Proviz REFLECT360 CRS Plus Women’s Cycling Gilet
One of my biggest gripes as a triathlete, who cycles regularly, is seeing other riders and commuters, and even pedestrians (joggers, people crossing the road between traffic etc.) use the roads with little or no lights, or reflective gear, especially at night or in the darkness of the early morning; and when it’s raining. Just because you’re on the road and you can see an oncoming car doesn’t mean that the driver can necessarily see you!
As a driver who also rides regularly, I’m hyper-vigilant of cyclists and other road users when driving. Even still, there was this one time when I was driving to an early morning training session. It was dark, and I was driving down a minimally-lit street when all of a sudden, out of nowhere a jogger dressed in all-black jumped out at me, trying to run across the street (not at the pedestrian crossing). Thankfully I saw her just in time, and we avoided a potentially serious collision, but this near miss certainly left me shaken.
Safety is paramount on the road – it’s important to be seen. This is what got me especially excited about trying out the Proviz Sports Reflective High-Performance Apparel when it arrived at AT HQ.
Move over Hi-Vis – Proviz is in town!
I know what you might be thinking – pro-what? Yep, I had the same initial reaction. But bear with me. Proviz is essentially an innovative enhanced visibility sports apparel brand, and caters for all sports and activities, including cycling gear, run gear, gear for commuting and more. They produce products that are highly visible yet stylish and comfortable. I was particularly excited about trying the newest addition to the range – the Proviz REFLECT360 CRS Plus Women’s Cycling Gilet.
Proviz REFLECT360 CRS Plus Women’s Cycling Gilet
The Proviz REFLECT360 CRS Plus (Colour Reflective System), Women’s Cycling Gilet, is said to be the first gilet/vest to provide you with all over reflectivity. According to the Proviz website, how this works is through the millions of tiny reflective beads that are embedded in the material that the gilet is made from. When the light from a car’s headlights hits the gilet, the beads reflect the light back meaning that because you appear brighter, the driver should be able to see you from further away than normal, giving them extra time to maneuver around you appropriately.
In addition to the incredible reflectivity, the gilet is also said to have the following standout features:
- Highly breathable
- Waterproof, with taped inner seams to prevent water getting in at the sewing lines
- Tailored fit – the shoulders of the gilet are fitted to avoid extra material flapping around in the wind. This also helps cold air out, helping you to retain body heat.
- Micro-fleece-lined Collar for extra warmth and comfort
- Zipped side pockets and zip pullers
What do I look for in a cycling gilet?
When choosing a cycling gilet, I look for the following features: a gilet that fits well – one that’s not too big or too small. Too big and you have extra material to contend with during your ride. Too small and it might not fit properly over the other layers, especially when layering up in winter. If choosing a winter gilet, I look for one that will be warm and waterproof, but also breathable because I don’t want to have pools of sweat going on during my ride. I want a gilet to have pockets and one that zips and unzips easily ideally.
So, how did the Proviz REFLECT360 CRS Plus Women’s Cycling Gilet stack up?
I’ve tried the Proviz gilet a few times – on dark, cold mornings, during cloudy/overcast rides, and in the rain. And how have I found it? While I can’t comment on the visibility because obviously, I can’t see myself out riding (I’m so curious to know what I look like to drivers when out riding in the gilet) my favourite features of the gilet are its waterproofness, the microfleece-lined collar and the zipped pockets.
During my cold rides and in the rain I found the gilet provided me with extra warmth and it kept me dry. The fleece lined collar provided me with extra comfort (no rubbing or chaffing), and it helped to prevent wind and rain getting in around the neck. The zipped side pockets are a cool feature too. While I didn’t use the pockets as such, during my rides (I have everything stuffed into my jersey pockets normally during training rides) I think the side pockets would be perfect for commuting – to store your phone, or tissues etc.
Unfortunately, the gilet I tried was a little big for me – I probably should have chosen a size smaller, but this wasn’t a huge issue, and it also meant that I was able to wear it over the 101 over layers I normally have on while riding in the cold autumn/winter months.
Also, I’m not 100 per cent sold on the breathability. After each ride, I did find the gilet to be quite moist with sweat. But again, not a huge issue and not a reason to not buy the gilet – I didn’t find this caused any problems during my rides.
Lastly, I did find that just knowing that the gilet is supposed to make me more visible on the road, this gave me an extra sense of confidence out riding knowing that drivers could see me better. While this was a good thing in that it helped to reduce the slight anxiety or fear I have when riding on busy roads, it might also lead to overconfidence in some. So, be mindful that normal caution and road rules apply, even when wearing the gilet.
Overall, I found the Proviz REFLECT360 CRS Plus Women’s Cycling Gilet to be great. Apart from the sizing, I didn’t find any real issues with it. In fact, as mentioned earlier, it kept me dry and warm, and hopefully more visible – exactly what you want when riding during the cold/winter months. Would I buy it? Yes, I would – for the extra protection of increased visibility on the road, I think it’s worth the money spend.
Colours: Blue, purple, red