The Bontrager RXL Windshell Vest has come in very handy so far this year. As a “just in case” layer in my jersey pocket or for proper wind protection during a cold ride, it’s done quite well.
Bontrager RXL Windshell Vest Features:
- Profila Wind fabric is lightweight, windproof, water-resistant, and stretchy for a flap-free form fit
- Strategically placed venting at underarms and back of neck for maximum breathability without sacrificing protection
- Full-length, two-way YKK zipper with draft flap
- 4.5″ (11cm) drop tail with low-profile powerband hem
- Reflective elements enhance visibility for maximum safety anytime
- Fitted: streamlined body fit for a next-to-skin feel
- MSRP: $99
RXL Windshell Vest is Pocket-sized Protection
I’ve long said that the vest is the unsung hero of all outdoor activities. I love them as mid-layers in the winter, for trail running in the fall and year-round for cycling. With all that wind and weather protection, the vest is an absolute necessity and the RXL Windshell hits a great balance between function and price.
Bontrager’s Profila Wind fabric has done wonders against cold morning rides and windy afternoon spins. When ascending the local canyons early in the morning, you never know how cold it’s going to get. With pockets of frigid air remaining trapped in low spots, it could be a comfortable 60 degrees at the start, but in shady and windy areas deep in the canyon, it could easily be in the mid-40’s.
That kind of temperature swing is perfect for the RXL Windshell Vest. When working hard up a long ascent, the Windshell continues to breathe and doesn’t cause overheating. A quick unzip and more moisture can be dumped in a jiffy. The zipper pull makes things nice, but I always needed two hands to get it started. The two-way zipper is a necessity because this vest lacks any pockets and that’s the easiest way to gain access to jersey pockets underneath — which I did quite often while wearing this vest.
The 4-way stretch of the fabric moves with you and never feels restrictive. I’ve had the size Large vest and have found it perfect for layering on my 5’11” – 170 lb. frame. Atop a jersey, I’m glad to have the Large and found it to be a nice fit.
With a nice length, coverage is excellent. And, the DWR coating repels water really well. Should you get caught in a rainstorm, this will keep your core dry. The hem keeps the vest in place nicely during all your typical cycling movements, but a little silicone grip would make it even better.
- Body-hugging fit that keeps quiet, but doesn’t restrict movement
- Easy-to-use two-way zippers gives access
- Variety of fabrics aids in ventilation and comfort
- Excellent weather protection
- Minimal grippy silicone on the inside of the hem would be a nice touch
The Bottom Line
I’ve greatly appreciated the protection of the RXL Windshell Vest so far this season. The Profila Windshell fabric is stretchy and weather-resistant and the fit is spot-on for flap-free use.