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review

Nopinz Pro-1 Gilet Women

7
£64.99

VERDICT:

7
10
Effective wind-blocker with a great fit and easy-access pockets, but can get sweaty in the lower back
Effective windproofing
Great fit
Easy access rear pockets
Reflective trims
Hard to remove one-handed
Pockets get hot and sweaty
One-way zip
Weight: 
139g
Contact: 

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 Nopinz Pro-1 Gilet is an impressive windblocking layer that's packable into its own rear pockets, of which there are three. It's a useful layer for cool morning/evening rides thanks to its reflective trims, but while breathability is decent for most efforts, sweat does build up fairly easily around the pockets.

A Windstopper front blocks out the chilling wind, while round the back and at the sides, the perforated Chrono fabric is designed to wick moisture away. The well-judged close fit prevents wind coming in at all through the armholes, and the same applies to the collar up top.

Down below, a wide elasticated band with hexagonal silicone grippers – ranging from 6.5cm wide at the front to 10cm at the back – spans the circumference of the jersey, keeping it in place with a flush finish thanks to its raw cut edges.

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The gilet also has a longer back which helps protect from road spray, even when shifted forward in a low, aggressive riding position.

2021 Nopinz Pro 1 Gilet Women - back.jpg

One issue is that the pockets are the same windblocking material as the front of the gilet, which I found trapped more heat than usual, especially when filling my pockets.

2021 Nopinz Pro 1 Gilet Women - pockets.jpg

Nopinz has slightly angled the outer pockets, which makes access genuinely easier as you're riding, although it also means only the centre pocket is deep enough to conceal a decent-sized smart phone. The only other thing missing is some drainage holes for water.

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

While the YKK zipper itself is robust and smooth at the top for venting adjustments, it's very sticky at the bottom of its run, which makes this Nopinz difficult to remove quickly while pedalling. The zipper could also do with a longer tag for easier grabbing.

2021 Nopinz Pro 1 Gilet Women - chest.jpg

Available in stealth black or brighter options of orange or teal, all have reflective strips around the arms, shoulders and rear pockets for visibility, which is great.

Value

The £64.99 asking price seems fair for the effective windproofing and neat, close cut. For a slightly cheaper , While the inclusively-sized Fat Lad At The Back Women's Windy Gilet is bright and lighter than the Pro-1 for £54.99, it does lack pockets.

You can get much more reflective options too, such as Proviz's Reflect360 CRS Plus Women's Cycling Gilet (£79.99), but it runs a bit sweaty all over, whereas the Pro-1 just lacks breathability at the pockets.

Overall, the Nopinz Pro-1 offers a great fit with no chance of the wind finding its way in, and it scrunches up to a reasonable size too. It's not the lightest though, and if you're pushing on the pace expect a sweaty lower back.

Verdict

Effective wind-blocker with a great fit and easy-access pockets, but can get sweaty in the lower back

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Nopinz Pro-1 Gilet Women

Size tested: Small

Tell us what the product is for

Nopinz says: "For serious road riding in cooler or changing temperatures, layering with a gilet is the only way to go. Our gilets provide additional warmth and waterproofing via a Windstopper front panel. Around the back, our breathable Chrono fabric wicks moisture and keeps things dry. Water-resistant pockets help keep your stuff dry and reflective binding around the arms and pockets provide the finishing touch."

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

Nopinz lists:

Water-resistant and windproof front.

Highly breathable Chrono back and side panels.

Three rear pockets for storage.

Reflective detailing to shoulders and pocket.

YKK zipper.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

The Pro-1 is an impressive windblocking layer that's easily packable, but sweat builds up fairly easily around the pockets. The zipper is also a little sticky, and I found it difficult to remove quickly while pedalling.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight:
 
6/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

The close fit is not tight in any places.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

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

All good when machine washed at 30 degrees.

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

It provided excellent windproofing with its close cut, but the rear pockets run a bit sweaty.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great fit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Sweaty across the lower back due to the pocket material, and the sticky zipper is difficult while riding.

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

There are cheaper options – such as the Fat Lad At The Back Women's Windy Gilet – but the Pro-1 is still well priced.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, but not for hard rides with blocks of threshold

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The Nopinz Pro-1 gives a great fit, with no chance of the wind finding its way in. It also scrunches to a reasonable size and stows into one of its three rear pockets. It's not the lightest though, and if you're pushing on the pace expect a sweaty lower back. Overall it's good.

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

Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.

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