Giro Wind jacket – review

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Giro Wind jacket – review

A good lightweight jacket that’s easily packable and impressively windproof despite being well ventilated

Giro’s Wind jacket pulls together really impressive windproofing with top packability thanks to its use of Rip Stop Nylon. It also manages to offer decent ventilation, and the question is really whether you can justify spending £80 on it which is a little steep for a lightweight jacket that’s not totally waterproof.

At this end of the year it’s pretty important to have a jacket that you can store in a rear pocket and taken out should things turn nasty while you’re out riding. So the first thing to look at on a jacket like this is ease of packing, and how small a space you can stow fit it in.

And against this criterion, the Giro Wind jacket scores very well. It packs down very small and easily gets into a jersey pocket. I even managed to fit it in my saddlebag alongside my emergency puncture repair kit, which is extremely impressive. Part of the reason it manages this is because it packs into a bag built into the jacket itself that can be packed away and makes sure it stays small in your pocket.

Giro’s Wind Jacket packs down very small into a bag incorporated into the jacket. There’s also space in the bag for a phone, change or other smaller items you want to carry with you

When packed and compressed, the size is comparable to a pack of playing cards which shows you just how small it is. That means regardless of how well it performs while on, it’s worth considering as something to have with you just in case. On top of that, I found that I’d take it with me on the off chance because the bag itself can also hold some change and a mobile phone as well as the jacket.

Remove it from the bag and putting it on is pretty simple. Elasticated wrists help with the fit, makes it grip nicely around gloves and keeps the sleeves in place without letting cold air up your arms. Elastic is also present on the hem along the bottom left and right panels which is useful as it makes for easy access to the jersey pockets underneath. That accessibility negates the need for pockets on the jacket itself.

When on it creates an effective barrier against the wind and, despite being part of Giro’s New Road collection which is cycling wear that’s also meant to function off the bike, fit is much more like a conventional wind jacket than many other items in the collection. In fact, when you combine its wind stopping properties with how small it packs, it’d be a great choice for carrying when you’re climbing with the intention of using it on the descents to keep the wind off. Admittedly, you likely don’t get many climbs of that length on the Sunday club run, but it’s worth keeping in mind anyway.

The breathability is pretty good as well. A perforated back panel allows much of the heat generated to escape and avoids the dreaded boil-in-the-bag effect you can get from a lot of thin jackets.

The perforated panel on the back of the jacket improves breathability but has the added effect of letting rain in, meaning the jacket isn’t something you choose to start a wet ride in

Stitching and the seams are strong and well-made. None feel like they’re likely to split despite how thin the material is. There are also a few really nice touches like felt material at the top to make sure you don’t snag yourself on the zip, and it also stops the zip from catching on the material when you do it all the way up. It’s also worth noting that the seams on the front of the jacket aren’t taped, presumably to keep weight as low as possible.

While it does a great job against the wind, and I’d definitely take it with me as a contingency should rain start to fall, I wouldn’t start an already wet day with the jacket on. It’s not completely waterproof – and the perforated back certainly doesn’t help with that – so you’ll probably find as much water coming through the jacket as the breathability allows out. It’s definitely better than nothing in a sudden downpour, though, and the lack of waterproofing shouldn’t detract from the things this jacket does extremely well.

Conclusion

Giro’s Wind Jacket is an impressive bit of kit, but the one thing that might put me off is the price. The jacket combines windstopping with breathability, and although a by-product of that breathability is that it will let some rain will get in, it’s better to be slightly damp in the rain that boil when you’re riding in the wind.

Pros

– Packs down very small
– Well made with strong seams
– Elasticated wrists and back make for a good fit

Cons

– Expensive
– Not totally waterproof

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