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With a mix of bright yellow fabric and reflective panels, the BTR Reflective High Visibility Running and Cycling Vest certainly stands out whether it's night or day. It's a bit weighty, and not the most breathable, so it's more for those who like to take things easy on the bike, but it isn't a bad price – and currently discounted to £19.99.
The BTR is more of a body-warmer than what you'd consider a normal cycling gilet to be, especially when you feel the weight of it. It's hard to work out where the weight comes from, too, as the material itself isn't actually that thick.
Designed to fit over normal clothes, the sizing is quite generous, and the gilet doesn't have that much of a shape to it. There is no dropped tail section at the back or anything, so not much coverage if you are riding in the wet.
These aren't all huge criticisms, to be fair, as the BTR is more of a generic gilet that'll suit many outdoor pursuits rather than being cycling-specific.
On a cold day it'll keep you warm as the front section is mostly covered by the reflective panels and that material isn't breathable at all really, although the yellow fabric doesn't feel that much better.
Helping out around the rear is a vent at the top, which does go some way to expelling some of the warm air. If you do overheat, the gilet is mesh-lined to help stop the fabric sticking to you.
Visibility is what this thing is all about, though, and it does that very well. The high-vis yellow fabric is very bright, and those large silver reflective panels really show up in headlights.
Other handy features are two zipped pockets, the main zip runs smoothly and has a wind baffle behind it, and there is a zip garage at the top too, good to see for the money.
Speaking of which... it's just £30, well £29.99, which isn't bad (and at the time of writing, discounted to £19.99). The quality is good and it looks to be well made and durable.
You can get the Van Rysel RC 500 gilet for just 20 quid, which is properly cycling-specific, though it's about as far away from high-vis as it can possibly be.
The BTR does look decent value up against Proviz's offering, the Reflect360 Plus at £59.99. According to Shaun that, too, suffers when it comes to breathability, and it doesn't really have a cycling-specific cut either.
On the whole, the BTR offers a fair bit for the money, and if you want a gilet rather than just a high-vis vest over the top of your clothes, it's a good choice.
Not being cycling-specific brings a few compromises, but it'll certainly get you noticed night and day
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: BTR Reflective High Visibility Running & Cycling Vest Gilet
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
BTR says, "BTR Hybrid 50-50 Gilet offers you day time visibility with the bright yellow material & reflective panels that let you be seen in the dark. Great as a high vis reflective running gilet / vest or a high visibility reflective cycling gilet
Be visible & feel safe in the day & the night!
Ideal for outside activities in both the day & night that you want to be visible such as cycling, running, hiking, jogging, walking, horse riding, scooting, commuting, walking the dog or the school run!
This is a multipurpose vest, no need to decide between wearing day time high vis bright yellow or night time silver reflective vest."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High Vis Yellow Material – be seen in the daylight with this stretchy bright material
Silver Reflective Panels - be seen in lower light conditions / night time with a bright reflect
360 Visibility – bright yellow colour & reflective panels cover all of the gilet & so you get maximum visibility
Fully Mesh Lined – if you are working up a sweat don't be sticking to it!
Back Air Vent – whilst the silver totally reflective material isn't breathable the back vent helps you get some ventilation
Elasticated Arm Openings & Waist – for a snug & comfortable fit
2 Zipped Side Pockets – carry your essentials
Generous sizing to allow for extra clothing worn underneath - see sizing below
Men / Unisex Sizing
- Medium (to fit chest 40-42 inches / 101-106 cm )
- Large (to fit chest 42-44 inches / 106-112cm)
- Extra Large (to fit Chest 44 – 46 inches / 112 – 117 cm)
Centre Back Length M = 73cm / 28.75 inches, L = 73cm / 28.75 inches, XL = 76cm / 30inches
The sizing is generous but BTR does explain that on its site. If you want it to fit close over cycling kit you'll need to drop at least one size.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
A simple 30 degree wash saw it come up clean with no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It works okay for cycling but its generic cut means it's far from perfect.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very bright and lots of reflectives.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not very breathable.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
You can get cycling-specific gilets from the likes of Van Rysel/Triban and Endura for similar money but in direct comparison to offerings from Proviz the BTR is priced well.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, for steady and relaxed rides.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your overall score
No cycling-specific fit and limited breathability means that for riding there are better options, but if you want a warm high-vis gilet for various outdoor pursuits then it's not a bad solution for the money.
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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!