We’ve all been there: you set off for a ride on a chilly spring or autumn morning and five minutes into the climb, the inside of your jacket has become a sauna – yucky! With the lightweight Specialized x Fjällräven Adventure Vest, this problem should finally be a thing of the past. Read the review to find out what we think about it!
Last summer, Californian bike brand Specialized and Swedish outdoor specialist Fjällräven joined forces, giving birth to an exciting line of cycling-specific products. The Specialized x Fjällräven collection consists of a wide range of bikepacking accessories and technical clothing, including the Specialized/Fjällräven Adventure Vest. This was designed as a light, versatile garment for all riding situations, from epic bikepacking adventures to rowdy trail parties. The sleeveless Cali-Swede is available in six sizes, XS to XXL and in three colours: black, blue and yellow. Retail price is € 140, which isn’t exactly cheap for a vest.
As befits a lightweight garment, the Adventure Vest is made of a very thin material, with a slightly thicker fabric on the chest keeping cold air out. Like with many cycling vests, the back is cut slightly longer than the front, preventing excess fabric from catching your knees while pedalling while at the same time providing more coverage on the back, even in aggressive riding positions. Reflective strips sewn into the back ensure better visibility – awesome! A stretchy waistband at the lower end of the back ensures a snug fit while a two-piece zipper runs across the entire length of the vest, all the way up to the high collar. The Specialized/Fjällräven Adventure Vest has a total of 5 pockets, allowing you to stow away all your belongings on a long day on the trails: there are two big, zippered pockets on the sides, two more on the chest, one with a zipper and one with a single popper and flap. There’s also an internal chest pocket for smaller items like bank cards and cash. However, this forgoes any sort of closing system, so we recommend using a zippered pocket for your valuable items – or perhaps you’re braver than us?
We really loved wearing this vest on long rides in transitional seasons, particularly on those chilly or windy mornings when you know that a full-on jacket is overkill. That’s exactly when the Specialized/Fjällräven Adventure Vest plays out its strengths, reliably keeping away cold air and water splashes from your chest and thus offering a perfect complement to a long-sleeve jersey. That being said, the Adventure Vest doesn’t have a high insulating effect and therefore provides little extra warmth. The double zipper allows you to regulate airflow and adapt the inner temperature to the changing conditions. For example, you can open the bottom section of the zipper for better ventilation and leave the top closed for a warm neck. When it gets too warm for a vest, the small packing dimensions of the Adventure Vest make it easy to squash into a hip pack or storage compartment.
With the Adventure Vest, Specialized and Fjällräven offer an ideal companion for cool transitional seasons. The vest is neither too warm when pedalling hard nor too cold when the wind picks up. Moreover, it convinces with excellent build quality, small packing dimensions and very cool details, like the sewn-in reflectors on the back. The double zipper also makes it easy to regulate temperature with changing conditions.
- Many closable pockets
- Small packing size
- Clever details
- Good climate control
- Inner pocket can’t be closed
Tester Simon and Peter
Duration 5 months
Price € 140
Weight 145 grams (size L)
More information Manufacturer’s website
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Words: Felix Rauch Photos: Peter Walker