As well as keeping your back protected, this vest houses two small, soft flasks in stash pockets on the hips to help quench your thirst.
First things first, the soft mesh construction is extremely comfortable, the off-centre zip stays out of the way and doesn’t irritate, and the flexible Armourgel panel at the rear goes almost unnoticed. The snug fit means we never had any issues with the back protector shifting around, and it’s thin enough that you can wear a pack over the top.
While we like the idea of combining protection with hydration, the execution doesn’t quite cut it here. Though the soft hip flasks stay put when climbing or cruising on more sedate trails, as soon as you start moving about the bike they quickly eject from the vest, especially when fairly full.
Emptying them a little and really shoving them into the pockets does help a bit, but they were still spat out when we hit a short undulating section at speed. Thankfully the tight hem on our jacket caught them, but if we’d just been wearing a jersey we’d have lost both flasks early into the first ride.