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Gorewear Ambient Vest Men’s



Very impressive and lightweight gilet that packs away very small and has incredible wind protection
Amazing windproofing for so little weight
Great ventilation & breathability
Packs down small

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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The Gorewear Ambient Vest is a top-notch packable gilet that does an incredible job of keeping the wind off despite weighing only 67g. There's no heat build-up thanks to the mesh back, and its lightweight construction makes it a no-brainer in the jersey pocket and a serious contender for our best cycling gilets buyer's guide.

This winter has been so mild that I have only really gone out in a full jacket a handful of times. However, this has meant that gilets have become a much more important part of my kit, and the Gorewear Ambient Vest has become an ever-present.

First off, although it weighs only 67g for the XL I tested, it packs a surprisingly significant punch in terms of its windstopping power.

This comes from the Gore-Tex Infinium material used across the entire front of the gilet, which includes Gore's Windstopper technology. It's not going to provide insulation, but I could clearly feel the difference between my chest and my arms in terms of wind. The fact that it's such a thin piece of material that feels like it will do nothing makes its windproofing so much more impressive.

While the front stops cold air from getting in, on the back Gorewear has used a mesh material that lets any heat escape. I found I didn't need to unzip when climbing, which is something I normally end up doing.

2023 GOREWEAR Ambient Vest Mens - back.jpg

Another element of the mesh back is that it holds the key to the gilet's aggressive cut. While the front panels have no flex or stretch at all, the mesh has an impressive amount, allowing it to stretch around different body shapes, as well as pulling the less stretchy front in, making it more aero.

2023 GOREWEAR Ambient Vest Mens - side.jpg

No surprises given the mesh back, waterproofing isn't a strong selling point. That said, I used the Ambient on a couple of drizzly mornings and the front does offer a decent amount of protection, with water beading off it. I wouldn't choose it for a wet ride, but on damp days it works well.

The lightweight nature of the gilet also means it can fit easily into a jersey pocket or saddle bag. I could fold it down to smaller than an iPhone easily, so it takes up minimal room. I ended up taking this on basically every ride I went on over the winter period, but it's ideal for summer too as it is so easy to take with you as a just-in-case piece of kit.

2024 Gorewear Ambient Vest rolled up.jpeg

You can buy cheaper gilets than this, but it compares well with similar options such as the MAAP Draft Team Vest, which hits the scales at 100g and costs another £20, and Rapha's Pro Team Lightweight Gilet, which has gone up to £110 since Nick tested it in 2022.


Overall, I am very impressed with the Ambient Vest. It offers excellent wind protection while packing down to nothing and weighing just 67g. And although it's not cheap, it's not bad value compared with similar gilets we've reviewed.


Very impressive and lightweight gilet that packs away very small and has incredible wind protection test report

Make and model: Gorewear Ambient Vest Mens

Size tested: XL

Tell us what the product is for

Gorewear says: "An aggressively cut gilet, delivering weather defense, ultra-lightweight, and tiny pack size."

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

Gorewear lists these DETAILS AND MATERIALS:

Partial GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ garments with GORE® WINDSTOPPER® product technology: totally windproof, extremely breathable and durably water resistant, lightweight protection

Extremely lightweight

Ultra-stretch nylon mesh in back

Ergonomically shaped collar

Elastic grip on bottom hem

Full length zip with underflap

Reflective logo

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Very well made. Gorewear seems to have given particular thought to the different stretch qualities of the different materials used, and how the gilet works.

Rate the product for performance:

Excellent. Its windstopping ability, despite being so thin, is very impressive.

Rate the product for durability:

It's less likely to survive a fall than something thicker, but then it's a lightweight design.

Rate the product for fit:

The stretch in the mesh on the back combined with the lack of stretch in the Infinium material on the front results in an excellent fit.

Rate the product for sizing:

It's an aggressive cut but the size guide is accurate; I could have got away with a large (my usual), but the XL still fitted me well.

Rate the product for weight:

Exceptional; 67g with this much wind protection...

Rate the product for comfort:

Very comfortable, thanks in no small part to the wind protection and stretch in the mesh.

Rate the product for value:

Pretty good value compared with similar options from MAAP and Rapha.

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

Chucked it in at 30 without any problems.

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

Very well; it kept the wind off despite there being almost nothing to it, and it packs down tiny, making it easy to chuck in a jersey pocket.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The windproofing – very impressive for something so thin.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really.

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

It's cheaper than the MAAP Draft Team Vest, which has a similar level of windproofing, hits the scales at 100g and costs an extra £20. Rapha's Pro Team Lightweight Gilet, which also offers impressive windproofing, is also more expensive at £110.

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

For something so thin to offer this much wind protection is impressive. It's lighter and cheaper than rivals, and excellent overall.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: CAAD13  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,

George is the host of the podcast and has been writing for since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between. 

Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.

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Freddy56 | 4 months ago

Looks a bit like my galibier Vent gilet. Is it the same fabric?

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