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Verdict: 
Smart looking, well fitting and performing ultra-lightweight windproof gilet at a knockdown price
Weight: 
66g

The Van Rysel RC 500 Women's Windproof Cycling Gilet weighs next to nothing, scrunches down to the size of an orange, and does a great job of keeping the chill off your chest – all while looking good and costing next to nothing.

  • Pros: Incredible price, tiny and superlight, great design and performance
  • Cons: Nothing – if I were to be very niggly maybe the armholes could be a little bigger

This Van Rysel (Decathlon's new in-house performance brand) is a superb piece of kit, and will stand you in good stead from spring through to autumn – plus its miniscule size and weight mean you can stuff it in a jersey pocket and barely know it's there.

> Find your nearest Decathlon store here

Construction is very good indeed – the windproof front panels are made of a ripstop-style fabric, while the back panel is very fine mesh with additional perforations for excellent breathability.

Van Rysel RC 500 Women's Windproof Cycling Gilet - shoulders.jpg

The side panels are super-stretchy to give a close yet comfortable fit, with elasticated armholes underneath, and the body is a decent length with an elasticated drop hem lined with silicone gripper to keep it firmly in place. This all combines to give a flattering yet functional fit that keeps the wind out well.

Van Rysel RC 500 Women's Windproof Cycling Gilet - riding.jpg

I especially like the tall, snug collar, lined with a super-soft contrasting fabric, and the zip garage means there's no chance of snagging your neck when zipping up.

Van Rysel RC 500 Women's Windproof Cycling Gilet - collar.jpg

A very handy feature is the 7in-wide slot across the rear, just below the mesh back, which lets you reach through to access your jersey pockets. It's designed so as to be invisible and doesn't gape at all.

Van Rysel RC 500 Women's Windproof Cycling Gilet - pocket vent.jpg

Reflective logos and strips beside the zip, plus a thick stripe at the rear, add welcome visibility.

This gilet looks and feels like it should cost far more than a paltry £20, especially considering most cycling gilets are far more than this. It's quite similar to the Endura Pakagilet II (reviewed here) but the Endura is £36 RRP, almost double. The bargain price combined with its features and fit make the Van Rysel outstanding value for money.

> Buyer's Guide: 8 of the best cycling gilets

The Van Rysel RC 500 is only available in black but comes in six sizes from XXS to XL, plus it has a two-year warranty, which indicates that Decathlon has faith in the construction quality. I highly recommend it.

Verdict

Smart looking, well fitting and performing ultra-lightweight windproof gilet at a knockdown price

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Van Rysel RC 500 Women's Windproof Cycling Gilet

Size tested: Small

Tell us what the product is for

Decathlon says: "Cycling in windy weather will be a breeze in this lightweight, windproof Van Rysel cycling gilet. Specially designed for chilly morning rides and hill descents, this ultra-light gilet offers superb protection from the wind as it's made from a windproof fabric that has exceptional thermal qualities."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Decathlon lists:

Ultra lightweight and windproof fabric

Back mesh panel

Elasticated armholes and hem

Jersey pocket access flap

Main fabric: 100% Polyamide

Underarm fabric: 84% Polyester (PES), 16% Elasthane

Back fabric: 100% Polyamide

2XS - XL sizes

Two year warranty

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

Armholes feel slightly tight on me.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
10/10
Rate the product for weight:
 
10/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

Fantastic except being aware of lower armholes.

Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

It is very similar to the Endura Pakagilet II, but the Endura is £36 RRP, almost double, making this one even better value.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Machine wash at 30°C. Synthetic programme. It washed well and dries super-fast.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well indeed – great close fit keeps wind off your front without making your back sweaty.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Fit, light weight and price.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Very well – there aren't many other gilets below £30 – and one of those is Decathlon's B'Twin brand gilet, also £19.99.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

There's barely anything to fault this gilet, especially at the bargain price.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 45  Height: 170cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Marin Point Reyes 29er  My best bike is: Whyte T-130 RS

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, mountain biking, audax

4 comments

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Freddy56 [428 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

How great is this- just bought it, thanks for the heads up.

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MartinKiely [8 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Good luck finding a store with any in...

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kil0ran [1691 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Wish they made this in something well, less black...

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gonedownhill [220 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I have the Van Rysel packable rain jacket and it's very good and an excellent price.