Rating: Ridgecrest waterproof cycling vest

The Ridgecrest Waterproof Cycling Gilet is a handy layer that keeps cold air out and protects your upper body from light rain and road spray, and takes up very little space when stowed in a back pocket. Some roadies offer a slimmer cut to avoid flapping, but the price is reasonable and cheap.

We got to know Ridgecrest in a roundabout way. The head of Cotic Bikes is a guy named Cy – Cy Cotic, geddit? – and Ridgecrest is a brand founded by Cy’s father, Mr. Cotic Snr.

> Buy now: Ridgecrest Waterproof Cycling Gilet for £44.95 on ebay

Mr. Cotic Snr, also known as David Turner, used to run a clothing manufacturer making waterproof motorcycle clothing and started manufacturing about three years ago Frame bags from Cotic. He just started making vests. He does everything himself – designs, fabricates, cuts and sews – so it’s a small operation.

Some people struggle with the concept of a waterproof vest – when you need to keep water out, putting on a jacket is more effective. That’s a fair point, but sometimes you just want to keep out drizzle or road spray, and putting on a jacket might be overkill. You can also pair a waterproof vest with water-repellent arm warmers like Castelli’s Nano Flex 3Gs if you want to shed light rain without the added warmth of a jacket. In addition, a jacket in your bag will become more voluminous.

But I’m not here to convince you of the merits or cons of the genre. There are many other waterproof vests such as Rapha, ass and dhband you can decide for yourself if you like the idea.

The Ridgecrest waterproof cycling gilet is made from polyurethane coated polyester that is really good at keeping water out. The seams aren’t sealed so water could get in there, but a waterproof vest isn’t designed to keep you dry in sustained heavy rain if that would be an issue. If the back of the vest gets wet from road spray, even on a long ride, it won’t penetrate.


The fabric feels quite soft and the outside doesn’t feel cold and plastic while the inside of the collar is lined with cotton to make it feel nice on the neck.


2022 Ridgecrest Waterproof Cycling Vest - Collar Lining.jpg

The material is also highly breathable, so you won’t break a sweat on tough climbs. If you find yourself getting damp you can easily adjust the YKK zip or simply remove the vest and slip it into a jersey pocket. Rolled up, it takes up about half a pocket.

The collar sits high – I like that – and I found it snug enough to keep cold air from getting in without discomfort. The elasticated armholes and hem do a similar job, and there’s the most generous flap behind the zip I’ve seen.


2022 Ridgecrest Waterproof Cycling Vest - collar.jpg

The cut is generous too, but don’t pay too much attention to our images – the mannequin we’ve been using in the studio since social distancing is a thing is a medium, while the product sample we have is large.


2022 Ridgecrest Waterproof Cycling Vest - hem.jpg

The fabric doesn’t stretch so a manufacturer would need to size up to accommodate larger riders, but I would have preferred a slimmer cut to avoid flapping on windier days or at higher speeds. This isn’t an aero roadie cut, it has a more relaxed mountain bike or gravel bike vibe.

The same applies to the length. When you’re in a low and stretched-out road position, the faceplates tend to billow, but when you’re in a more upright riding position, you’ll want this coverage. The fact that the rear is cut significantly longer than the front is to be welcomed, however, so that no spray water gets onto the lower back and – what is the physiological term for this? – ass.


2022 Ridgecrest Waterproof Cycling Vest - tail.jpg

value

You can’t go wrong at the price of £44.95 (including postage). This applies to sizes small (36 inches, measured over your other clothing) to extra large (45 inches). XXL and XXXL can be produced as single pieces for £55.95.

> Buying Guide: 10 Best Cycling Vests

Check out reviews of road.cc vests and you’ll see we haven’t looked at too many at this price point. Most usually cost at least £20 more, some even more.

For example, the dhb Aeron Lab Superlight Waterproof Gilet we tested costs £100 with a race fit. Admittedly the dhb vest is a more technical garment, it’s lighter and packs smaller so they’re not particularly comparable, but it still suggests that the Ridgecrest is very well priced.

