With the demise of daylight savings, it's time to start thinking about visibility. This winter I've decided to give Rainbird a go.
I'm a large lad, and this 2XL vest does up over the top of my leathers. To be fair, I would probably prefer a 3XL just to have a little more room, but the 2XL is doing the job.
The collar of the vest is quite high - if I zip it up all the way it comes to the base of my helmet. It's the first time since I started riding that I haven't had a cold neck on the frosty mornings.
Did I mention that this vest is hot? And I don't mean in a Kath 'n Kim sense either - this vest is very, very warm. For those like myself who come with natural insulation, this is more likely to be a winter vest rather than a 4 seasons vest. In the 5 degree mornings I'm appreciating it, but in the 18 degree evenings it's a bit too warm to have zipped up all the way.
If you're struggling with the cold temperatures on the other hand, something like this could be just what the doctor ordered. It's very effective at blocking out wind, and I reckon it will do a fine job of keeping the rain off in the event of passing showers and persistent drizzle. It's no substitute for a storm jacket, but I've only worn one of those maybe twice in my riding life, whereas this vest I'm wearing every commute.
While the wind-proof, water-proof qualities of this vest are a definite bonus, at the end of the day it's the extra visibility in traffic that's the clincher for me. If you're not convinced, compare these photos below, both shot in the low-beam headlight of my Ninja 1000. As much as I hate to admit it, if it weren't for the tail light on the bike I would be invisible in my leathers after dark. The Rainbird Vest makes all the difference in the world; and given that difference is potentially the difference between the car behind me seeing me and not, I'm pretty satisfied with this purchase.