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review

BTwin Men’s Visibility PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gilet 560

8
£39.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Inexpensive gilet with nice touches and wider horizons than commuting
Versatile
Good fit with cycling and street wear
Breathes well
Not as water repellent as laminated training types
Weight: 
315g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The B'Twin Men's Visibility PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gilet 560 is aimed at commuters who want to remain temperate and visible on the ride, yet discreet and subtle when sans bike. It's not waterproof but will repel light to moderate showers, and is surprisingly effective – and flutter-free – worn atop winter jerseys on bitterly cold training runs.

The... well, let's call it the Reversible Gilet 560 has an outer layer designed to repel wind, an inner middleweight padded section for warmth, and an open mesh rear for cooling. The cut is cycling specific, meaning longer at the back and tall around the neck.

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Detailing is surprisingly good too. The retro-reflective banding complies with EN1150 for day and night-time visibility, and gives 360 degree coverage.

2021 BTWIN Mens Visability PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gillet 500 - hi-viz side.jpg

There are three zippered pockets: a breast pocket on the fluoro side and two hip pockets on the black side. Sensibly-proportioned zipper tags mean these and the main zip are easily operated in gloves.

2021 BTWIN Mens Visability PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gillet 500 - pocket.jpg

Testing in predominantly chill, damp conditions (1-10°C) the 560 proves light enough to go unnoticed, while still adding welcome warmth that a laminated shell-type gilet can't.

2021 BTWIN Mens Visability PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gillet 500 - hi-viz side - chest.jpg

Haring down descents at 25mph plus, I could feel the winds blasting me, but they never pierced the gilet or caused annoying, power-robbing flutter.

2021 BTWIN Mens Visability PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gillet 500 - chest.jpg

This isn't waterproof, but light, persistent drizzle fails to make much impression for 90 minutes. Moderate rain or sleet takes an hour or so to seriously get through, and it dries relatively quickly. The perforated back helps here.

2021 BTWIN Mens Visability PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gillet 500 - hi-viz side - rear reflective 1.jpg

B'Twin says this can be worn beneath a jacket. Calling their bluff, I whipped a dhb Flashlight Force waterproof jacket atop for a very soggy blast, and while I had to relax the jacket's drawstring closures for a less tailored fit, the pairing did indeed prove unobtrusive.

In terms of visibilty, the 50 metre claim seems about right.

2021 BTWIN Mens Visability PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gillet 500 - hi-viz side - front reflective.jpg

In morning murk, or dead of night, most approaching traffic seems to take notice a little further away, and at all angles. It's not a patch on a design such as the Proviz Reflect360 Plus, but still very practical.

2021 BTWIN Mens Visability PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gillet 500 - back.jpg

I spent the first 200 miles of the test period on my fixed-gear winter trainer sans guards to see just how the fabric repelled mucky spatter. The fling made less impression than I was expecting, and was easily dismissed with a damp cloth in between tours de Zanussi.

Value

At £39.99, it's a third cheaper than the Proviz Reflect360 Plus Gilet (£59.99), which lacks the padding but has superior retro-reflective technology and better water repellency. The Madison Isoler Insulated Reversible Men's Jacket is arguably a closer competitor, as it's reversible, but that's more still at £79.99.

The Lomo Thermal Cycling Gilet is a cheaper option at just £21 and very competent on the bike, but it's stealth black with retro-reflective detailing, so lacks the B'Twin's presence.

Summary

Though less water-repellent (and indeed packable) than some more traditional cycling gilets, the B'Twin Men's Visibility PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gilet 560 is more than a short-haul commuter option, and represents excellent value for money.

Verdict

Inexpensive gilet with nice touches and wider horizons than commuting

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road.cc test report

Make and model: BTWIN Mens Visibility PPE Certified Sleeveless Reversible Gillet 560

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

B'Twin says: "If you ride around town regularly, protect yourself from the cold and wind while remaining visible both day and night. Compatible with a raincoat. Be seen on your bike during the day with the neon colours and at night thanks to the reflective bands. This gilet is reversible; turn it inside out to be discreet and elegant once you arrive."

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

B'Twin says:

Be visible from 360° both day (neon) and night (reflective). EN1150 certified.

This urban cycling PPE gilet, which is certified according to standard EN1150, comes in a fluorescent colour approved for daytime visibility and has reflective strips for visibility at night.

The reflective parts have been positioned based on the constraints of cycling (leaning forwards, wearing a backpack, etc.) to guarantee 360° visibility at night from up to 50 m away when picked up by car headlights.

THERMAL PROPERTIES

This gilet has been designed for city cyclists riding in cool weather. Remember that you will feel even cooler on an electric bike.

This gilet is composed of 2 parts: the front part is made from windproof fabric to protect your chest and neck (magnet on the neck) from cool breezes as you cycle, while the padded zones keep you warm.

The back is composed of an open mesh to let perspiration escape and to help you dry out faster as you exercise.

SHAPE DESIGNED FOR CYCLISTS

This gilet is designed for the position you are in when cycling. Its shape covers the lower back and the neck (thanks to a magnetic collar) while cycling, providing excellent protection.

It has two hand pockets (non-neon side) and one chest pocket (neon side) for carrying your phone. The pockets are zipped for added security.

COMPATIBILITY

This gilet can be worn under a city cycling rain jacket or poncho for even more protection against the cold and wet. Adapt your kit to the weather and intensity of your pedalling to stay comfortable all year round.

WARRANTY

2 years

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Feels well made, and the two-year warranty inspires further confidence.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Does everything it promises, and to a high standard.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

No issues.

Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

Sufficiently relaxed to accommodate street clothing, yet close enough for a chill beating, flutter-free fit worn atop winter jerseys.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

Bang on.

Rate the product for weight:
 
6/10

Weighty compared with laminated road types, but once on feels much lighter than the scales imply.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Wicking/ventilation is surprisingly efficient at least to 11°C (the warmest it got during the test).

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

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

Very straightforward.

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

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great cut, impressive wind protection, great presence in poor light, keen pricing.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

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

At £39.99, it's a third cheaper than the Proviz Reflect360 Plus Gilet (£59.99), which lacks the padding but has superior retro-reflective technology and better water repellency. The Madison Isoler Insulated Reversible Men's Jacket is arguably a closer competitor, but that's more still at £79.99.

The Lomo Thermal Cycling Gilet is a cheaper option at just £21 and very competent on the bike, but it's stealth black with retro-reflective detailing, so lacks the B'Twin's presence.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 47  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

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)

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