The Lusso Hex Packable Gilet that we recently tested was also much slimmer. This one costs £55 – closer to the price of the Ridgecrest but still £10 more.

Conclusion

Overall, the Ridgecrest Waterproof Vest is a well-made garment that will keep you comfortable in changeable conditions. The generous cut won’t be to everyone’s taste, but there’s no arguing about the price.

Verdict

Good for keeping cold air and light rain out, with a cut that’s more suited to mountain biking and gravel than sporty road riding

If you are thinking of buying this product with a cashback offer, why not use road.cc Top cashback site and get top cashback while helping support your favorite independent cycling website

Make and model: Ridgecrest waterproof cycling vest

Tell us what the product is for

It is a vest made from a waterproof and breathable polyurethane fabric.

Tell us more about the technical aspects of the product?

Ridgecrest calls it a “cycling vest – waterproof, breathable, made by us in England”.

It says this:

Material – PU coated polyester to EN343 grade 3, the highest breathability for a waterproof material.

Maroon YKK nylon zipper with inner flap.

All seams sewn with maroon thread.

20cm x 50mm reflective strip on the back.

Back cut lower than hips, bottom zip higher than hips to avoid puckering.

Stand-up collar lined with two layers of 100% cotton for maximum comfort and absorption.

Elasticated waist and shoulders.

Chest measurement measured over clothing – Small 36 inches – Medium 39 inches – Large 42 inches – XL 45 inches. We can make XXL (48″) and XXXL (51″) for an additional £10

Rate the product by build quality:

7/10

It is well made from very good materials.

Rate the product by performance:

7/10

It doesn’t break technical barriers, but it does help keep the wind and rain out (although a vest will never compete with a jacket when it comes to weather protection).

Rate the product for durability:

8/10

Actually, you can’t go wrong. I’ve been using this vest on and off for about three months and everything looks like it’s going to last.

Rate the product for fit:

6/10

If you’re looking for a slim roadie fit and a high hem at the front to prevent wrinkles, this isn’t it. This cut suits more relaxed, upright riding and/or those who simply prefer a roomier fit.

Rate the product by size:

7/10

It is as described on the chest. The cut doesn’t taper to the waist like you often see in more performance-oriented roadie clothing.

Rate the product by weight:

5/10

We’ve tested vests from 90g and under, but does weight really matter here? You can still roll it up and stow it in a back pocket and have plenty of room for a mini pump and an emergency snickers.

Rate the product for comfort:

8/10

Rate the product by value:

8/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it react to washing?

It washes well. There are no taped seams that could lift over time.

Let us know how the product performed overall when used for its intended purpose

It’s a fairly simple piece of clothing that does a very good job.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The level of protection offered and the price.

Let us know what you particularly disliked about the product

I would prefer a slimmer cut.

How does the price compare to similar products on the market including those recently tested on road.cc?

Check out reviews of road.cc vests and you’ll see we haven’t looked at too many at this price point. Most usually cost at least £20 more, some even more.

For example, the dhb Aeron Lab Superlight Waterproof Gilet we tested costs £100 with a race cut. Admittedly the dhb gilet is a more technical garment, it’s lighter and packs smaller so they’re not particularly comparable, but it still suggests that the Ridgecrest is very well priced.

The Lusso Hex Packable Gilet that we recently tested was a much slimmer fit and costs £55 – closer to the Ridgecrest’s price but still £10 more.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you buy the product? Would consider – for gravel and mountain biking rather than road.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? As above.

Use this field to explain your overall score

It’s not the most technical vest, but it does a good job and the price is really attractive.

Age: 48 Height: 190cm Weight: 80kg

I mostly drive: My best bike is:

I ride since: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would classify myself as: expert

I do the following types of riding regularly: commuting, club rides, competitive riding, general fitness riding,

Comments are closed.