Wind protection is warmth protection. That mantra not only rings true on the bike, but anywhere in the backcountry as well. Staving off the wind is just what the Bontrager Specter Windshell Jacket is for. It’s thin, lightweight, breathable and just right for cool days in the saddle.
Bontrager Specter Windshell Jacket Features:
- Profila Windshell fabric is lightweight, windproof, and water-resistant
- Profila Cool fabric inserts for breathability
- Three open back storage pockets
- 4″ (10cm) drop tail and silicone gripper for a precise on-bike fit
- Reflective elements enhance visibility for maximum safety
- Fitted cut provides streamlined body fit for enhanced performance
- MSRP: $119.99
Lightweight wind blocker
One of my long-time favorite jackets has been the Pearl Izumi PRO Aero LS. It’s lightweight, highly wind and water-resistant and can easily stuff into a jersey pocket. Those same characteristics are also valid for the Bontrager Specter Windshell Jacket so let me get to how it has performed.
The fit is on par with what I expected for a size large on my 5’11” and 170 lb. body. It accommodates a long-sleeve jersey underneath without much excess to flap around at speed. Sleeves are cut with extra length to easily slip on top of cold-weather gloves and stay there due to the elastic wrist cuff. The collar sits high enough to deliver just the right amount of coverage to stave off the cold. Plus it features Profila Cool fabric on the inside for the ultimate in cozy comfort.
Honestly, this one has been my staple jacket for most of the spring thus far. With the Warmfront chest warmer in concert with a long-sleeve jersey, I have been riding in temperatures in the upper 30’s. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve also zipped out with just a short-sleeve jersey underneath when temperatures were in the 50’s.
Breathability is solid with the Profila Cool fabric on the back allowing most of the moisture to escape without too much buildup. The Profila Windshell sleeves breathe well up to a point, but do get overwhelmed as temperatures and exertion rise. The windproof chest does its job as expected.
Not all wind shells feature jersey pockets, but the Specter Windshell does and I absolutely love it. I don’t have to wear a jersey underneath, but can instead wear a Merino base layer like the Pearl Izumi Transfer Wool and still bring along my phone, a spare tube, mini pump, gels, etc.
The Bontrager Specter Windshell is available in two colors (Black Rasta Stripe and Trek Visibility Yellow). I’ve had the Visibility Yellow one and love how bright and visible it is on the road. I do wish it didn’t have Trek branding, because I’m not always riding my Domane SLR, but it’s not a huge deal.
I did test it in light rain several times with one sudden downpour in the mix. Light rain is just fine here, but don’t mistake this one for proper rain gear as it will get overwhelmed pretty quickly in steady rain. Something else to mention is that it cleans up well — even mud/dirt stains on the backside seem to wash out quite well.
- Lightweight, packable wind protection
- Layered properly, it keeps me warm into the 30’s
- Breathes really well overall
- Great hi-vis color options
- Long-ish sleeves maintain coverage
- Tall, comfortable collar
- Zipper is easily pulled with one hand
- Dirt/grime washes out well
- Water resistance gets overwhelmed quite quickly
- Sleeves can get stuffy after high exertions
The Bottom Line: Bontrager Specter Windshell
A lightweight wind shell is an absolute must-have for any cyclist. This one has proven to be versatile and warm during an unseasonably cool and wet spring. With a streamlined fit and jersey pockets, I’m having a hard time giving this one much of a rest — I seem to grab it on every ride.