REVIEW: Vulpine Cotton Visibility Gilet
by Henry Peacock
Other than our small gripes it does exactly what you want of it for a fair price point.
If you haven’t heard of Vulpine that’s because they're fairly new to the growing world of cycling apparel. Formed in March 2012, they have hit the ground running with what seems to be a pretty neat, ever-expanding line up of garments. Although not specifically aimed at road riders, it's easy to see the detail and care that have gone into their clothing.
Cotton Visibility Gilet - £95
High visibility clothing is the well-established choice for safer cycling, especially in urban areas. But it isn't for everyone. I personally have never been a fan of any high visibility clothing for cycling. I understand the uses and why it’s great but I can’t help but feel a good set of lights and a few reflective strips can go a long way. However, in the day, the bright colour and features of this gilet come in to their own and ensure you stand out compared to some of the darker colours popular with cyclists.
You Won't Be Missed
The garment uses the neon green colour that Vulpine uses throughout the brand and not the luminous yellow associated with such a product. The reflective parts are the trimmings and details that will stand out in the dark. The lightweight Epic Cotton makes up the green panels, which have the threads applied with silicon before weaving takes place. This creates a barrier meaning the panels are water and wind resistant. It also means, as it's cotton the garment is not stiff but soft and malleable. This is a gilet you could wear on wet roads after the rain has stopped and it will cope with the spray and other road dirt. It'll also keep the wind off your chest, as do most gilets.
More Attention To Detail
On the first outing of the gilet, you realise it is well put together; the zip is smooth and doesn’t snag like many more road specific oriented counterparts I’m used to, it has a nice leather toggle to aid this. The magnetic snap collar is a well thought out arrangement and makes it effort less to use. It won’t pack as small as other gilets so if space is a real concern in your rear jersey pockets then look elsewhere. It is the type of garment that can transcend across all types of riding; from commuting to mountain biking to the all-out roadie.
There are three large rear pockets; they are voluminous to fit all the gubbins you would need for a ride. My favourite feature of this gilet is the flap, which can be pulled out of the back of the gilet. This flap can be deployed when it’s wet, perfect for the unseasonal downpours we have been having recently. It covers just enough of your backside to keep it dry. This is good because it means a long back section, which can look out of place when not on the bike, doesn’t define the gilet. It can be safely popped back in its pouch using another magnetic snap system. The Vulpine logo is big and proud on the flap and accompanied by some reflective lining. The flap is a real stand out feature of this gilet, and it has saved my backside many times. If only Vulpine made flaps that would cover my feet too.
A Bum Saver
There are some minor gripes with the jacket, the first is the colour; I wish it was black or even navy. I understand it’s a reinvention of the hi-viz and it’s fantastic for being noticed, but it would be nice to see alternative colours for alternative uses. However when those winter evenings roll in I bet it’s the 'go to' item in my cycling wardrobe. The second problem is the bungee clips that you use to tighten the bottom of the jacket so it sits more snug round your waist, they are a bit awkward and don’t always keep the bungee tight when unmounting a rucksack and the excess bungee material can catch on things. Other than these small gripes it does exactly what you want of it for a fair price point.
Cyclosport.org Rating: 7/10
We Like: Flap, cotton, magnetic snaps, visibility (if that’s your thing)
We Don’t: The colour, the bungee toggles.
Many of you may not have heard of the Vulpine brand, if you like your clothing well made and made to do a job you need it to do then it is worth a try. Nice innovations such as a magnetic snaps and new materials are a breath of fresh air. Vulpine may just keep some other high-end brands on their toes with such features.
Where to buy: www.vulpine.cc
Vulpine Xmas Cycling Fete
- 01/12/2012 - Balham, London
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