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What an incredibly warm jacket! This is a jacket for those cold day when the weather is really set in!
The Vortex feels light weight despite offering exceptional warmth. The freedom of movement it allows through the Thermastretch back and elasticated trim make this a good option for longer rides.
Four good sized pockets plus a a zipped pocket for stuff like credit cards and mobile phones, means there's plenty of storage for the bits and pieces you need to take on a ride.
While black is not a great colour for road riding the reflective piping works well. The windproof sleeves and front panel offer excellent weather resistance, in fact perhaps too good for mild winter weather, the Vortex really comes in to its own when it is considerably colder. The wind proof and main jacket polyester feels smooth against the skin of bare arms and doesn’t snag on base layers.
The cut of the jacket is excellent. The length is great, offering effective splash protection to the seat area, while being short enough at the front for reaching into the drops. The collar comes up high sealing you from the elements.
When it does get dirty the Vortex washes well at medium temperature, retaining its shape and drying quickly.
This is a jacket for the bleak mid winter, when training, commuting or even riding with your friends is a difficult choice to make. One thing is for sure, when you are competing for road space with the eponymous white van man, at least you will be warm.
Time tested: 2 weeks / mixed weather
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Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.