When it comes to wind jackets, they have to be able to easily stuff into a jersey pocket and also be versatile enough for wet or cold weather (with proper layering). Specialized is checking all those boxes with their HyprViz Race-Series Wind Jacket. Plus, this version is as bright as the noonday sun.
Specialized HyprViz Race-Series Wind Jacket Features:
- Hyper Green and Black with reflective trim for all-day visibility
- 100% Recycled Polyester shell
- Lightweight fabric and minimal construction can be stuffed anywhere
- Windproof front panel and sleeves with light water protection
- Back mesh panel for maximum ventilation
- Slim, race fit with enough room for a base layer and thermal jersey underneath
- MSRP: $135
Packs up small, but packs a punch
If you’ve ever been caught in a summer thunderstorm in the Rocky Mountains, you know just how important a lightweight (but protective) jacket is. I recall several instances where a lightweight jacket saved me from uncontrollable chills. I’ve got my current favorite, but the Specialized HyprViz Race-Series may be giving it a run for its money.
The Race-Series Wind Jacket is race-optimized and built for both daily usage and sudden weather. So far, my testing has been primarily cold-weather and I anticipate using this for long mountain descents once the high alpine routes are cleared this spring. When descending down Utah’s Alpine Loop in the morning — even in July — a wind jacket is almost always required. For science, I did test the water resistance of the jacket as well (read on for that).
Specialized has done well with the design of the Race-Series Wind Jacket and I can’t think of much to nit-pick about (and that’s rare). Sleeve length is usually one of my pet peeves, but these are nice and long for proper coverage. My second gripe usually revolves around the height and diameter of the collar, but this one is absolutely spot-on and stays out of the way, but is tall enough for proper protection. The last one is usually due to the lack of a two-way zipper, but Specialized has that one covered too.
I really dig the fit of the Race-Series Wind Jacket. It is slim and trim without excess, but isn’t restrictive at all in the saddle. It disappears, so that must mean it’s built right. The shoulders do flap a little at the highest speeds, but it’s very minimal.
The sleeves, front and shoulders block the wind quite well and feature a light DWR for water resistance. As I’ve ventured out on a few cold mornings, the Race-Series Wind Jacket has delivered well beyond its weight class. Just last week, it was 40 degrees and I wore a sleeveless base layer with the Santini Classe LS Jersey under the Race-Series Wind Jacket and I was delighted by how it performed. I stayed warm and the mesh back panel breathes like a champ. I honestly didn’t notice any moisture buildup at all.
For science, I had to push the limits of the jacket’s weather resistance. Yes, it’s explicitly a “wind jacket” so don’t consider it a replacement for your Gore C7 Shakedry Stretch rain jacket. Initial rain will bead up (as shown), but after some time, it will definitely get overwhelmed (see below). This is completely expected based on the intended use of the jacket. Keep in mind that even when it does get overwhelmed, it still provides both water and wind protection to keep you warm. After a long ride in the rain, the fronts of my sleeves and my chest were still mostly dry.
I have to mention how much I love the double zipper. Nothing is more frustrating than getting zipped up and realizing that you need to grab something from a jersey pocket. That double zip makes pocket access a breeze. All cycling jackets should have them. And, rounding things out, it compresses down to the size of a can of Red Bull, which makes it easy to stash.
Fit: I’m 5’11” and 170 lbs. The size medium fits perfectly.
- Streamlined fit
- Packs down to nothing
- Perfect sleeve length for proper coverage
- Blocks wind and weather
- Back panel breathes super well
- Double zipper makes for easy access to jersey pockets
- Provides warmth beyond its weight class
- Eye-popping visibility
- Double zipper are awesome, but when both are at the bottom, it can be difficult to find the right one to pull (particularly with full gloves on)
- Hard to get the sleeves off when wet (pulling them inside-out just works best)
- HyprViz color may be challenging to find until stock returns
The Bottom Line: Specialized Race-Series Wind Jacket
You’ve got to have a lightweight wind/rain jacket and the Specialized HyprViz Race-Series Wind Jacket is a good one. the HyprViz color and reflectivity makes this one stand out. And, the overall fit and function of the jacket leaves no stone unturned.
Buy Now: Available from JensonUSA