The vest is the most versatile piece of cycling gear there is. I have several flavors and each one has a purpose — some for rain and wind and others for warmth. The Hincapie Arenberg Zero Vest is one part weather protection and a hefty dose of warmth to boot.
Hincapie Arenberg Zero Vest Features:
- Textured, 4-way stretch MTX Wind Repel™ fabric provides a conforming fit and insulation from cold temperatures
- HyperOptic Roubaix™ reflective treatment for superior visibility
- Super Roubaix™ back panel for added warmth and breathability
- Weather protective center front 2-way zipper with internal storm placket
- Enhanced ergonomic design improves riding comfort and element protection
- Three generous back pockets
- Weather protective hem, cuffs & collar seal out the elements
- Price: $150
Arenberg Zero Vest Delivers Mega Protection
On the spectrum of protection, the Arenberg Zero Vest errs on the more protective side. Not only is the fabric highly water-resistant, it is also thick and warm. It actually fills a great niche where other vests leave off.
With the extra warmth, the Arenberg really does extend the capability of long-sleeve jerseys or short-sleeve/arm warmer combinations since it does a fantastic job at keeping your core warm. The fabric is also stretchy and moves with you — standing, sitting and chilling. On the frontside, the MTX Wind Repel fabric features 4-way stretch with excellent wind and water protection. I can’t feel even a touch of wind penetrating the vest, but it remains breathable — even on warmer days.
The tall collar is both a bonus and a little bit of a functional limitation. On the plus side, the collar’s height and protection — particularly on the backside of the neck — delivers warmth and keeps core heat inside. But, on long climbs or if temperatures rise, that same collar traps heat and makes for a warm neck.
The backside features Super Roubaix fabric that is brushed on the inside for improved moisture wicking and warmth. It does a fantastic job of moving moisture out. With three backside pockets, the Arenberg Zero is a bit of an anomaly in vests as many don’t feature pockets. These pockets were nice to have, but proved difficult to access at times. I couldn’t reliably reach for the pocket opening every time. That said, it was nice to have a double zipper to access the inner jersey pockets, when necessary.
For some reason, the vest features a zipper garage at the hem (something you usually only see at the top of the zipper to protect from chin chaffage). I had a heck of a time getting the zipper started and unzipping the zipper fully while on the bike — particularly due to the wraparound fabric garage and that fact that the zipper doesn’t extend all the way to the hem. It stops almost an inch upward, as you can see above. If you’re used to unzipping and zipping while on the bike, this one will be a challenge.
As far as fit goes, this one is spot-on with all Hincapie garments. I’m 5’11” and 170 lbs and the medium Arenberg Vest fits perfectly snug without turning me into a sausage. It has a nice length and simply envelops my jersey just as expected. It’s also nice to have a handful of reflective elements for extra visibility — never a bad thing. The only other drawback is that this vest doesn’t compress really well, so stashing it away requires a large pocket.
- Great weather protection
- Love the tall collar for warmth
- Perfect fit — length and size
- No wind penetration
- Great having three rear pockets
- The overall hem/zipper garage area is a bit of a train wreck
- Doesn’t compress very small
- Had a hard time reliably reaching into the pockets
The Bottom Line: Hincapie Arenberg Zero Vest
No doubt, the Arenberg Zero Vest is the warmest vest in the stable. It blocks wind aplenty and keeps weather at bay with a tall collar and soft touches. The biggest miss is the zipper garage at the hem, which makes for difficult zipping and unzipping — especially while on the bike. If you always stop for wardrobe changes, you’re golden with this weather-shedding vest.
Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com