If you are looking for pieces that work equally as well on your bike as they do wherever your ride takes you, it can be hard to find pieces that straddle bike-capable and not-embarrassing-to-be-seen-in, without absolutely botching at least one of them. The Velocio Recon Vest is the rare piece that spans the gap, giving you on-bike performance and off-bike appearances that make it as comfortable darting through traffic as it is in a brewery or grocery store.
As a vest, it is easy to layer with cycling clothing, your normal commuting clothes or a flannel. Aesthetically, it is a sharp, clean and athletic-fitting piece. The Charcoal color is a pleasant greyish/greenish/blueish shade with a reflective grey bar across the chest to help you stay seen. These reflective elements can also be found on the back. The shoulder cuffs have a light elastic in the hem that don’t look like they are squeezing your arms out, but keep the vest in place while you ride without limiting your range of motion.
Two pockets in the front are at the perfect height for slipping your hands in, but high enough to be accessible even while wearing a backpack with a hip belt. Reach your right hand back just past your hip and you’ll find another, vertical, zippered pocket, perfect for an ID, credit cards, keys or a bit of cash—all things as necessary on your bike as they are off.
The front of the vest is made of Pertex Quantum Air mini-rip stop fabric. It’s a lot of words to say that the front will stop the wind from cutting into you as you pedal, while also being durable enough to deal with the scrapes and bumps of everyday life.
Unlike hiking clothes, cycling pieces don’t really need wind protection all the way around, since most of the wind is going to hit your chest as you pedal, so Velocio uses the rear of the jacket for heat management with a lightweight microfleece-lined panel spanning your back. It’s not only breathable, it’s also extremely flexible, and, perhaps most importantly, comfortable.
Velocio also distributes the vest’s insulation specifically for the position your body will be in and where the cold and wind will come from. The insulation, Polartec Alpha Direct, is really the best part of the vest. It’s obscenely soft, almost like puppy goldendoodle fur. It’s designed to be comfortable even if it sits directly on your skin, and it doesn’t have that gross slippery insulation feeling. It’s focused mostly where you need the insulation, your chest, and then wrapped up on top of your shoulders to keep you warm, without sweating, thanks to Polartec’s moisture and heat management. And it does this all while staying incredibly light.
All in all, the vest is a winner. Many will balk at the price, and to do so is not unreasonable at all. For $250 you’d think they’d throw in some sleeves! But what you are getting is a piece of top of the line cycling apparel, that also just so happens to be a great daily wear piece. It might cost twice as much as a cycling specific piece, but it will perform twice as well, and give you twice as many opportunities to wear it.
$250; 2 colors; velocio.cc