The Proviz Men's Classic Gilet is a comfortable, light and practical bit of kit that's extremely noticeable both day and night. It's very well made, cleverly designed and boasts some of the highest levels of breathability and waterproofing possible. The pockets could be better situated for cargo carrying, though, and beware the sizing as it comes up pretty large.
The UK-designed Proviz Classic Men's Gilet uses a blend of four-way stretch fabrics and feels premium and soft to the touch. It has sealed stitching across all seams, and very high levels of waterproofing (20,000mm) and breathability (20,000 grams).
It weighs 211 grams and, if wrapped up tightly, is just about stuffable into a generous jersey pocket.
It's obvious that thought has gone into the design: placement of the reflective details is clever (and they won't get blocked by backpacks), the wind-blocking collar is usefully tall, and the gripper-equipped zip extension makes digging it out of the zip garage easy.
Having never worn such a visible item before, it was fun testing how the Proviz performs. In the daytime, I noticed even smartphone-obsessed pedestrians spotting me from a long way off. I could tell I was getting spotted instantly, rather than at a second glance.
The gilet has strategically-placed reflective patches of a glass bead-based material Proviz calls REFLECT360. They reflect light so well at night it looks like they're powered by batteries. In daylight, the bright yellow is fairly searing even without the extra shine.
Waterproofing and windproofing is excellent, and a standout feature for me was the high collar – it's great for keeping your neck cosy in chilly winds. I think it autumn and winter, it would probably save me wearing a full-on jacket. Breathability is also very good. Even on a 20 mile ride in 19C heat, I didn't overheat (though I was definitely warm).
It is not a race fit – it's designed loose for commuting or general riding, and there's an elasticated hem that tucks under your bottom to keep spray off. It still sizes up big, though. I am normally an XL, but this one is too generous for me – a large would be a better fit.
One other slight issue is that the pockets are on the front, and when filled with stuff, can ride on your thighs as you pedal. The baggy fit probably doesn't help, but perhaps these could be better placed or shaped in the first place.
At £59.99, the Proviz Men's Gilet is more expensive than some. The Van Rysel RC 500 from Decathlon is just under £20, for instance, although while it's splashproof it's not waterproof or breathable, and definitely more 'budget' than this.
More comparable (and stylish) is the Primal Trimotif Wind Vest at £45 which, while only 'water resistant', has three good rear pockets. However the Proviz offers really extreme visibity, good waterproofing and a genuinely useful high neck for that extra cash.
The Proviz Men's Classic Gilet is a very comfortable, lightweight and practical thing, with impressive wind and waterproofing plus strong build quality. Combine that with visibility only slightly below that of colliding stars and the niggles – overlarge sizing, cycle-unfriendly pockets and a fairly high price – fade into the background in a way the wearer will never, ever do.
Very well made, highly visible, waterproof and breathable – just watch the sizing
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Proviz Classic Men's Cycling Gilet
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for
Proviz says: "Fluorescent four-way stretch material gives the gilet a high waterproof and breathability rating of 20,000mm & 20,000gm/24hr plus eye-watering fluorescence by day."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"The Proviz Classic Gilet is manufactured using a blend of four-way stretch fabrics. There are sealed sewing lines across all of the seams to ensure no water gets in.
Very high levels of waterproofing (20,000mm) and breathability (20,000 grams). Weighs 211 grams.
Two waterproof side pockets
High collar for comfort and keeping wind out.
Waterproof zip with garage for comfort and rubber toggles for ease of use
Reflective detailing with the Proviz REFLECT360 material - strips across the front, back, hems, zip details and logos."
Well made with good fabrics and sealed seams.
Very good - In the daytime, I noticed even smartphone-obsessed pedestrians spotted me from a long way off. In the dark, the small REFLECT360 patches reflect light so well they look powered... plus they remain visible even if you're wearing a backpack. Waterproofing and windproofing are also excellent, as is breathability.
The Proviz Gilet feels like it will last. The stitching and material is quality, the material can stretch a good amount, and it returns to shape.
It is not a race fit – it's loose for commuting or general riding, and works for that.
It's quite large - I would have been better a size down.
211g is an excellent weight, if slightly higher than claimed.
Very comfortable, though if you stuff the pockets they can ride up and down on your legs.
There are cheaper hi-viz gilets out there, but few with this level of wind and waterproofing, detailing, and construction quality. It's about as safe as passive safety gets and at £60, that offsets its price a fair bit.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I wash all my cycle clothing at 30 degrees, and this gilet was fine. Oil stains proved a bit stubborn, but Vanish cleaner gets them out.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well - on several occasions, pedestrians stopped from stepping into my path, having spotted me a long way off.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Quality construction, the very reflective patches, breathability, windproofing and waterproofing.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Sizes up large, pockets poorly placed.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Proviz is more expensive than some. The Van Rysel RC 500 from Decathlon is just under £20, for instance, although while it's splashproof it's not waterproof or breathable, and definitely more 'budget' than this. More comparable (and stylish) is the Primal Trimotif Wind Vest at £45 which, while only 'water resistant', has three good rear pockets. However the Proviz offers really extreme visibity, good waterproofing and a genuinely useful high neck for that extra cash.
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
The Proviz is comfortable, well made, with some great features and very high levels of breathability, waterproofing and visibility (day or night). With more accurate sizing and better pockets it would be a nine, but as it is it's a strong eight.
About the tester
I usually ride: GT Grade My best bike is: Boardman ASR 8.9
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, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,