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The Santini Nebula Puro Packable Wind Gilet provides good protection against wind and light rain. It is very light, which makes it easy to fit in a pocket, and versatile enough for riding from spring through to autumn.
The front of the gilet is thin but windproof, and does a good job at protecting against chills in most circumstances. However, on some long alpine descents I still felt the wind and a bit col – and I am no great descender pushing the pace.
The rear is made of a mesh fabric, with an element of stretch to ensure a comfortable fit, and is good at preventing overheating. I didn't find myself getting too sweaty while climbing, which is a problem I have had with my heavier gilet.
Given the recent warm weather, I haven't had the opportunity to test this much below 10°C. However, given the lightweight material I think much lower temperatures and I'd be looking for something a little warmer.
It only weighs 98g and packs up very small, making it very easy to stick in a jersey pocket without feeling bulky. It is also light enough that you can forget you are wearing it on mild days.
It isn't waterproof but does provide some resistance against the rain. I was out in a few 15-minute showers and it coped well; much longer or heavier and it would have started to struggle.
The quality of the gilet is great – the stitching is all neat and it looks as good as new after frequent washing. I have also worn it with a backpack while commuting and there are no signs of wear.
The zip is also a good size and it runs smoothly and easily, which makes it easy to take on and off even while riding.
At the back there are three pockets, two smaller ones and a larger middle pocket. Lighter gilets don't always have pockets, but this made it easier to grab nutrition on the go when I had it on for a while.
The hem is elasticated but doesn't have any gripper, which I think it would benefit from – not that it rode up much.
The fit is a good balance of being relaxed but not having any flappy bits of fabric in the wind. It's a close fit across the chest, while the rear has enough stretch to get over a jersey with stuffed pockets, and has a longer tail for when you are in the drops.
It's available in seven sizes from XS to 3XL. I tested the medium and it was in line with the size guide. Despite Santini being an Italian brand – which sometimes means garments come up quite small – I would recommend your normal size.
I tested the black, but it is available in three other colours, with the 'flashy orange' colour looking good for visibility, though there are a few areas of reflective detailing at the rear anyway.
The Nebula Pro's rrp of £80 is in line with other gilets we've tested here at road.cc, such as the Nopinz Souplesse, which scored well and now costs £79.99.
Nick liked the Rapha Men's Pro Team gilet (read his review here), which is a little more expensive at £95, but you can get a great gilet for less, such as the Lusso Hex at £55 and Galibier Vent Air at £46.30.
At the time of writing, the Nebula Puro is on sale at £48, which is a bit of a bargain for a gilet of this quality. It provides good protection against wind and light rain, is very light and easy to pack into a jersey pocket, and a very good option from spring to autumn.
Lightweight and packable gilet that provides good protection from all but the worst winds
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Nebula Puro Wind Gilet
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the jacket is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Santini says: "Packable wind vest. Nebula Puro folds into it's own pocket to make it an ideal carry for wind and light rain protection."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Santini lists these product details:
SUPER LIGHT AND WIND-PROOF:
Made with the 2-layer Tovel Bio Zerowind fabric on the front for great wind protection protection, and Alpha Moon mesh on the back for the maximum breathability.
POCKETABLE AND ECO-FRIENDLY PACKAGING:
It can be easily folded into its back pocket so you can carry it with you during your rides. This system is also used as product packaging, reducing plastic waste.
Reflective band on back pockets for extra safety in low visibility.
Good in most circumstances, struggled a bit on a few alpine descents.
Suitable for light rain showers.
It was breathable while climbing.
The fit was good across the chest; it's a good balance between a comfortable fit but not having any flappy material.
In line with size guide.
Superlight and easily packable into a jersey pocket.
The gilet is comfortable but could do with a gripper.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed at 30°C with other cycling kit, with no issues.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It protected well against the wind and light rain in most circumstances. It is super lightweight and packable so easy to take on any ride.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Good protection against the wind and light rain without overheating, good pockets and easily packable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Wind protection was lacking a little on long alpine descents.
I'd prefer something more visible than the black on test, but brighter colours are available.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The price is in line with similar gilets we've tested here at road.cc, such as the Nopinz Souplesse at £79.99, and cheaper than the Rapha Pro Team, which is now £95.
The Lusso Hex Packable gilet is cheaper at £55 and the Galibier Vent Air gilet even less at £46.30.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Maybe
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a good option; it protects against the wind and light rain on almost all occasions, though I did feel the wind on some long alpine descents, and prevented overheating on climbs. It's very light, and easy to stow in a jersey pocket.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Roubaix My best bike is: Cervelo S3
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Indoor