rear there is a small mesh pocket for you to stuff the gilet into, and it packs up tiny so there is no real pressure on finding space for more luggage.
On the chest, the small zipped pocket is ideal for valuables.
The cut is reasonably close to reduce excess material but it isn't exactly race fit so it's quite flattering. As I said about the Odyssey jersey, stick to the PEdAL ED size guide and you'll be fine.
PEdAL ED clothing is never what you'd class as cheap, and that doesn't change here with the Odyssey Vest coming in at £105.
It's not alone – and it does have a few more details than the £99 Neon Velo Lightweight Gilet – but still, it's quite a price for something so simple and doesn't require a huge amount of material.
The Orro gilet gets pockets and is also water resistant, though it's only available in black, and that still costs £89.99.
You can spend a lot less, though – check out our previous baselayer reviews or the buyer's guide below.
The Odyssey Vest might be pricey, but it is also very well made and ties in nicely with the jersey and shorts in the range. The reflectives are a highlight (boom boom), and go a little way towards justifying the cost.
Pricey for a gilet but it performs well and the reflectives are great in the dark
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road.cc test report
Make and model: PEdAL ED Odyssey Vest
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?
PEdAL ED says, "The Odyssey vest is designed to be a highly visible must have when riding for long days on the saddle. Its all over reflective print, inspired by Japanese symbolic rice, combined by the back mesh panels are designed to match perfectly the reflective elements of our Odyssey Jersey to add extra visibility in dark conditions while maintaining the necessary breathability while riding your bike.
"The Vest has zip pocket on the front for extra values and an inside mesh elastic pocket to self pack the entire vest and store it in your Jersey's pocket."
It's a decent gilet that will get plenty of use throughout the spring/summer/autumn
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
PEdAL ED lists:
All over reflective detailing
Mesh vent panels
Sizes - XXS to XXL
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It gives you added visibility in the dark and does a good job of keeping the wind out.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are quite a few gilets at this price point but there is also a lot of competition lower down the scale.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly – it does work well with the rest of the range.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
On the whole it's a decent gilet with neat attention to detail, but there are others of a similar design that do the job for less.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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.