In my quest for a suitable reflective vest that meets the PBP regulations, that is comfortable to wear, and that doesn’t take much space in my handlebar bag, I now have bought a Mavic reflective vest. How does it compare to the “official” PBP and the Rapha vests, which I tested earlier?
Mavic Vision Vest
Cost: $ 110
Size tested: Medium
Weight: 153 g
Country of manufacture: Indonesia
Availability: various sources, I bought mine from http://www.expeditionco.com
The Mavic vest is a “wind breaker” vest that doubles as a reflective vest. The front uses a nylon shell material, while the upper back panel is a breathable, closely-woven mesh. A large zippered pocket on the lower back could be left open to increase ventilation. (Otherwise, you’ll have two layers of nylon shell material on your lower back.) The vest is heavier and bulkier than the Rapha vest, but lighter and smaller than the “official” vest.
Mavic’s vest has ample amounts of reflective material on the back, some of it placed low enough to be visible when the rider is in the drops. It reflects well (below), and it meets the EN 1150 standard that now is required in PBP.
I usually wear medium-sized cycling jerseys, and Mavic’s size Medium vest fit snugly over two wool jerseys. When in doubt about sizing, I recommend ordering the next size up.
The vest does not have mesh panels at the front or on the sides, so it will keep you warm. This can be good on cold nights during PBP, but may cause you to overheat during hot nights.
Of the vests reviewed so far, this one is my favorite. It isn’t perfect: I usually do not wear wind breakers, so I would prefer a vest that is more ventilated. At least the Mavic vest fits snugly. It does not absorb much moisture. Most importantly, it reflects well and meets the EN 1150 guidelines. I probably will wear this one at PBP.