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review

Fat Lad At The Back Women’s Windy Gilet

7
£54.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Effective, attractive, inclusively-sized and super light. The lack of pockets may irritate some, though
Bright
Light
Windproof but breathable
Good range of sizes
Lack of pockets
Weight: 
102g

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The Fat Lad at the Back Women's Windy Gilet is an affordably-priced and accessible addition to anyone's cycling wardrobe, giving good protection in a nicely-shaped, lightweight package. Pockets, or access to jersey pockets beneath, would have made it even better.

Fat Lad at the Back is renowned for its broad range of sizes in all its kit, and this gilet is no exception – it's available in 38 to 53in bust sizes (plus four colours).

Made from lightweight, wind resistant polyester, it has a stretchy mesh back panel, stretchy arm holes, reflective rear piping, a full-length front zip and an elasticated hem with silicone gripper tape.

> Buy this online here

The fit is on the long side. The shape is good for curvier figures and the length didn't cause much trouble on my 5ft 5in frame, thanks to the gripper tape, but shorter riders might find it problematic.

2021 Fat Lad At The Back Women's Windy Gilet - tail.jpg

The stretchy arm holes and mesh back mean it contours well around the body, leaving no flappy fabric. The collar sits snug but not overtight when fully zipped up, though that zip is a little tricky one-handed. The whole thing stays put no matter what the riding position.

2021 Fat Lad At The Back Women's Windy Gilet - collar.jpg

It's nicely breathable thanks to the mesh, while the windproof sections do their job very well. Whilst it repelled a short spring shower reasonably well, I'd not want to rely on it for rain protection, though. Windy, chilly conditions are where it does best.

> 19 best cycling gilets — get to know this wardrobe essential

It packs down good and small, and it's light, making it versatile whatever the season.

2021 Fat Lad At The Back Women's Windy Gilet - chest.jpg

The only major issue is the lack of pockets. There's not even an opening to access your jersey pockets below – you may not mind, but I find having to drag the whole thing up irritating.

2021 Fat Lad At The Back Women's Windy Gilet - back.jpg

Value

At £54.99 it's comparable to the Bontrager Women's Circuit Wind Vest at £49.99 which is 16g heavier but has a pocket, and the Primal Stirling Wind Vest at £55 – which also has pockets.

It's a fair bit cheaper than the Stolen Goat Palace Bodyline Gilet at £65, but yes, that also has pockets. There's a bit of a pattern here – a few grams extra gets you very useful pockets.

Overall

The Women's Windy Gilet is a comfortable and effective layer, lightweight and a good price, but I'd have really appreciated pockets. Have I said pockets enough times it looks weird now? Pockets.

Verdict

Effective, attractive, inclusively-sized and super light. The lack of pockets may irritate some, though

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Fat Lad At The Back Women's Windy Gilet

Size tested: 38

Tell us what the product is for

FLAB says: "One of the most versatile pieces in your cycling wardrobe, in high vis orange, the women's Windy gilet keeps the wind and even a bit of drizzle out. Then it can be stashed into a pocket when you don't need it. Perfect for early starts, cafe stops and changeable weather."

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

FLAB lists:

Lightweight

Windproof fabric

Mesh back

Reflective piping on back side panel

High collar

Silicone gripper at hem

Easily packed into a jersey pocket

Mix and match with our Horizon Orange and Flower Power Orange collections

Designed to go over the top of a jersey.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Well made and nice feeling fabric and components.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Aside from lack of pockets or access to jersey pockets, it performs very well.

Rate the product for durability:
 
6/10

The mesh fabric at the rear is a little prone to being caught by Velcro.

Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

Adaptable to many body shapes, if quite long in the body.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

Spot on, plus the range is great.

Rate the product for weight:
 
9/10

Very light indeed, and packable.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

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

Very easy to look after, but worth washing away from snaggy Velcro.

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

Very well indeed.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Bright colour, low weight, windproof but breathable, affordable, good range of sizes.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Lack of pockets.

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

At £54.99 it's comparable to the Bontrager Women's Circuit Wind Vest at £49.99 which is 16g heavier but has a pocket, and the Primal Stirling Wind Vest at £55 – which also has pockets.

It's a fair bit cheaper than the Stolen Goat Palace Bodyline Gilet at £65, but yes, that also has pockets. There's a bit of a pattern here – a few grams extra gets you very useful pockets.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Probably not, unless it has pockets in future

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is a well-designed, nicely shaped and effective lightweight gilet that's solid value for money and comes in a fantastic range of sizes. It would be even better with pockets.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Liv Invite  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

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