No winter wardrobe would be complete without a suitable shell and gilet, and Specialized’s Deflect Hybrid conveniently provides both. The trim-fitting, stylish and lightweight polyester shell does a good job of shedding wind and water, and the fuzzy collar feels good against your skin.
The hook-and-loop cuffs can be cinched down as tightly as you desire, but they’re more cumbersome to deal with than elastic. Our sample came in a bright ‘ion yellow’ colour for maximum visibility, though more subdued hues are also offered, all with reflective trim.
Like most garments of this type, the Deflect Hybrid isn’t as breathable as we’d like during hard efforts but you can easily convert the jacket into a gilet via the one-piece zip-off sleeve section if you’re generating too much heat. Given a bit of practice, you can strip off the sleeves while riding and stuff them into the Deflect Hybrid’s single zippered rear pocket. Don’t bother trying to put the sleeves back on without stopping, though.
If the vest is still too warm – even with the large rear vent – the material is impressively thin so you can stuff the whole thing in a jersey pocket without too much trouble. The Deflect Hybrid provides a good alternative to both a jacket and vest and takes up appreciably less room than both.