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review

Iris Just In Case Gilet

8
£114.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Stylish, high-quality gilet offering good lightweight protection. Expensive though, and the cut won't suit everybody
Breathable and ventilated
Packable
Stylish
Stiff fabric at shoulders
Fit won't suit everyone
Weight: 
146g
Contact: 

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The Iris Just in Case Gilet – here in its Olive-Plum guise – is light, stretchy and breathable, yet windproof and handy for changeable rides or stowed in a jersey pocket. It's stylish too, but the cut won't suit all body shapes.

Designed by former Dutch National Road Champion Iris Slappendel, the Iris brand focuses on good-looking, high performance kit that really works for women (they also produce a smaller range of men's kit too).

The Just in Case is a lightweight windproof gilet with vented stretch back, an offset diagonal zip, highly water-repellent reflective panels and an opening for jersey pockets that can double as a stretchy pocket itself. A silicone gripper at the stretchy rear hem keeps the fit neat and secure. The armholes are also stretch.

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It's a great-looking gilet. Fans of hi-viz won't love its low-key looks in daylight, but after dark the purple shoulder and lumbar panels are reflective for added safety.

Shaping

The cut is quite long in the body, and quite athletic in shape. The stretch means it can accommodate a variety of body shapes, but it still didn't 100% suit my pear-shaped build. I tried the size up, but found that to be too long in the body and too roomy at the chest; the cut then is definitely best suited to those not overly blessed at the bottom and hips.

2021 Iris Cycling Gilet – Just in Case Olive-Plum - back.jpg

Despite being a little on the snug side, it stays put nicely, with no riding up at the hips. The zip was easily operated whilst riding – it's a sturdy YKK one with a glove-friendly pull. The panels at the front do a great job of windproofing, and are also reasonably showerproof (they don't put up a long battle in torrential rain).

The stretchy rear mesh panels mean there's plenty of ventilation, too – it's a gilet I'd have no hesitation in reaching for all year round.

Pockets

The jersey pocket access opening is a nice alternative to separate pockets, and is sleeker and lighter while leaving a kind of pouch between the outer fabric and the flap. I found it a useful place to store bits like a cap or spare gloves, but I'd not use it for anything too heavy or precious, due to it being completely open at the top and quite loose.

> 19 best cycling gilets — get to know this wardrobe essential

The single generous opening makes accessing jersey pockets reasonably straightforward (though the snug fit at the hips doesn't help), but I did have a tendency find the pouch pocket rather than get through to my jersey underneath.

The panels at the shoulders and lumbar area feel a bit crinkly, and is stiff and unappealing in comparison to the rest of the gilet. It jars a little. Personally, I'd have preferred more traditional reflective accents on a fabric similar to the front panels.

Value

There's a premium attached to this; Iris is a small boutique brand based in Europe, and therefore penalised by Brexit. It's still not the most expensive gilet around, however – probably more fair, however – the Assos UMA GT Spring/Fall Airblock Vest is £130, and the Iris definitely looks the more snazzy, while delivering similar performance.

It's still expensive against some very serviceable alternatives, though, such as the Bontrager Women's Circuit Wind Vest at £49.99, or the Fat Lad at the Back Women's Windy Gilet at £54.99.

Overall

The Just In Case should last well, though, and will deliver good comfort and performance for a long time. Just make sure the cut suits your particular body shape.

Verdict

Stylish, high-quality gilet offering good lightweight protection. Expensive though, and the cut won't suit everybody

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Iris Just in Case Gilet

Size tested: Large

Tell us what the product is for

Iris says: "The Just In Case gilet is lightweight and easily packable into a jersey pocket, so you can always carry it with you, just in case you need it."

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

Windproof and water repellent front panel

Reflective fabric on the shoulders and lower back give optimum visibility

Stretch horizontal mesh panels on the back

Back opening for access to jersey pockets

Large cargo back pocket

Offset YKK zipper

Tailored fit

Silicone hem gripper

Bluesign certified fabric

100% polyester

Made in Europe

Available in sizes XS-XXL

Machine washable at 30

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Very well made. Nicely finished with excellent quality fabrics and components.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Did a great job of being versatile and protective, yet light and non-bulky.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Well made, good quality and washes well.

Rate the product for fit:
 
7/10

The stretch can accommodate a variety of body shapes, but I did find it tighter across the hips than I would like. Trying the next size up, I found it too roomy at the chest and too long. For a more 'standard' shape of woman it would work just fine.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

It's designed to be a neat tailored fit, though I found it snug around the hips. It's better suited to less pear-shaped bodies.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10

Very comfortable to wear, and stays put. The fabric gives good protection and a bit of extra warmth, but doesn't overheat thanks to its ventilated back.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

It's definitely expensive, but quality and performance is good. It's stylish, too.

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

Washes well and is easy to look after.

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

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Breathable, easily packable, stylish.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Stiff at the shoulders, fit won't suit everyone.

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

There's a premium attached to this; Iris is a small boutique brand based in Europe, and therefore penalised by Brexit. It's still not the most expensive gilet around, however – probably more fair, however – the Assos UMA GT Spring/Fall Airblock Vest is £130, and the Iris definitely looks the more snazzy, while delivering similar performance.

It's still expensive against some very serviceable alternatives, though, such as the Bontrager Women's Circuit Wind Vest at £49.99, or the Fat Lad at the Back Women's Windy Gilet at £54.99.

Did you enjoy using the product? Very much

Would you consider buying the product? Possibly

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – a less bottom-heavy one, anyway

Use this box to explain your overall score

This is a well-made and nicely styled gilet that does a great job of adding protection and warmth without bulk. It's expensive but it uses high quality fabrics and components and should last well. It's very good.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Liv Invite  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

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