Words by Petie Thom


Winters in Central Oregon can be unpredictable and cold: with temperatures fluctuating between the upper 40s to low 20s on a daily basis, figuring out what to wear is a challenge. It’s a fine line between being overdressed and too hot or underdressed and too cold. Finding that “Goldilocks zone” is the ultimate goal, which is where layering comes in handy.

This winter, Giro’s Insulated Vest has earned itself a spot in my layering roster. A new addition to Giro’s growing outerwear collection, it retails for $160. That ticket may seems steep for a vest, but this cozy item comes packed with features that make it a sound investment.

Designed to wear on the bike.

Designed to wear on the bike.

The 25 grams of Primaloft Sport Insulation provide warmth, yet keep the overall weight down and the vest remains small enough to easily stuff in your pack when you warm up. While testing the vest I paired it with a long-sleeve Merino wool base layer. The coldest day of testing was in the 20s so I added a heavier-weight fleece jersey on that day.

The outer fabric of the vest is Denier Nylon, a durable fabric that is also light in weight. The vest's exterior is treated with a durable water repellent coating, limiting precipitation from saturating the jacket’s exterior. This will prevent the vest from becoming waterlogged and heavy, but won’t necessarily keep you dry in a downpour or prevent your own sweat from dampening the material.

Overall durability seems adequate thus far: I started wearing the vest last September and it hasn’t shown any wear.

Giro's designers were liberal with pocket number and placement so I’ve always found a place to store riding necessities. The cycling-inspired Stowback hidden storage system features a large back pocket, two front side pockets and two interior pockets. The Giro Insulated Vest has become one of my go-to articles of clothing this winter.

More women’s apparel reviews:
Specialized Andorra Short

Race Face Women's Apparel

Zoic Zion Kit