Louis Garneau's Electra 2 convertible windproof/gilet forms a versatile all-round outer layer for autumn and spring. it's not particularly warm or waterproof but still comes in handy until winter kicks in, and even then it has its uses.
Bottom line, this is a polyester windproof jacket with detachable arms. That means you're getting two tops in one, a sleeved windproof and a gilet. The conversion process involves fiddling with a couple of zips and it's not something you can really do on the go, but it only takes a minute. The front, sleeves and lower back are all LG's Diamond Air fabric which is a soft, lightweight polyester weave, and there's a mesh panel on the rear and low-density panels on the sides too for good venting.
The Electra 2 is aimed at cyclists and runners; to that end the back isn't particularly dropped and there's a drawstring to pull it in even more for running. Even so, it's long enough to cover you up on the bike and the arms, with elasticated cuffs, are fine for length too. There's a chest pocket which is very useful on the commute, and a zippered rear pocket too; both have reflective piping details.
On the bike it's a lightweight and comfortable windproof. I've used it primarily as a gilet; both on its own and as a high-viz tabard over a waterproof on the really murky days. You won't get far in this jacket in the rain without it starting to seep in; the manufacturers don't make any claims for it in that regard and it'll stand a shower but in prolonged rain you'll get wet. It dries nice and quickly though. With sleeves it's just about stowable in a jersey pocket and it'll easily fit without them. The bonus here is that you can put the sleeves in one pocket and the body in another, if you so desire. With the sleeves on it's warm enough to keep the chill off on an autumn commute or a training ride and works well with a long-sleeved baselayer on those indeterminate autumn days that aren't hot or cold. If you decide to put the hammer down the side and back venting keeps the temperature bearable.
The cut is fairly generous, the large size being plenty big enough for me (1.90m, 100kg) so it might be worth sizing down if you're of a more wiry build. £80 isn't the cheapest windproof you'll find but it's a long way from being the most expensive, and it's versatile enough to be useful all year round, especially if you're using it as a high-viz accoutrement for commuting or winter miles. It's also available in black, red and blue.
Well-made windproof that's comfortable to wear and versatile too
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Make and model: Louis Garneau Electra 2 Jacket
Size tested: Yellow - 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 Electra 2 Jacket is sure to keep you protected on mild days. The sleeves are detachable and can quickly convert to a vest. Back is vented to prevent overheating. Details include front two-way zipper, chest pocket with zip, and back pocket with zip and flap making this jacket a riding essential.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fabric: Diamond Air/MicroMesh/Mesh Airdry
Sleeve Length: Long Sleeve
Fastening: Front 2-way zip with inner flap and chin guard
Pockets: Chest pocket with zip and back pocket with zip & flap
Reflectivity: Front and back reflective piping and logos
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good all-rounder for autumn commutes and training rides
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Would have liked a touch more waterproofing
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Age: 38 Height: 190cm Weight: 98kg
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.