Fusion have sent us some vests, or gilets, if you prefer the traditional parlance to test out in the cooler months.
Fusion hails from Denmark and is a market leader in Scandinavia, so they know cold, and that means real cold not just Sydney cold.
The first vest on test is the S100 Cycle vest. This is a lightweight, packable vest, more in the traditional style but Fusion have upped the quality on the S100 vest.
The S100 weighs in at 138 grams for a large size and packs down to roughly the size of a fist. The Hi-Vis front and rear panels are made of Fusion’s wind and water resistant Teflon treated S100 fabric, while the side panels are made form a flexible fabric that allows the vest to fit snugly.
I have shied away from vests for a while as I was frustrated with the lack of quality and fit on offer. For mine there is nothing worse than having excess material flapping about annoying the beejezus out of you while riding especially if the cold weather already has you on edge.
The S100 vest fits like a glove, the stretchy side panels keep everything snug and taut and there is no flappy material to annoy you.
Other neat features are the drop tail to keep the nether regions from getting excessively wet if you should get caught out in the rain. The zippers are lined inside to stop cold or wet getting through and it features a pocket on the front to stash any small goodies you like to keep handy.
The Fusion S200 vest is a slightly hardier piece of kit. It is a softshell type vest with a mesh back. The front and shoulder panels are made from Fusions S200 3 ply laminated fabric, with a Teflon® Extreme DRW treatment. The rear is a highly flexible breathable mesh fabric.
The S200 Vest weighs in at just 190 grams but is a bit bulkier than the S100 and while it would still technically be “packable” it would take a bit of stuffing to secret it in a jersey pocket. The S200 though is not meant as a stowable layer, it is meant to be worn as part of a layering system for maximum warmth, something I am very keen on.
As with the S100, the S200 has a long dropped tail, reflective strips for added safety `a stash pocket on the front and a snug athletic fitting.
In addition the S200 has a large pocket in the back and a silicone gripper on the lower seam to keep everything in place.
As you would expect with Fusion, and as we have found out with our other reviews, the quality and attention to detail is second to none. Fit and finish is of the highest order and the little details like the tabs covering the zippers are what sets these apart from the bog standard cheap flappy vests.
If I had to be picky and find a gripe, I would say the S100 could do with a slightly larger zipper tab as it was a bit tricky to use with full fingered gloves, I really couldnt find a fault with the S200 though.
With winter gear you need to consider you riding situation to best choose your clothing. On weekdays I start and finish my ride before it warms up, so I dress super warm with a base layer, a long sleeve winter jersey and then the S200 on top to keep me toasty till I get home.
On weekends when I have more time to ride I can start a bit later and get home when the sun is well and truly up and warming things up. So in this instance I will still have a base layer and winter jersey but with the S100 vest on top to be taken off and stuffed in the jersey pocket if the weather is kind to me.
So have a think about your winter clothing strategy and which vest would best suit your needs and as John from Fusion has been such a great supporter of the forum and website he has asked me to give these two great vests away.
Jump on the forum and comment S100 or S200 in the thread about this review HERE and try your luck.
Fusion S100 Vest $99.00
Fusion S200 Vest $139.00
Check out Fusion HERE.