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A vest for the serious racer.
Louis Garneau's Course Speedzone Vest is a direct result of its sponsorship of Team Europcar. The pro riders had been requesting a vest with less focus on aerodynamics, and more attention paid to race-day practicalities. So, the result is a vest that's wind- and water-resistant, features an exceptional fit, and has a patent-pending pocket design.
Garneau made the Course Speedzone from multiple materials in order to strike the ideal balance between comfort and element protection. Accordingly, the front of the vest uses Garneau's Super Light fabric. With a breathable, polyester knit composition, Super Light's weight lives up to its namesake. The material is quite feathery and stretchable, while also providing a complete protection from chilly winds. Additionally, Garneau has given the material a DWR coating to protect your torso from moisture.
At the side panels, the vest features a Power Mesh construction. This fabric introduces an artificial ventilation point for general breathability, while also providing a great deal of stretch and adaptability to the vest. With these inserts in place, you can expect a full range of motion in the saddle. In fact, the overall malleability of the vest is more akin to your favorite jersey than a piece of outerwear.
As for the features of the Speedzone, this is where we see the fruits of the Team Europcar cooperative development. The pros really wanted two things: Easy access to jersey pockets and simple race number visibility. These might seem like mundane request, but the rationale is simple -- these features mean that the vest can be worn through virtually any stage. So, Garneau created a rear 'pocket' that operates as a kind of protected 'pass-through' to your rear jersey pockets. This enables you to still access your ride nutrition, regardless of your wearing of outerwear. And when you've ripped through your gel packs, the vest also features a rear pocket to house your empty wrappers. You'll also notice on the pass-through pocket, that there's ample room to pin your secondary race number. In fact, it's been designed to UCI regulation size.
The Speedzone is cut on a contour in order to conform to your body position while cycling. This eliminates bunching, while providing a next-to-skin fit. The rear hem features a wide gripper, or stretch trim, to prevent the vest from rising while you're in the drops. You'll also notice that the arm and neck holes have been cut liberally to not only permit a full range of motion, but to minimize the amount of the fabric's surface area. For increased visibility to motorists in low-light conditions, Garneau has also included front and rear reflective accents.
The Louis Garneau Course Speedzone Vest is available in five sizes from Small to XX-Large and in the color Black/red.
Share your thoughts
Very, very small!
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
I wear XXL in Hincapie, but this XXL was like a medium! Not all cyclists are slender. But can these makers standardize their sizing. This problem is definitely part of cycle wear and this is not the first time I have to hunt through different manufacturers to find out whose XXL is really XXL.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Great looking and the pass thru to the pockets are genius. A large is pretty snug on me (5'10" x 173 Lbs) - there isn't any flapping like on most vests, fabric is pretty stretchy. A little concerned about the longevity of the elastic running across the back bottom of the vest but so far so good. Do wish it breathed a little better, haven't had it in the rain so no opinion there.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I use this bib in any weather. I love this product. It is easily one of my favorite piece of gear.
My favorite vest to race in
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This vest reeks of the common sense approach that Louis Garneau has in engineering their apparel. They got the idea through feedback from the Pro teams they sponsor and in collaboration with Europcar developed this technical masterpiece. It's a perfect vest for that 35-60 degree range and if you expect it might drizzle.
Best feature of the vest is the cut out for the back pockets. This gives you easy access to your jersey pockets and no spending extra energy to fiddle with a vest that covers your pockets.
Use this if you want a technical piece to keep your core warm on cold rides or races. The fit is euro and made for European racers so go up a size compared to north american brands if you fit those well.
You'll look pro.