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Respro Hi Viz Super Waistcoat



Pricey but easily the best Hi-Viz Gillet I’ve used

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Respro’s High Viz Super Waistcoat has all the practicality of the normal day-glow variety but with greater style. The black background and warm orange base are supported by large sections of uncluttered Scotchlite and the Sam Browne belt really commands driver attention.

There’s no denying the lion’s share of £30 sounds pricey for a reflective waistcoat but it can be used for a host of other outdoor activities ranging from motorcycling through to horse-riding or simply walking the dog along unlit lanes… mind you, so can other similar reflectives that cost a lot less. Where this scores is the cut which is generous without feeling baggy-just right for wearing over winter layers-our large proved fine, with no restrictions over technical cycling jackets, it's extremely high level of reflectivity, and the attention to detail throughout.

Zip fully home, there’s been no annoying flapping at speed-even in very blustery conditions, although the fabric does absorb moisture-even in the air so a basic cotton tee/shirt could lead to autumn chills. Cut is good and although not cycling specific, is long enough not to ride up when hunched over the drops. Deep, sensibly designed mesh pockets front and rear capture keys, wallet, multi-tool, spare batteries and other essentials securely and without ejection-even through rutted lane and bridle path and the rear provides a very secure mounting point for an LED light should you prefer an uncluttered look to your steed.

Machine washable at lower temperatures, it dries naturally in around twenty minutes but isn’t shower-proof. Available in children’s sizes, it makes a great choice for making tag-along/stokers more visible especially as the nights draw in and while there are good designs for half the asking price, none can top the Hi-Viz Super for conspicuousness.


Pricey but easily the best Hi-Viz Gillet I’ve used test report

Make and model: Respro Hi Viz Super Waistcoat

Size tested: L

Tell us what the product 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?

Respro's Hi Viz Super waistcoat is a super eye-catching,yet more stylish waistocat thanks to black background, acres of scotchlite and a day glow orange lower panel. It might not be cycling specific but this adds to its versatility-undoutedly the best hi-viz gillet I've used.

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

Nylon/Polyester base material, Scotchlite Sam Browne belt and other scotchlite patches. Front mesh pockets, One single mesh rear pocket. Day glow lower section.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

260g (Large)

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

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

The Hi-Viz super performs well in all areas. Visibility is second to none in pitch darkness or cloudy early morning rides. A looser cut allows you to wear layers yet isn't baggy and doesn't billow annoyingly in blusterry conditions-the only downside is the material's tendency to absorb damp and moisture.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Great visibility without "Geek Chic", practical pockets and good fit. Packs down very small when not required.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product


Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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ktache | 4 years ago

I have one of these , but mine has a yrllow top bit rather than the black.  I have had it for a shockingly long time and it has servd me well.  I use it in the winter to provide a little bit more colour and reflectivity.  The pockets are very good for my various underhelmet skullcaps and headband, and hanky and tissues, it's winter.  Very easy access  It is a bit thick for when the weather warms and I have a mesh waistcoat for the late spring and summer.

It has started to show it's age and a lot of the reflecctivity is wearing off, so when ebay gave me a £5 voucher I decided to get a replacement, Respro don't seem to make it anymore but I could still find some on ebay and about £20.  Got it, but unfortunately it is now made of full plastic rather than plastic cloth, so removing the advantages of breathability of my Goretex active, my Castelli Perfecto and my Pearl Izumi Elite Pursuit (for the very cold days).  It's a shame because it's full of features and being Respro is very well made.  I'd rather it was the old cloth stuff as there was breathability there.

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