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Intended as a minimalist micro gillet, the sport wind has a lot to offer road and audax riders looking for a little extra protection during the early and autumn seasons.
Made from micro fibre polyester, its red and grey livery coupled with minimal Scotchlite detailing looks sporty yet understated and there’s even a zippered rear panel for smaller nick-nacks. Other colours include blue, white and garish fluorescent yellow. It'll easily fit into a jersey pocket and it also folds into its own stuff sack for safe keeping.
Cut is what Bontrager term semi-fit, meaning close but not figure hugging, and this keeps it looking good with either traditional Lycra or courier baggies. Sizing is bang on too, the large couldn’t have been a better fit and there's no annoying flapping when riding into headwinds.
The polyester front keeps wind chill firmly at bay and the large rear mesh panel maintains a steady flow of air, preventing the slightest hint of dampness even after prolonged effort. Calling it water resistant is stretching things a little – it’ll defend against damp very effectively but anything more than a light drizzle soon reveals its limitations. In fairness, it dries very quickly and it's more durable than appearances suggest- chance encounters with foliage have made little impression. Care couldn’t be simpler, machine wash at forty degrees and allow to dry naturally.
£30 seems on the steep side but despite my initial cynicism, it delivers what it promises. If you’re in the market for a lightweight wind and shower-resistant micro gillet for early season racing/training this is one of the best I’ve encountered.
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Make and model: Bontrager Sport wind vest
Size tested: L
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 Micro Gilet is designed for riders needing a wind/showerproof micro gilet for early and autum riding. Calling it showerproof is overstating a little but it offers excellent protection against chill.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Polyester based micro fibres provide block wind whilst managing moisture, scotchlite adds some welcome additional security. Folds down into a tiny sack or jersey pocket.
More durable than the texture suggests and washes well too
Excellent in chill, damp conditions but shows limitations in showers.
Excellent fit and cut. Also available in a women's specific model.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The Sport wind vest performs very, very well in all but wet weather and makes a great companion for all early season's disciplines.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Cut, colour scheme, low weight and compact sizing
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb 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, mtb,
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)