I recently wrote about the benefits of a good fitting rain jacket. Unless you live in a soggy climate, it’s not something you use often, but when the sky opens up, it’s a piece of cycling gear you’ll be very glad to own. A snug fitting, wind blocking vest falls into a similar category. I find, living in Sydney, it’s a piece of kit that gets an almost daily workout through spring and autumn – especially on chilly mornings.
In addition to the usual features that make a vest a wardrobe favourite, Netti have added a couple of extra ones to their Women’s Performance Vest designed to increase it’s ease of use. The main difference between this and other vests I’ve owned is a zip in the rear of the vest that allows direct access to the contents of cycling jersey pockets. I’ve found it takes a bit of practice to use as not all jersey pockets sit at the same height, but I like having the option to reach my food without hitching the bottom of the vest up above my stomach while riding. The main fabric of the vest is made from (or includes) a stretchy, showerproof membrane. this keeps the fit nice and huggy, and the “I hate getting wet on the bike” nerves at bay when the sky is looking grey. The vest is also quite long which which is great in terms of preventing soggy knicks from road spray, although I’ve found I need to pull it downwards to keep it looking neat.
The Performance Vest does a few other things well too. YKK zips are reliable over seasons of use and a small section of fabric at the chin stops any rubbing when done up tight. Large, reflective lycra panels add a nice feeling of safety in low light. A side pocket at the rear provides additional storage space for long rides. And like all vests, if you get too hot, you can just unzip it and return to summer jersey temperatures. I love this in a good vest. It means I don’t have to jam it in my pocket half way through a ride.
Thank you to Netti Australia for their support of the Subaru-MarathonMTB.com race team. Naomi Hansen and I are pretty stoked to be able to chose from a wide range of women’s designs to complement the custom team kit.
Photos: Gaye Camm, Kath Bicknell.