Gore Helium Gilet

I wasn't actually in the market for a gilet but as I'm heading down the Pyrenees for 3 events in 10 days (this year who knows what the weather will do)  I took a quick look on the rail at Pedal Power.  Before I knew it I had a gilet in my hand with a proposal of, "if you don't like it bring it back".  Once more I was duped in to an offer I couldn't refuse!

First Impressions
As sad as I am, I went home put my race jersey on, then put my gilet on over that.  Just to make sure I had the right size; they let me take two home. 

The very close-toothed zip flew in and rode up the front, all the way to the top of the high collar.  Which had a sexy little piece of material that stops you pinching your neck when you razz the zip up too quick.  If you've never done it you'll never know the pain.  Not as much as a "down-stairs" pinch, but when your your putting on your gilet while descending you don't need extra distractions!

It was a pleasant surprise that I didn't have to wrestle the storm flap out of the way or unjam it half way up like you have to with some clunky, open gapped zips. So far so good.  The arm holes felt a little tight, but that's because they're elasticated.  I then spent the next few minutes checking out the pockets and built in features.

Features & Benefits
The front is made of WindStopper material and has a mesh back which a) lets the heat out and b) means they can read your number when you wear it in an event.  It has two front zipped pockets, which are plenty big enough for a wallet, mobile phone or energy gel. 

Also, inside the jacket are two massive mesh stowage pockets that would easily hold a couple of energy bars each.  And the mesh on the back panel has two access vents cut in to it so you can put your hands in your rear jersey pockets without having to lift the gilet up your back!  It seems this gilet has been designed by a cyclist.

The shoulders are covered in the same material as the front and it looks as though it is at least shower proof.  There is reflective piping across the front, back shoulders and the hem of the elasticated tail.  At best it'll get you noticed in the dark, at worst it'll give them something to aim at.

On the Bike
Next morning was bright and chilly.  Which meant I got to wear my gilet!  Once on the bike the arm hole tightness disappeared and the reason for the elastication became obvious.  The shoulder area of the gilet is now held tight so there isn't any of that annoying flapping of material when riding quick, which I don't, or descending fast, which I do!  So another tick in another box.

Before very long the sun began to warm the morning and I was tugging at the zip, all zips have zip tags so even with gloved hands there isn't a problem getting some ventilation or access to your energy gels.  I was also surprised at how easy it was to reach through the rear access vents and get some food from the rear of my jersey.  No fight, no struggle and no riding up of the tail.

The final test came when I decided to take it off.  It rolls up in to a package the size of your hand and as thick as your wrist.  It easily packed in to my rear jersey pocket.  I was concerned that the zips and inside stowage pockets would bulk it out.  But it actually stows smaller than my previous, no features, no nothing, gilet. 

All in all another top product from Gore Wear and Pedal Power.   They have various sizes and colours in stock and I'm sure they can find one for you.  Of course you can get cheaper gilets but you have to look at the value, not the cost.  If you're going to get one get a goodun, and the Helium is as good as it gets.

A perfect companion for all year round, especially when travelling home from evening events or riding in sportives where the weather can change in an instant.  Never leave home without one.

Specification

WINDSTOPPER Shell laminate material
High neck to keep out drafts
Mesh back to let out the heat
Four pockets, two zipped
Ergonomic cut for on-bike comfort
Rear access vents
Lightweight material
Long tail that doesn't ride up
Reflective piping

Where can I get one?
Pedal Power for 43.50  Support your local bike shop and if you're not local, call the number in their logo at the top of this page or click their ebay shop logo in the right panel to get one on line.