Ale PRR 2.0 Strada gilet review

The Ale PRR 2.0 Strada gilet is a thermal extra layer for when it's not quite cold enough for a full winter jacket but you still want some extra wind protection

Ale PRR 2.0 Strada gilet
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Ale PRR 2.0 Strada is a very useful piece of kit that will get a lot of wear. Rear pockets would be nice – though to be fair to Ale there are two gilets with pockets in its range but neither are the thermal type – and if we were being really picky we might ask for a higher collar.

For
  • +

    Warm

  • +

    Close fitting

  • +

    Plenty of reflectives

  • +

    Good looking

Against
  • -

    No pockets

  • -

    Lowish collar

Ale has no less than eight gilets in its range, all serving a slightly different purpose: with the Ale PRR 2.0 Strada gilet the Italian brand has gone down the pocketless, close-fitting thermal, non-packable route.

Construction

Ale says the temperature range in which the Strada is designed to operate is 4°C-10°C. It has a single windproof panel at the front from shoulder to waist that has a shiny outer texture and soft, brushed inside. The collar, side panels and shoulder panels are also made from this fabric while the back is made from a much stretchier, lighter weight, breathable material with a large, reflective 'A' transfer at bottom centre.

The zip has a protective flap behind it plus a 'garage' at the top to keep it away from skin.

>> Nine best cycling gilets 2017: a buyer's guide

The waist features what Ale calls a J-Stability System hem. It has a silicone gripper at the back to stop it from riding up while at the front it's cut higher to avoid bunching when bent over in the riding position.

Reflectives are well planned and executed: dotted lines either side of the zip and two label-type strips sewn in to the rear of the side panels plus the big 'A' already mentioned for 360° visibility.

Ale PRR 2.0 Strada gilet: ride

The Ale PRR 2.0 Strada gilet fits very well thanks to the very stretchy back pulling the less stretchy front close to the body. It's what you might call a zero-flap fit, but since it's so snug it could do with broader elastic at the arm holes to possibly avoid some wrinkling where the shoulder panels are cinched in. However, there's no feeling of tightness from the thin arm elastic when the gilet is zipped up and you're on the bike.

Compared with the collars of other gilets such as the Assos TiburuGiletEquipe and the Lusso Stripes, the Ale PRR 2.0 Strada's collar is on the low side, only as high as a standard jersey collar.

Although the lower end of the temperature range that Ale designates for the PRR Strada is 4°C, we found that as long as you're not hanging about it is effective over a long-sleeve jersey with base layer underneath when it's even colder than that. Windproofing really is excellent at the front.

We didn't test it in rain, but Ale says it's not waterproof: it's definitely a thermal gilet intended as an extra layer when it's not cold enough for a winter jacket.

It's a pity the Ale PRR 2.0 Strada doesn't have pockets: the close fit and lack of rear zip or opening means you can't access your jersey pockets easily on the fly. No pockets also means you can't take a rain shell with you on a long ride if your jersey pockets are already full.

As for stashing the Strada gilet itself, this is possible but since it's made from thermal rather than shell material you're going to need an entire empty pocket for it.

Value

The Ale PRR Strada 2.0 gilet offers reasonable value for money. The fit is good, the fabrics do a great job of keeping out the chill while remaining breathable, it looks stylish and it's well made.

Simon Smythe
Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).


In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.


What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.


And the vital statistics:


Age: 52
Height: 178cm

Weight: 69kg