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Simple and effective is how I'd describe the Galibier Vent Air Gilet. It's light, stands up well to the wind and light rain, and the four-way stretch allows for a great fit. The price can't be faulted either.
At just 71g (size large), this is definitely a lightweight piece of clothing, and when scrunched up it'll barely take up half of a jersey pocket. Considering it's so minimalist, its performance is rather impressive.
Galibier says the Vent Air was born when its fabric partner created this AquaVent membrane. It's four-way stretch but, importantly, it can be taped.
This means that as well as the fabric itself being water repellent – and it works well against light rain showers, drizzle and road spray – Galibier has been able to tape all of the seams.
On milder days when I was out in a long sleeve jersey I could chuck the Vent Air on over the top if the weather changed and I got caught out in a shower. Even in prolonged rain, if it wasn't too heavy, I'd stay dry for a good half an hour or so.
It's in the wind where the gilet really shines, though. The way it blocks the breeze is very noticeable. On days where the temperature was close to freezing with a keen northerly wind, I could tell the difference on my core compared to my arms when worn over the same long sleeve jersey. The chill was gone completely.
I can see this being ideal for spring and autumn for keeping early morning chills at bay. It's breathable too – even when riding hard on the climbs I never found it clammy or damp inside.
The fit is close, and Galibier suggests possibly going up a size if in doubt, which I'd agree with. I normally wear a medium in Galibier kit but this large feels spot on – close enough to not flap around in the wind without ever feeling restrictive.
The four-way stretch panels help when wearing it over thicker jackets and jerseys.
There is plenty of length in the body for when you are in the drops, while the tall neck stops the wind from whipping in from the top.
Also, the elastic cuffs around the arms give a close fit without letting too much air in.
The offset zip is a nice touch, as it stops any clashes with zips on clothing underneath.
For access to your rear pockets there is a slot either side to slip your hands through.
The overall quality is to Galibier's usual high spec. The zip runs smoothly and consistently, making the gilet easy to take on and off even when riding, and all of the stitching is top notch.
It seems durable too. I've worn it with a rucksack on and also through the woods with low-hanging branches and there's not a single mark on it.
For some people, bright colours are a must for riding in the colder, greyer months so the Vent Air might not be for everyone as the material's properties mean that it cannot accept dyes, so it's only available in this charcoal. It is transparent, though, so you can still see your other kit underneath, just a little darker.
It's priced at £46.30, which is competitive against other gilets like Lusso's Hex Packable Gilet at £55. The Lusso does come with rear pockets, and Nick was generally impressed overall.
Rapha's Pro Team Lightweight Gilet packs down small, and according to another Nick it's great on the wind resistance front. It's virtually twice the price of the Galibier, though.
Overall, as long as you are happy with the charcoal colour of the Galibier then there isn't really anything here not to like. The fit is great, as is the quality, and the performance – and the price.
It's only available in this one colour, but the performance and price make up for that
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Vent Air Gilet
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Galibier says, "Our Vent Air gilet is the lightest windproof gilet on the market at 52 grams (L). The gilet was born when a new AquaVent membrane was developed by our fabric partners. A first in the cycling world to produce a low weight and low pack fabric that also has four-way stretch AND can be taped, waterproofing the seams. The new stretch features produce a gilet that is not restrictive, allowing greater agility which improves rider performance and comfort.
The revolutionary fabric has permitted a durable garment to be created that takes up the space of two gels in your pocket or bag; yet delivers full core protection from wind, showers and chill. The stretch of the material provides freedom of movement, keeping the garment fitted close to the body and permitting the core to operate at ideal temperature.
The properties of the material prevent it from taking a dye so it is available in a transparent charcoal colour. A high neck and elasticated waist and arms provides a sealed environment from all weathers.
Our logo provides reflective rear highlights and you can still access the contents of your jersey pockets with two neatly placed slips. We have chosen an Offset zip as it will be worn over an 'centered' jersey zipper, thus avoiding doubled up zips on top of each other. An elastic loop attached to the waistband provides an easy storage solution.
A complete partner that can be utilised year round."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Galibier lists these features:
Super Anatomical Ergo fit: High stretch.
3M Reflective logo highlights
30 Machine delicates washable.
4 needle double stitching and fully taped seams
High neck and ripstop fabric at the back.
2 jersey pocket access slips
High wind protection
Vent provides total wind resistance and light rain protection an: low weight (52g) and low pack volume with Offset Zip.
Freedom of movement
Stretch inserts on the sides provide optimal freedom of movement Technical material mix with 3 different fabrics placed where it's relevant Feather light embossed fabric on front offers high wind protection Lycra inserts on the side and stretch material on the back increase range of movement without flapping while riding
The 7 denier fabric is so fine that each gilet uses 30+ km of yarn.
If in doubt, size up as they are neat fitting.
XS : 34-36 INCH CHEST (89cms)
SMALL: 36-38 INCH CHEST (94cms)
MEDIUM 38-40 INCH CHEST (99cms)
LARGE: 40-42 INCH CHEST (104cms)
XL: 42- 44 INCH CHEST (109cms)
XXL: 44-46 INCH CHEST (115cms)
Galibier's sizing guide is accurate, although if you are going to use it for layering up over thicker winter jerseys then go up a size.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems with washing it when following Galibier's instructions.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It offers protection against the wind and does a decent job against light rain too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It can't be helped (yet), but that it's only available in one colour.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a bit cheaper than offerings from the likes of Lusso, whose products are often cited as being well priced, and compared to something like the Rapha mentioned in the review, the Galibier is half the price.
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
Impressive performance from such a lightweight gilet, which stands up well on the durability front too. Some people might want brighter colours, but I wouldn't argue at this price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!