In the past I was never much of a vest person; it seemed to me that they’re only useful for a very small temperature range. And while I still think the useful temperature range for a vest is very small, after using the Hincapie Arenberg Zero Vest, I now know why vests are the right tool for the job!
The Arenberg Zero Vest features a wind-repellant front panel that’s infused with reflective material for added visibility on the road. The back panel, on the flip side, is breathable and stretchable, for fit, comfort, and temperature control. The back also features the standard 3-pocket design. The zipper is strong and durable, which meshes well with the overall high-quality construction.
Out on the Trail
As I mentioned in the intro, the usable temperature range for a vest is very slim. If it gets too cold, it’s time to bust out the jacket. If it gets too warm, just go with a regular jersey.
However, I’ve found that in the right temperature range, somewhere around the low 50s and high 40s, the Arenberg Zero is the perfect solution. Combined with a pair of warm wool arm warmers, I felt very comfortable in a variety of temperatures. Also, running a vest/arm warmer combo allows for way more adjustability if the temperature fluctuates over the course of a ride. Start without the arm warmers if it’s warm outside, but keep them stashed in a pocket if you expect it to cool down. Or, start with warmers, and then shed them if temps warm up. Finally, the full length zip on the Arenberg allows for great airflow adjustment up front.
I think the Arenberg Zero’s combination of a windproof front panel with a breathable back panel is just genius. Especially with a hydration pack on, the breathable rear panel helps to prevent undue sweat buildup. And, in addition to more breathability, the low-profile back panel also reduces weight. You can tell that this vest was designed with one purpose in mind: biking.
I’m also a huge fan of the three-pocket design. Even if I choose to wear a pack, I still routinely stash small stuff in my jersey pockets. Having worn jackets and long-sleeve jerseys before that didn’t have good rear pockets and would instead cover up the ones in the jersey, having pockets accessible on the vest itself is key.
When the weather calls for it, the Hincapie Arenberg Zero Vest is the perfect tool for the job. High-quality bike-specific construction and design make for a dependable garment that offers excellent performance and superb adjustability.
Temps get too cold for the vest? Stay tuned for my upcoming review of the Hincapie Arenberg Zero Jacket.
Thanks to Hincapie for providing the Arenberg Zero Vest for review.