Fall is here and I got my first insulating layer in the mail the other day to test out. The Chrome Warm™ Vest is a new product, with a long sleeve Work Shirt available as well. Meant as a stand alone piece as well as for layering, here in Alaska I’ll likely be using it as an under layer.
A ripstop nylon shell with diamond quilting gives the appearance of a classic vest. It’s filled with poly insulation, so it’ll keep you warm if you do get wet by rain, beer, fire hydrant, swimming or running through a sprinkler.
My days aren’t what I’d call “normal” by bike blogger standards (do bloggers really have standards?)- The day I decided to write this I rode bikes in it in the morning, butchered moose in the afternoon and then wore it to the bar for happy hour. By adjusting the zipper I was comfortable with only long underwear underneath on the ride (I run hot,) and the water resistant fabric allowed the moose blood to roll right off. The cut and fit is comfortable, though a little slimmer than I would expect as an outer layer. The XL I tested might require a girdle if I’m to continue enjoying beer as I do. Keep on the look out for a Spanx review soon.
Reversible, I have been wearing it with the black side out- as there are hand warmer pockets, and the other side, orange- is more of a pumpkin orange, not really a safety orange as I would hope for.
There isn’t too much that screams “Cycling!” to me with this garment outside of the reflective accents and the middle back pocket on the orange side (the black side has only hand pockets, no back pocket.) The added length is definitely nice for riding, though longer in the back I think it could stand to be a little longer. The orange is a little muted to be called “safety orange” still definitely more eye catching on the road than the black. A camo/blaze orange combo would be pretty sweet- though I think Chrome seems to have really locked into black as their default garment color.
All in all, it’s a decent garment. As for the $150 asking price? It seems a little steep for a vest that isn’t a total slam dunk. I see it as being a product for those that love the Chrome brand- or those that find it when they show up on discount websites. But I must say also, that since the SF Giants are in the place they are- it looks an awful lot like Giants colors, which would be a good thing for the SF brand.