I've never got on with jackets whilst riding off road, the whole body effort of moving me and the bike around has always kept me warm in all but the coldest of weather. Even during the very cold snap I found that anything long sleeved left me overheating within a short time.
Thing is, sometimes a base layer and riding top just isn't enough, so I started looking into the various gilets that were on the market. A dizzying number of manufacturers offer a dizzying number of designs and many of them carry a very dizzying price tag.
I eventually settled on the Laser Gilet from Endura
I like Endura stuff, it's well priced and designed to just get on and do the job without fuss. I've got their gloves, shorts, bibs and a few tops too, so I felt happy in handing over cash for another of their products.
Cost wise it's just shy of £30.00 and for that you get a well specced gilet. It's made from a windstop material that claims to be shower proof. The back has a large mesh panel, intended to reduce that horrible sweaty feeling you get whilst riding and wearing a hydration pack, below this is the windstop material, designed to be wipe clean (a UK designed feature for all that mud we seem destined to endure.. or maybe endura.. ahem). It has reflective piping around the shoulders and sports a rear light hanger.. I get the feeling that's a roadie feature, but is a useful commuter addition for when a higher rear may be required.
Colour wise you've got the three options, black, blue (my choice) or hi-vis yellow. Sizing goes from Small to XXL, I went with Medium and the fit is spot on for me.
When It arrived I was immediately taken with how light it seemed, Endura states it's designed to be light enough to pack away in a cycling jersey pocket and a quick test of this proves them correct.
I've used it during my last few rides and I love it, throwing it on over the top of my usual base layer/riding top combo I get that extra layer to fight off the cold during descents and the lack of material to prevent roasting myself during climbs. The back mesh panel works well to manage body heat and the cut is just right to ensure it's a fit and forget item
My only real grumble is that it's pocket less, which I do find slightly frustrating on those odd occasions when I need to store something in a pocket but can't be arsed to stop and get my pack off.
Overall though, it's a real 9/10 bit of kit for me, it's packable nature and 'does what it says on the tinness' means I won't be heading out without it again.
Highly Recommended :)