Louis Garneau Spire Convertible ReviewMarch 14, 2016
- Sleeves zip off to wear as short-sleeved jacket
- Slim aero-dynamic fit
- Rear stash pockets
- Excellent visibility
- Snug through the arms and shoulders
- Not water-resistant
- No zippered pockets at all
- Short cut
The Louis Garneau Spire Convertible is the warmest and most wind-proof cycling jacket in the test. It has a very high degree of breathability and visibility. However, reattaching the detached sleeves cannot be done while wearing the jacket.
The Louis Garneau Spire Convertible is not water-proof against a soaking rain or solid downpour but the Polartec Power Shield Pro fabric protected the tester in heavy wind and drizzle during a week of commuting in mid-October.
Waffle-weave vent panels run down the front, back and arms of the Louis Garneau Spire Convertible to create a series of air-gaps that promote ventilation. These waffle-weave panels are then connected by stretchy panels on the outside and light fleece on the inside. This collection of panels transfers moisture from the body’s core.
The Louis Garneau Spire Convertible provides the cyclist the option of a long-sleeve and short-sleeve jacket. Sleeves are attached via a sturdy zipper. Removing the sleeves from jacket could be done while wearing the jacket. Reattaching the sleeves required the tester to remove the jacket, line up the zippers and then feed the short jacket sleeve through the detached sleeves.
There are two small angled stretch pockets on the back to hold tools or energy gels. A larger stretch envelop pocket between the two smaller pockets on the back can hold the detached sleeves. The jacket’s main zipper is glove-friendly.
The Louis Garneau Spire Convertible has a very tailored fit. The arms fully covered the tester’s wrists while stretched over the handlebars. While the front of the jacket is very short, the back’s longer cut provided decent coverage for the lower back.
The tester found that the best fit and comfort level when wearing a thin cycling jersey. Heavier jerseys or long-sleeved merino wool shirts made the Louis Garneau Spire Convertible feel too snug in the shoulders and upper arms. A silicone gripper at the hem secures jacket to form-fitting cycling shorts and leggings but tugs on baggier mountain bike shorts, knickers or cycling skirts.
The Louis Garneau Spire Convertible is fully packable into the rear stretch envelop pocket with a bit of effort. The detached shrug/sleeves can be stashed in the back stretch envelope pocket while wearing as a short-sleeve jacket. Neatly folding the sleeves first helps them lay flatter in the pocket.
The durable Polartec outer softshell and sturdy zippers ensure that this jacket will last for many years.