HOY Vulpine Signal Gilet - review - Road Cycling UK

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HOY Vulpine Signal Gilet – review

Ticks all the boxes as a three-season gilet

HOY Vulpine clothing is always very well-styled, with performance often to match, and while the waterproof Signal Packable Gilet is aimed at spring and autumn riding, it offers more of a punch than that and is an ideal extra layer to pack for long winter rides.

While a lot of gilets will claim to be water resistant, the Signal is made from a fully waterproof fabric, with a 15k breathability and waterproof rating. The full-length front zip is also waterproof and the same goes for the seams.

It goes without saying that, if it’s chucking it down from the moment you step outside the door, a gilet may not be the best option, even if the fabric is waterproof, but for those rides where there may be passing showers, mist or road spray, the Signal is up to the task and does a great job at keeping your core dry. Pair it with a water resistant jersey like the Castelli Gabba and you have a really versatile combination.

The HOY Vulpine Signal Gilet is made from a fabric with a 15k waterproof and breathability rating

Indeed, out on the road it almost seems a shame to have the gilet pack away, though, unless raining, I found I mostly used it early in the morning or when the temperature drops late in the day and you need a little extra wind protection to spin home.

Unlike many gilets, the Signal has three rear pockets, just as a typical jersey would, so if you do decide you want to wear the gilet throughout a ride (and worn on top of a thermal jersey in milder winter conditions it once again adds valuable windproofing) you’ve got somewhere to store everything without having to dig under the gilet and into your jersey pockets.

Breathability is good, too, and during testing I didn’t experience any undue condensation build-up on the inside of the gilet. As well as the breathable properties of the fabric itself, there are dorsal vents on the sides and back to allow air to pass naturally through the gilet, without losing too much heat. If conditions to perk up enough to take the gilet off, it comfortably packs down into a jersey pocket.

  • Specification

  • Price: £110
  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Size tested:
  • Colours: Mandarin; graphite
  • Website: HOY Vulpine

I immediately liked the fit and shape of the gilet. It’s not a race fit but, crucially, there’s not too much excess material either, so it doesn’t act like a sail as some ill-fitting gilets can – slowing the rider down and losing warmth. The elasticated hem draws the gilet close to the body, and if the rain really steps up, the longer neck gives you something to hunker down into.

Other well thought out details include the fleece-lined chin guard on the zip and a metal toggle on the zipper, which gives you something solid to grab on to when undoing the gilet wearing gloves.

The ‘mandarin’ colour is quite a statement and is good for visibility out on the road. HOY Vulpine have made sure there is plenty of reflectivity, too, with large, perforated panels on the shoulders and on the back, also well as a reflective brand logo on the chest and an even bigger one on the central rear pocket.

The combination of the bright colour and reflective panels may shout ‘commuter’ to some but for long days out in the saddle, in the type of murky, unpredictable conditions the Signal is designed for, that can’t be knocked and the overall styling is quite subtle. Besides, there’s a black – or, rather, ‘graphite’ – version if that’s more your thing, with the same reflective panels on the shoulders and tail.

HOY Vulpine Signal Gilet
HOY Vulpine Signal Gilet
HOY Vulpine Signal Gilet

There’s very little not to the like, then. In fact, the only sticking point is the price – which at £110 puts the Signal at the upper end of the market. However, it’s right in line with other high-end competitors, including the Castelli Perfetto (also £110) and Rapha Gilet (£125).

Conclusion

The HOY Vulpine Signal is an excellent three-season gilet and an all-round quality package, thanks to the waterproof fabric, well-proportioned fit, generous reflectivity and all-round attention to detail.

Pros

  • Waterproof and breathable fabric makes for a versatile gilet
  • Sensible cut for everyday riding
  • Reflectivity and attention to detail

Cons

  • It’s not cheap but this is a quality piece

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