PRO VIZ 360 GILET
£49.99 289g Large
Pro-Viz 360 Gillet is an extremely clever marriage of high visibility yet chic enough for commuting in street smarts. Slate grey by day, neutral colour and looser cut means there’s no risk of standing out like a sore thumb.
Graced by vehicle or street lighting and it transforms into a brilliant white. However, while wind and shower-resistant, breathability doesn’t keep pace with more spirited riding.
Finish aside, there’s nothing particularly space age about the materials-hardwearing polyester through and through. Generous zippered hip pockets are a definite plus and perfect for larger smartphones, or just parking hands when mooching around.
Pro-Viz has a reputation for being generous size wise and our large was no exception, though we aren’t talking bell tent and the raglan pattern allows plenty of movement. Perforated rear panels are a nod in the direction of breathability but this was still fairly pedestrian, especially when rucksacks are involved.
Talking of which, the 360 overcomes the problem of potent reflectives being eclipsed - even by 30 litre models. This greatly improves visibility when tackling roundabouts and junctions.
Friends reckoned I registered on their radars from around 600metres along unlit roads and urbanites will be pleased to note it’s equally distinctive in the concrete jungle - responses such as “what’s this, the Twilight Zone!” should tell you all you need to know. Ride enough in congested cities and that grimy patina of diesel fumes, dirt and spray forms a unique and seemingly indelible “road warrior” patina.
Thankfully, machine washing at 30 degrees keeps it crisp and the fibres dry reasonably quickly from the drum and following short, sharp showers. The fabric also keeps more persistent drizzle at bay for twenty minutes or so and the wind-blocking properties have been largely welcome.
Unfortunately, moisture management doesn’t keep pace. Twenty mile commutes varying between 15 and 17mph left me feeling decidedly boiled in the bag. This uncomfortable clamminess also tended to creep in fairly quickly at mid-ride café/rest stops and lingered a while, increasing risks of catching chill.
Verdict: 3 out of 5: Brilliant concept but its 360+ variant looks a better option for training and more spirited commuting.
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2015