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review

Assos UMA GT Spring/Fall Airblock Vest

7
£130.00

VERDICT:

7
10
Close-fitting and effective gilet that gives pleasing core warmth, but pocket access is awkward
Effective windproofing
Hugging fit
Fits in a jersey pocket
Reasonably light
One-way zip
Pocket access is awkward
No stuff sack or pocket
Weight: 
148g
Contact: 

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The Assos UMA GT Spring/Fall Airblock Vest is a comfortable, close-fitting gilet that provides ideal protection from nippy winds and surprise showers. The quality is excellent, and it's slim for its protection and warmth. The lack of an integrated stuff sack makes it harder to pack away, though, and while the rear gives access to pockets below, you may not find it so easy in practice...

This gilet uses a combination of fabrics for weatherproofing where you need it and comfort where you don't.

The front panel is Assos' patented 3L windproof softshell, constructed with a PU bonded membrane. This 260g/m2 front blocks wind incredibly well and brushes off short showers, too – it's water-resistant to a rating of 10,000mm (meaning it won't leak under the pressure of a 10 metre water column, which is pretty good).

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Even if you are caught in a deluge, the fabric is thin and doesn't hold water.

2021 Assos UMA GT Spring Fall Airblock Vest back top.JPG

The Airblock provides a pleasing amount of warmth that's surprising given its thin construction. The upper back panel has a fleecy lining, as do the sides, and this provides a cosy feel.

2021 Assos UMA GT Spring Fall Airblock Vest zip top.JPG

The full length zip is smooth, and the tag is chunky enough for grabbing with full-fingered gloves. It's only a one way zipper though, so it doesn't allow you to upzip from the bottom.

Assos's sizing guide recommends a small for me. The Airblock is Assos's 'regular fit,' which is more relaxed than its second-skin 'racing fit,' and the small was tighter than I expected. It's not restrictive at all, though. The main body is stretchy in all directions, which helps create a flattering, form-hugging fit.

2021 Assos UMA GT Spring Fall Airblock Vest  front side.JPG

While race-oriented jerseys tuck neatly beneath the Airblock, slightly more casual ones tend to peak out at the bottom.

2021 Assos UMA GT Spring Fall Airblock Vest zip bottom.JPG

There's also a label with the spec written on the extended zip garage, and it's visible as you pull the zip down – the text, while informative, doesn't look so smart in my opinion.

2021 Assos UMA GT Spring Fall Airblock Vest details.JPG

Rear pockets

This doesn't have its own pockets, but provides access to jersey pockets below. There are two slots to reach through, tucked under a 1.5cm flap for protection. They're useful, as it means you don't need to empty your pockets each time when removing and packing away.

2021 Assos UMA GT Spring Fall Airblock Vest back slots.JPG

Most jerseys have three pockets, though, and although the two openings are fairly wide, I found it awkward to reach anything out in the outer pockets. Also, on occasion things would get caught on the flap. Inevitably the middle pocket is even harder to reach – I chose not to pack anything in that one after a few outings.

Plus if your jersey has ridden up underneath, the whole thing gets fiddlier still. I can be a little frustrating fumbling around. That said, it's still significantly better than having no openings at all.

2021 Assos UMA GT Spring Fall Airblock Vest  side.JPG

Weight

At 148g for size small, this is rather light. The Airblock is considerably lighter than the well-designed Endura Pro Primaloft Gilet II at 175g for size medium, though the dhb Aeron Polartec Alpha beats both at 147g – also in medium.

Lacking an integrated stuff sack or pocket, the Airblock is quicker to stuff into a pocket, but it's both messier and bulkier. I'd certainly prefer one for keeping my drawers tidy at home, and for taking to events.

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If black isn't your thing, this also comes in 'caleumBlue' and a much brighter 'galaxyPink'. All have reflectives on the sides of the outer pockets slots.

Value

At £130 this is one of the more expensive options out there. Café Du Cycliste's Women's Albertine thermal gilet is more expensive at £176, but also provides a significant chunk of warmth and is easier to regulate thanks to a two-way zip. The Albertine also has four pockets, though it's bulky.

Endura's Pro Primaloft Gilet II is £119.99 and impresses with its generous pockets and 'serious core warmth,' as Mike Stead puts it, but it's also heavier than the Airblock.

There are still cheaper options, such as the light and minimalist dhb Aeron Polartec Alpha Gilet for £100, which offers impressive warmth and breathability. It's mesh pockets aren't so good though, as your kit will get wet.

Overall

The Assos Airblock vest combines brilliant windproofing with a comforting, form-hugging fit. It lacks pockets or a pouch for packing though, so while it can be stripped off, it's not the most compact or practical of tops.

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Verdict

Close-fitting and effective gilet that gives pleasing core warmth, but pocket access is awkward

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Assos UMA GT Spring/Fall Airblock Vest

Size tested: Small

Tell us what the product is for

Assos says: "With a blend of textiles specifically developed for the cool, wet, and constantly changing conditions that face us in the spring and fall, the versatile Airblock Vest is a must for early- and late-season rides. Cut in our UMA regularFit, the Airblock is less compressive than our racingFit apparel, providing a clean female-specific silhouette when paired with additional layers."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Assos lists:

NEOS MILD: A patented 3L windproof and highly breathable softshell constructed with a PU bonded membrane for added water-repellency. Weight: 260g/m2; Breathability: MVP 20,000g/m2/24h; Water Column: >10,000mm; Elasticity: 4-way stretch.

RX: A brushed bi-stretch warp-knit fabric developed to wick moisture and add light insulation.

Type.157 Stripe Tex: Our proprietary breathable and stretchy circular knit textile with built-in UV protection and odorControl.

Rear Pocket Slots: Two openings on the lower rear panel give you access to your jersey or jacket pockets underneath.

Full-Length Zipper: Temperature regulation courtesy of a lightweight full-length zipper with camlock.

Reflective Accents: Placed on the sides of the outer pocket slots for added visibility.

regularFit: Optimized for total comfort in the riding position, with a more relaxed cut than our second-skin racingFit."

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

A little short – some jerseys poke out below.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

All good when machine washing at 30 degrees.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Excellent windproofing and decent warmth. The rear pocket access isn't the easiest to use, though.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The excellent windproofing and body-hugging fit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Rear pocket-access arrangement, cut high at the front.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Café Du Cycliste's Women's Albertine thermal gilet is more expensive, but there are a lots of good cheaper options, such as those from Endura and dhb.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes – on sale

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is very comfortable to wear and provides plenty of weatherproofing. But I didn't find the pocket access very practical, and packed away it's quite bulky as it doesn't have an integrated stuff sack.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Road bike  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Gravel riding, indoor turbo and rollers, track

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