We'll admit, it took actually putting our hands on Giordana's NS-Air 20 Men's Wind Jacket for us to truly understand exactly what set it apart enough from other wind jackets; but once we did, the difference was almost instantly apparent. Insisting that the NS-Air 20 manages to feel light, featherweight, or airy somehow doesn't give it nearly the credit it deserves. Like with the rest of Giordana's top-tier kit for 216, the impossibly-thin, flexible material that Giordana uses to craft the otherworldly garment is sourced from the swim and undergarment industries. The difference here is that the material is meant as a shield against the elements rather than a light, airy summer material.
Soft is rarely, if ever, an adjective bestowed upon wind shells and vests, but the fabric on the NS-Air 20 earns it. It's also able to usher moisture away from your skin so it can evaporate at the surface rather than staying trapped inside the windproof layer. As it fits completely inside its own pocket, carrying the jacket with you on a ride is easy, and it weighs so little that by the time you've tucked it into a jersey pocket, you'll forget you have it with you until you reach a chilly summit or feel the wind picking up mid-ride. Giordana created the NS-Air 20 to be used as a windproof jacket only, so it doesn't have any thermal properties or waterproof abilities, but if you're looking for a wind shield that won't slow you down or cause you to overheat, you'll have a difficult time finding a lighter option than the NS-Air 20.
As it's made by Giordana, the jacket also employs the tailored, functional fit that the brand consistently displays across its top-of-the-line kit That fit is achieved in part on the NS-Air 20 with an elastic ham that drops in the rear specifically to provide appropriate coverage in a riding position. Elastic at the sleeves and waist hems block enterprising gusts of wind, and a bright, full-length zipper gives you the freedom to control airflow into the jacket while enhancing your visibility on low-light days.
- Item #GIO005A
- Q & A
incomprehensibly light and packable
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: medium
This packs down much smaller than any "ultra-thin" VEST I own. Maybe the size or a Powerbar folded in half. You could easily stuff it into a tennis ball. Drape it on your finger and there is no sensation of weight. None. I estimate +/-50 gram. Fit is Euro-snug and only slight flapping at shoulders at 30 mph. Does seem windproof. Very nicely made, seems like it is holding up fine despite the ultra-sheer material. Only negative so far is that the elastic of the cuffs fit snug so have to remove gloves in order to take it off.