Retail Price: $299.95
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Giordana's new Acqua+Vento (AV) line runs the protective gamut from dark-side-of-the-moon extreme to lightweight, water-resistant insulation for temperate spring showers. The AV 100 Men's Winter Jacket falls neatly between those two poles by covering your body's leading edges in a three-layer membrane and equipping the less-exposed back and underarms with a DWR-treated thermal material. Giordana claims this combination is suited for "moderate winter conditions," which--in our experience--covers temperatures in the 40s, with weather, layering, and personal preference pushing the range a few degrees up or down. The AV 100 Winter Jacket owes its protective pedigree to the waterproof, windproof, and breathable membrane mentioned above. While a jacket constructed completely from this stuff would be equal to temperatures in the 30s, Giordana tempers it with rear panels that forgo the wind protection in favor of a more breathable thermal material called Thunderbike. It's got an Acqua Zero Evo DWR treatment to keep water beading and rolling off, but it regulates body temperature to keep you in your comfort zone when conditions don't warrant the nuclear-option of the heavier AV Jackets. For many of us, this is the perfect amount of protection for cycling through the winter. It's light enough to work as a standalone layer in the 40s, but it can layer into the freezing range either over the top of thermal base layers or as a super domestique mid layer. If you prefer to avoid riding in winter's worst, then the AV 100 Winter Jacket can also serve as something of a barometer. When the temperature is too low or conditions are too extreme for the jacket's midweight protection, then it may be a better day to stay in on the trainer. The jacket's collar is cut tall with a strategic shape in order to provide comfortable protection while you're bent over in the saddle, and the rear hem is extended to help shield against road spray. That extension is hit with Giordana's reflective Pi...

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