Parrot is known for unpretentious, straightforward and reasonably-priced garb, and the Zati-Lite is no exception. So unpretentious and straightforward is Parrot that it used to describe this garment as a vest. But it's come into line with the rest of the world now, so gilet it is.

They're damn handy things when the weather's unpredictable (read: always), and the thin ripstop Tactel of which the Zati-Lite is made lets it scrunch up to easy jersey-pocket size so there's little reason not to just carry it all the time. The fabric is windproof and sort of a little bit showerproof, but it's not going to keep rain off for long. It's not meant to, really, so we're not going to hold that against it.

It's a deeply simple garment, with a full-length zip up the front, an elasticated hem, Lycra-edged arm holes, mesh vented side panels and a single pocket and bit of reflective stuff round the back. Everything else has been sacrificed on the altar of light weight and low cost. No drawstring waist, no fleecy collar, no funky zip pull, no little anti-chafe pocket at the top of the zipper, no zipped pocket... We didn't really miss any of that stuff but then we've been using this in the spirit that we think it was intended - stuff it in a pocket, hoik it out if it gets a bit nippy in the wind.

Positives: Simple, lightweight, useful extra layer

Negatives: Not exactly feature-laden


The Zati-Lite works just fine for what it is. If you're a confirmed gilet fan you'll probably want something a little more feature-rich, but for frequent carrying and occasional use this is entirely suitable.

Performance: 4/5

Value: 3/5

Overall: 4/5