The Shield from Haglöfs is a technical and lightweight gilet, perfect to stash at the bottom of your year-round riding pack or to wear during autumn.
Words: Paul Trimble
I am a big fan of gilets; they keep your core warm and dry, away from the chilling influence of cold winds/ rain and drizzle, while giving enough ventilation and movement. Yes your arms will get wet, but they’re arms, who cares..?
Haglöfs’ offering in the world of gilets is the Shield. This is actually a range of clothing constructed of a wind and water resistant front and lower back and a slightly flexible, highly breathable material for top and centre back and under arms. Basically giving huge amounts of breathability. Elastic armholes and draw waist help to keep it all tight and create a nice warm core. Other options include a jacket and a hooded jacket, all with the same Shield trunk.
In use it was great, keeping cold wind and the occasional shower off me. I found paired with a merino wool long sleeve base layer to be perfect, and on night rides zipping it up to enjoy the padded collar as I rode through mist-filled valleys or back from the pub it defiantly kept out the chill. The fit is cut for the more athletic build; the large was fine on me, but I am normally more a medium. I guess it depends how tight you want it, and being of the slimmer cut there was no issue with any bagginess. I also found the cut to be just right on length, and with the elasticated drawstring waste keeping the back in place and not riding up.
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The material used has a good feel to it, supposedly rip stop and very light weight, this is the kind of garment that can easily sit at the bottom of a pack, folded and zipped into its own chest pocket all summer for those just in case moments, or be in constant use through autumn and into winter. It’s coated with a DWR water proofing treatment, but while it may keep your chest dry all that membrane will not keep it out for long.
This is the first piece of kit I have had from Haglöfs, and I am impressed. The attention to detail is good and the quality high, with good zips and stitching throughout. I love the blue colour, it’s a nice change from my normal black (which this is also available in incidentally) and a quick search shows this top to be available in some sales at the moment.