Le Col's gilet is a good option for those wanting a smart gilet for those chilly spring rides or early-morning summer spins. The small amount of reflectivity is welcome but it's a pity there are no pockets. The wind and waterproofing works very well as does the fit – if only Le Col did an extra-small size.
Decent wind and waterproofing
Only available in one colour
Small amount of reflectives
Extra-small size needed in the range
Le Col is a premium cycle clothing brand founded by British ex-pro Yanto Barker. Its new gilet is a good spring and early-summer-morning layer that’ll go with any kit, being all black.
Video: buyer's guide to spring clothing
If you're safety conscious but like the plain black of the Le Col gilet, you’ll be glad to know there are strategically placed reflective tabs at the back, though none at the front.
You don’t get any pockets, which is a down side for us as we find pockets on gilets are always useful. However, this does mean you can pack it down nicely to fit into your jersey or jacket pocket.
Fit is good: with no restriction around the shoulders or arm holes I didn't get much wind buffeting either. The top half fits well in the cycling position.
Although 'small' is the smallest size Le Col produces, at 5ft 9in and 70kg I wouldn’t have minded an extra-small to feel a little racier in terms of cut around the stomach and waist. This isn't a total criticism of the fit of the Le Col, just a call for a smaller size option that is slightly smaller round the waist with a bit of length taken out. You'll likely want to wear this over a jacket during the winter, so it'll work well for that.
The upside to this gilet is that the wind and shower proofing of the Le Col gilet performs well and as a packable extra layer it works all year round. Light rain is shrugged off and it does keep the chill off your chest. This covers the entirety of the torso and extends around the ribs, shoulders and upper back.
You won't be working up a sweat too quickly, mind, as the mesh rear panel works well to help keep temperature constant and stops you from overheating.
Although it is only available in one colour and ideally would offer an extra-small option, at £80 Le Col's gilet represents pretty good value.
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Symon Lewis joined Cycling Weekly as an Editorial Assistant in 2010, he went on to become a Tech Writer in 2014 before being promoted to Tech Editor in 2015 before taking on a role managing Video and Tech in 2019. Lewis discovered cycling via Herne Hill Velodrome, where he was renowned for his prolific performances, and spent two years as a coach at the South London velodrome.
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