Gill Dual Gillet
Features: Windproof, showerproof fabric, fleece mesh lining, vented cargo pockets, twin elasticated hem drawcords, 1 rear zipped pocket.
Whether you're riding in a full fleece, lightweight thermal, or cycling shirt, there'll be mostly dry but windy days where you want to keep your body core protected but don't want all the sweat and heat of a full jacket.
That's exactly where the Dual Gillet and the other perfectly armless garments we've been testing this week come in. It's ideal for cutting the breeze from winter insulation without immobilising or incinerating you, creating a really versatile piece of clobber you'll wear far more than you thought.
Douglas Gill started off as a maker of sailing clothing, so they know a thing or two about stormproof garments. They've been making clobber for cycling for several years now building a healthy reputation for no nonsense designs at a good price.
The shell of this vest is made from a Teflon coated fabric so showers and mud splash just roll straight off. Make sure you don't throw it in the washer with normal washing powder though as it'll penetrate and strip the coating off double quick. (If it does start to get soggy a warm iron or tumble dry will revive it). The fabric uses a long multi panel cut for an unrestricitve but not too baggy fit that stretches low enough for maximum protection without hooking on the saddle. High fleece backed collar and one hand drawcord hem seal the ends and they've been smart enough to tape off a border around the armholes so the wicking mesh lining doesnt suck water in from around the edge. Two way zip and broad stormflap complete the weatherproofing but despite the fleece mesh lining the Gillet works up a sweat faster than the other vests on test even on cold days.
Two hand pockets at the front are OK for keys and light stuff but they hang and bang on legs if loaded too heavily, and there's no pocket round the back for carrying stuff out of the way. We're also slightly dissapointed that there's nothing more reflective on the back than a tiny Gill logo.
Like the Gore vest, the use of a full shell fabric with minimal insulation relegates this to outside only duties. As such it works well as a weather beater over anything from a cycling shirt to a full fleece, but as we said you'll come back clammier than others.
Gill make a full range of gear for dirty or dry days, so if you're feeling damp and dismal get your browser over to their website and invest in your comfort.
Verdict: Though it's a good shelter from icy wind and a fair degree of wet the Dual loses a few points through it's lack of reflective touches, no rear pocket and it's sweatiness. It hasn't got the inside or outside versatility of the Ground Effect either, but it's definitely the most weather sealed of the quartet in a good long snug cut.