Bontrager Race Windshell Vest

Bontrager's Race Windshell gets the job done on cool days, but the fit is a bit less race-oriented than we'd like





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Your must-have accessory for shoulder season riding this year should be a vest. But not all vests are created equal. For cool but not cold weather, Bontrager’s lightweight wind vest offers protection from the wind and rain while packing down to the size of a baseball.

It has a forgiving tailored cut that is meant to follow the curves of the body so it doesn’t pinch or squeeze. However, I prefer more racer-cut apparel, and this vest was noticeably loose around the hips and waste. I’d recommend going down one size from your normal jersey or jacket size so the vest doesn’t flap in the wind when riding.

Photo: Brad Kaminski |
Photo: Brad Kaminski |

Sizing issues aside, the Race Windshell vest is a solid cool weather piece that provides ample protection from the elements. Bontrager’s Profila wind fabric keeps chilly breezes off your chest for a warm and cozy feeling and a DWR coating adds protection from light drizzles or spatter from wet roads. It’s not waterproof, however, so the Profila material won’t keep you dry in heavy rain. Bontrager’s Race Stormshell jacket would be a better choice for wet and stormy condition.

I did appreciate the longer drop tail design on the back of the vest. This helped keep dirty road spray off my back and protected my jersey from getting ruined from mud splatter when riding some recently wet dirt roads. The muck and grime from these messy rides easily washed off of the vest with soap and water or you can toss it into the washing machine for a quick and easy cleanup.

Photo: Brad Kaminski |
Photo: Brad Kaminski |

The Race Vest is loaded with smart details like a durable full-length zipper and draft flap along the inside of the zipper to keep cold winds from sneaking in. Reflective details are another appreciated element, which adds extra visibility for those dark and stormy shoulder season rides. And if the weather gets warmer than expect, the vest has a mesh collar and mesh inserts on the underarms that provide extra ventilation for keeping you dry.

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