When it comes to winter training, some of us hang it up when temperatures drop below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, retreating to the trainer or the couch until the spring thaw makes the roads safe for thermal jerseys again. Others cling desperately to the ability to ride outside through necessity (the dedicated commuter) or through a deep-seated and entirely understandable fear of stationary cycling. Either way, the Giordana Men's AV 200 Winter Jacket has us covered because the more cold-tolerant among us can wear it alone into the 30s during high-intensity workouts while the winter warriors can add layers as needed in order to go even lower. It describes the happy medium between the trainer crowd and the dedicated winter roadies.
As the mid-weight entry in Giordana's numerical AV hierarchy, the AV 200 combines a windproof and water-resistant membrane across the chest and sleeves with panels of DWR-treated Thunderbike material across the back and in areas that aren't leading into the winter chill. That means the jacket's leading edges feature the same elemental protection as the heavier AV 300 Winter Jacket but the trailing edges breathe and dump excess heat like the lighter G-Shield jersey. This combination lets it serve as either a barometer to let you know when conditions are too extreme for outside riding or a shell for deep-winter layering.
Though Giordana calls it a jacket, the AV 200 is cut more like the breed of super jerseys that we've all been using to race in inclement conditions, a fit made even sleeker by the lack of the AV 300's insulation and the addition of high-stretch Thunderbike panels. The jacket eliminates excess flap and unneeded grams by sitting close through the torso, but it does extend at the collar and rear hem in order to offer more protection. It's finished with reflective details and storage options including three standard rear pockets and a zippered pocket on the side.
- A mid-weight cycling jacket appropriate for most of winter
- Windproof, water-resistant membrane on front panel
- Breathable, DWR-treated thermal fabric on the trailing edge
- Race-ready fit eliminates flapping material and belly bulge
- Drop hem and tall collar extend coverage
- Four pockets including a zippered side pocket
- Reflective details boost visibililty without hampering breathability
- Q & A
Well made but unbalanced
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: Runs small
Pros - This jacket is very well made and the hi vis orange stands out on the road.
Concerns - I realize perceived performance of winter apparel is very subjective. Depending on the individual, topography, and exertion level, needs vary widely. The issue with this piece is the ventilation is way out of balance for me. The front panels allow very little ventilation, even for a membrane fabric, reminding me of the old time impermeable rain jackets. The back panel ventilates very well. The result is a cold back and a soggy clammy front, regardless of which base I try to mitigate the problem.
The newer membrane fabrics by other manufactures seem to solve this issue by promoting a better balance of ventilation, front to rear.