It wasn’t so much that we were blown away by the Countdown’s outstanding performance – more that we put it on and then forgot we were wearing it. Much of that is down to the Windstopper fabric, which is excellent at temperature regulation. It’s very protective, keeping wind and rain off. You’d think it can’t make a difference how much rain something without sleeves and with a mesh panel can keep off, but in a downpour even keeping your front dry will help keep you warmer.
The back is mesh and that seems to prevent a sweaty build up and there’s less need to do the stop/start dance of taking your gilet off again. The functional detail is all there – full length draught ﬂap, zip garage, easy-to-grab zip pull. It also features the extra chest pocket we like. At the back the pocketage gets more interesting. There are two slim exterior pockets, but these sit on a section that has entry points either side to your jersey pockets underneath. It was an option we used more than we thought and worked better than imagined. The cut is the ﬁnal element that contributes to the excellence of the Countdown to make it damn near perfect.