Tadáias is a premium road kit brand based in County Donegal, Ireland and it recently sent us through its lightweight and windproof Sliabh gilet, which we’ve been using extensively for the last few months.
The classic styling of the Sliabh is… well, very visually similar to the efforts of other high-end road brands. Should you want something a little more unique, you could consider the Mainéar gilet which is identical to the Sliabh but comes in a cool monochrome, urban-camo-like colour scheme.
The cut of the Sliabh is on the racier side, but it isn’t so tight that it struggled to accommodate thicker, winter layers underneath. The neck is also generously high without feeling claustrophobic and as you would expect of any decent winter kit, the gilet has a dropped tail, which helps to keep your butt dry when riding on a non be-fendered bike.
Despite having been subjected to many vicious washing machine cycles, this fabric has retained a very welcome degree of water resistance and never felt clammy when sweating our way up torturous gradients.
The back of the gilet is quite unique in that it is made from a single panel of very stretchy and widely spaced mesh. While its permeable nature means that it isn’t a perfect choice for truly wet days, it makes for a very comfortable and cool fit when the weather isn’t too grim.
For the chronic weight weenies out there, the combination of these lightweight materials means that the Sliabh weighs in at a scant 95g, which puts it in line with similarly priced options such as the Rapha Brevet gilet (100g claimed).
While obsessively watching the weight of the clothing you carry is a habit we loathe to encourage, the gilet's diminutive weight does make it barely noticeable when stuffed into your jersey pockets.
Great, but not quite perfect yet
Our version of the gilet did have one rather frustrating flaw — the main zip is double ended which Tadáias says allows for unfettered access to your jersey pockets if opened up from the bottom.
While undoubtedly a very nifty idea, in practice the zip tends to open from the bottom upwards while riding, exposing your paunch to a constant chilly breeze and more annoyingly, makes removing the gilet while riding a very fiddly experience.
We contacted Tadáias about this issue and it revealed that this was a problem that other riders had experienced and the modified gilets are now shipping with a single sided zip.
It would also have been nice to have a cord puller attached to the rear pocket's zip as it would help to avoid unnecessary fumbling about when trying to access the pocket while riding. However, given this could be rectified with a short length of paracord in five minutes, it hardly warrants criticism.
The €100 price point will offend some, but this is inline with similar offerings from other boutique brands. Tadáias doesn’t offer international pricing but will ship globally.
If you’re a style conscious roadie who’s looking for a lightweight gilet but want something that’s a little bit different from the bigger brands, then the Sliabh is well worth your consideration.