This gilet does exactly what it says on the tin - it’s a windproof and lightweight option that knocks the edge off the windchill when descending. It has a small pack size which makes it easy to stash in a jersey pocket and the two-way zipper is useful for regulating your temperature. It doesn’t have a pouch to pack away into, though, so you just have to scrunch it up.
Easy temperature regulation with two-way zipper
Lightweight - only 74 g
No integrated packable pouch
No rear pockets
You can trust Cycling Weekly.
Gilets, or vests, are one of the most useful pieces of cycling kit, in my opinion. They provide an outsized level of warmth for their compact pack-size - which is super useful for cold starts, long descents or time-consuming mechanicals. They’re a core part of my layering system and I rarely leave for a bike ride without one. But how does this option stack up against the best cycling vests?
GripGrab Windbuster Vest: construction
GripGrab’s Women’s Windbuster Windproof Lightweight Vest is a minimalist gilet. On the front you have a windproof panel, using a premium ‘Japanese windproof fabric’ to be precise. The idea here is that this panel shields your torso from windchill on descents. It has a high collar, which helps ward off the chilling effect of the wind on your neck.
GripGrab has also applied a PFC-free Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment to the front, providing some additional light protection against road spray.
Round the back, an open mesh panel is used, allowing moisture to escape. This means that when you’re cycling uphill or putting in an effort you’ll be able to cool down, and won’t suffer from chill-inducing sweats.
The two-way zipper at the front is also designed to help with temperature regulation. If you need to cool down you can open up the bottom zipper which won’t flap as much in the wind.
Length wise, the gilet sits slightly shorter than GripGrab's Women’s Gravelin MerinoTech Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey which I’ve been testing it with. An elasticated lower band has been covered with silicone gripper dots to help keep the gilet in place.
Now for what’s missing. You won’t find any pockets or a pouch to pack it into. This is worth being aware of, but it’s not necessarily a negative - it depends what you’re looking for. By keeping this gilet design simple and minimalist, GripGrab has managed to keep the weight down to just 74g. Whether that works for you depends on your outlook.
As well as the Black I have on test, the vest is also available in Mustard Yellow, Olive Green and Navy Blue.
GripGrab Windbuster Vest: the ride
Those are all the features (and lack of pockets/pouches) covered, but how does this gilet perform in action? To cut to the chase, very well! How so? Well, let me elaborate…
The windproof fabric which is used doesn’t have much stretch to it, but this is balanced by the open mesh of the rear of the gilet, which is really quite springy and elastic. This combination is excellent for a number of reasons.
First, it means that GripGrab has been able to make this gilet fairly figure-fitting - the stretchy mesh makes up for the rigidity of the front. The shield at the front also protects against the chilling wind at the front for descents, while the open-structured rear panel lets you breathe up the climbs. The best of both worlds.
Where I live in South Wales there are sizeable climbs in all directions, and so I’m constantly either climbing or descending for significant periods of time. As such, I need to be able to dump heat effectively on the way up, as well as trapping in all that I can so I don’t freeze on the descents.
I found that GripGrab’s vest really helped in both situations. I’m a big fan of two-way zippers and was very pleased with the YKK one on GripGrab’s vest. Easy to use and with tags which are chunky enough to grab while wearing gloves, I was able to adjust my temperature ‘just-so’ on the way up, and when coming back down the windproof fabric did an effective job.
Overall, very happy with the on-bike performance. When it came to taking the gilet off and packing it away. I found that it scrunches up into a small pack size easily enough to be squeezed into an empty jersey pocket while riding.
GripGrab Windbuster Vest: value and conclusion
Priced at $99.95 / £74.95, the GripGrab Women’s Windbuster Windproof Lightweight Vest is in line with similar offerings from good value and highly rated brands. For example, Giro’s Chrono Expert Wind Vest is another lightweight and minimalist option and it costs $95 / £79.99.
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1