CRAFT FEATHERLIGHT JACKET
The Craft Featherlight Jacket offers good upper body protection from cool air and it lives up to its name by being ultra-lightweight.
The polyester fabric used for the front panels isn't quite windproof but it is highly wind-resistant, and it does a very good job of keeping cool air off your chest at the start of a morning ride, the end of an evening ride, or at any other time when the temperature drops a few degrees. It's also good for quickly slinging on at the start of a long descent. The same fabric is used across the yoke so the cold doesn't get in even when you're down on the drops and giving it the beans.
The fabric has a durable water repellent (DWR) finish that comes in handy when there's a bit of damp in the air, moisture just beading up rather than soaking through. Of course, by its very nature, a gilet is never going to keep you particularly dry if rain starts hosing down.
A flap behind the YKK front zip stops the wind slinking in there and a zip garage at the top avoids any scratching under your chin. The zip puller is a decent size so it's easy enough to adjust while you're on the go.
The bottom hem and the arm holes are elasticated so they all fit closely and I found the collar to sit close too, stopping unwanted air wafting in but not so tight as to be uncomfortable. The brushed inner face of the collar is comfortable next to your skin if you're wearing a low-necked jersey. It doesn't feel cold like polyester often can.
The back is made from a very lightweight mesh that allows moist air to escape and fresh air to blow in virtually unimpeded. The fact that it's also very stretchy means that this vest will fit a range of different sized riders, and I've found it to work equally well over a thin summer jersey and a thicker winter one. I've experienced very little flapping even when going fast downhill – that can annoy the hell out of me when riding in loose fitting clothing – and the elasticated bottom hem I mentioned keeps the back from gradually riding up as you ride.
Down the bottom you get a small pocket that's designed as a stuff sack for the rest of the vest, although you can also use it for storing a phone or a couple of energy bars. When packed down the vest is about the size of a tennis ball so will fit into the rear pocket of a jersey with plenty of room to spare.
Reflective print and piping add extra visibility both front and rear.
* Ultra-lightweight Wind-protective and water-repellent vest
* Wind-protective and water-repellent fabric at front
* Elastic mesh at back for enhanced ventilation and an optimal fit
* 360 degrees reflective details for optimal visibility
* Durable water repellent (DWR) finish
* The jacket can be packed into its own back pocket and easily be stowable in jersey pocket