During autumn I always find that the point where you need to move up from simple windproofing to full-on insulation is a difficult one to gauge. Fortunately, there are bits of kit that help fill that void, and Giro’s Primaloft Insulated Vest is one of those.
The vest is part of Giro’s ‘New Road’ range, kit designed to be wearable on and off the bike, the sort of stuff you can wear for a ride into town, and then walk around town in without feeling out of place. Because of that, fit is relaxed and I could definitely wear it off the bike…if it was a different colour, that is. On a serious note, though, it doesn’t feel bulky or uncomfortable in any riding positions , making it adaptable for a wide variety of rides.
The vest is made from a lightweight Pertex Quantum fabric and packed with Primaloft, a super-light synthetic layer of insulation which means the gilet is very low bulk and can be packed down nice and small into a jersey pocket. This packability is certainly a big positive, and when combined with its thermal qualities it means you can wear it out early morning when it’s cold, then take it off and store it later when you start to warm up. The level of insulation is pretty impressive thanks to this innovative filling, and my torso defiantly felt warmer than my arms, which were only clad in standard arm warmers.
It even managed to perform well in the rain, keeping me pretty dry (on the body, at least) despite water resistance not being one of the touted abilities. It’s by no means waterproof, though, so don’t expect miracles if you go out in a downpour.