G.S. Panache Wind Vest, $175 Panachecyclewear.com
Best for: a functional outer layer to protect against the wind
Key feature: elastic fit keeps the vest close to the body while still easily fitting over other layers
At first glance, this vest appears relatively straightforward, similar to many others on the market. Many unique features, however, make it useful in a wide variety of conditions in which other vests fall short. The vest is easily packable. It compresses down to easily fit inside a jersey pocket. The front of the vest is a wind-proof material that, when combined with a long sleeve thermal jersey, protects against even the most biting wind. The mesh back allowed for excellent temperature regulation when temperatures rose. Three rear pockets prevent the annoyance of having to partly remove clothing to reach nutrition, as would be the case with many other wind vests that lack storage. Stretch side-panels and arm cutouts improve the fit, even when worn over layers of other clothing. The robust zipper provides reliability in an area often overlooked in cycling clothing, preventing the insanely annoying zipper jam.