This jacket is white but sorta see through - you can definitely make out the lettering of your favorite black AC/DC t-shirt underneath. Lightweight like the Optik, but the fit is much better and which reduces flapping. For size comparo, I'm 177lbs and about 6'1"...and the large is perfect. Downsides? Well, the material is thin and light, so it does make noise over 20mph. And don't look for a rear pocket because there isn't one - the material is probably too thin to support your Iphone anyway. This is a simple, well fitting thin jacket that is perfect for those tweener days when you just can't justify the goretex.
This jacket in theory has some cool stuff going for it, but once it came in the mail and I tried it on, it was right back on the UPS truck. First, the zipper vents in the back. Two parallel 10 inch zippers run down the back for venting, and they have these long rip cords attached to the zipper pulls for...I guess easy operation? Gimmicky. Plus a lot going on and a lot to flap in the breeze when the pace picks up. Construction was NOT on par with any of the other big brands (Gore Bike Wear etc) and the fit seemed strange. I'm 6' and 175lbs and the large was tight in the pits but poofy around the shoulders and midsection. The windbreaker material was too noisy to be tolerated - this jacket would have to be tailored and tight to be remotely acceptable at speed. Even if you found the perfect fit, this jacket has enough issues to keep you shopping elsewhere. The rear venting zippers add bulk and make it suspect in the rain, so in the end I decided on a jacket that breathed well and was lightweight enough to just take off and stuff if I really overheated.
This is a great vest that allows you to roll out on chilly mornings without having to worry about being over dressed. It is super packable and easy to stuff. I ride in the morning, and sometimes the temp spread from the start of a ride to the end can be extreme. I hate being cold, so I wear this vest over a short sleeve jersey, and then add some arm warmers. This has proven to be the best combo for major temperature swings.
The construction of this vest is as good or better than the P.I. Optik, and the material is very similar in thickness. I bought a size large and I am 6' 175lb - the fit is perfect. You need to get over it right now...this vest is going to flap around and make some noise even with a good fit. Its just too lightweight to be noiseless. But once you accept it, the advantages of this type of material outshine the chatter...and for $30 on Bonktown its a steal.
I bought this jacket and the Xenon AS. I needed a seriously fitted road bike jacket, so I returned the Countdown and kept the Xenon based primarily on fit. The construction on this jacket is much more heavy duty than the xenon, and if I spent more time on my mt bike I would have overlooked the baggy midsection of the Countdown and kept it instead. Zip off sleeves are great, but left together, I doubt this jacket would stuff in a jersey pocket. The xenon is a dainty thin, packable "dedicated" road bike jacket, whereas the Countdown is thicker and heavier and would be my first choice if I were considering using it for anything other than fast pace road biking. In fact, I was so impressed with this jacket that I could see buying it for mt biking and running around town. Unlike the Xenon, this jacket looks great on AND off the bike.
Believe it or not, this jacket could very well be worth the retail price. Getting the perfect jacket is all about the right fit, and this jacket in xl fits my 6'1" 175lb frame perfect - not too tight in the chest, long in the arms, and pulled in around the stomach. This jacket breathes very well and its actually VERY water resistant. I personally would rather breathe and chance the rainfall than hotbox in the Goretex Paclite version.
My one star deduction is for the front zipper pull. This thing is super small - smaller than the zipper pull on the fly of your jeans small. Absolutely impossible to grab with gloves on. In fact, the zipper pull on the rear pocket is 3x bigger than the front main zipper. If you are wearing a jacket, chances are you wearing gloves, so it doesn't make any sense in an otherwise well executed jacket design.
This is a packable, breathable, very water resistant race cut jacket that is worth the price.