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The Galibier Izoard Pro is an impressively warm gilet that's just about packable and very nicely built. It's showerproof too, and the price is good.
If this looks familiar, perhaps you remember the Galibier Izoard Quilted Gilet that Dave reviewed a year ago. In fact, it's hard to distinguish between the two – Galibier even uses exactly the same sentences to describe them.
The Pro is only about £5 more, and as far as I can tell is functionally the same except it has a DWR coating to repel showers, packs a different weight insulation, and is not reversible from black to orange. Instead it comes in either this all-black design, or in orange and black.
At 49g/m (grams per square metre), the recycled synthetic insulation provides slightly more warmth than the reversible version (40g/m). In fact its warmth is very impressive, and too much once you're into double figures – even with a single winter layer beneath.
This is partly thanks to the back being insulated too, which can trap a lot of heat. On sub-10°C rides I found it fine for all but the hardest of climbing efforts, and even when I got sweaty I felt comfortable. It's not super-breathable, but it's fine and I've worn lighter things that are worse. Anything over around 12-13°C and personally I wouldn't even think about it.
I like the stylistic changes: the herringbone stitching (which is reflective) looks smarter than straight lines, and the big logo on the tail is great. With its slim but not restrictive fit and well-shaped arm holes, it looks more expensive than it is.
The silver highlights on the main zip, on the front zip garages and down the rear panel sides are strongly reflective under headlights, too.
At 208g it's a whopping 7g heavier than the more lightly padded version, and (thanks to the Super-Roubaix side panels) rolls up just small enough to wedge into a jersey pocket. It's lumpy, but entirely packable.
The Super-Roubaix sides continue around the waist, and it all stretches to maintain a good, close fit all over. Which is super.
You get both inner and outer chest pockets, and while they're both just big enough for my stupid-size phone (16.5cm tall), they're odd shapes thanks to being tucked right under the arm, which wedges it at a funny angle. It's not ideal.
The inner pocket also has a protective flap over its hidden-toothed zip, and it's easy to get it jammed in the fabric. It feels like an unnecessary holdover from the reversible design – which would actually need the protection – so it's a bit aggravating. Still, the flap is there for comfort should you ever wear this gilet next to your skin, which would of course be weird, so please don't.
The rear pocket is also weird, as it unzips on either side and forms a tunnel. It's entirely possible to shove something in only to have it fall out the other side, and small items are free to slide around even if you have remembered both zips.
In his review of the non-Pro version, Dave said, 'Most insulated gilets we've tested are north of £100, so less than £50 is a steal.'
At £53.48 the Pro is only slightly over £50, and just £5.23 more than the original. For the extra you get a DWR coating, slightly heavier insulation and arguably even smarter styling, though you lose the reversible feature. The choice is yours – but now they're both a steal.
Very warm, just packable enough and a great price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Izoard Pro Gilet
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Galibier says: "The Izoard PRO is lightweight, packable and warm, with stretchy mesh side panels to optimise warmth and comfort whilst retaining breathability. The garment remains soft to the touch and very low bulk, so it can be easily packed away until you need it."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
-The side panels are in a high stretch Super-Roubaix® fabric that provides incredible 'fit' accommodation and regulates core temperature.
-The ActiveSport® utilises 49g/m synthetic recycled insulation which keeps on performing even when it's wet and provides full windproof and showerproof core protection.
-We have 3M reflective highlights on the full, front zip and on the rear sides.
-The massive, rear pocket is big enough to hold all essentials and can be accessed from both zippered sides.
-A DWR coating on the face fabric provides an element of shower resistance, and an angled zip-able chest pocket gives you easy access storage on the move.
-2 colour options Zinc Orange with Black or All black. Both colour options have reflective stitching.
Warm, windproof and comfortable.
Obviously not a lightweight, but good for its warmth.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Happy in the usual 30°C sports wash.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Impressive quality and warmth.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Insulated back restricts it to fairly cold (10°C or less) rides, or brief bursts on milder ones.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's about half the price of most insulated gilets.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This does everything you want of it, and does it well. There's very little to complain about.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mtb,