The Rev'it Connector HV vest is one of the niftiest ideas I've seen in motorcycle gear for a long time.
It's a high-visibility neon yellow (EN471 certified) vest with 3M Scotchlite panels that attaches to various models of Rev'it jackets
The Connector HV vest is part of a modular system, but can also be worn over jackets of a different brand.
I don't think anyone would deny that extra visibility on a motorcycle is a good thing...but not everyone wants to wear a neon yellow or orange jacket like the Rev'it Energy HV Jacket (review) on every ride.
Jackets with "full time" hi-viz material aren't to everyone's taste. Besides, the bright colors can quickly become too soiled to do much good and it can be difficult to clean an entire jacket.
The alternative is a high-visibility vest that slips on over the jacket, but these are often too loose for a proper fit and they can flap around in the slipstream.
Fitting snugly to a bike jacket, yet easily detached for cleaning, replacement or "stealth mode" riding, the Rev'it Connector HV vest offers the best of both worlds. I fitted mine to the Levante jacket straight away, and it's rarely been off since.
The Connector HV vest comes rolled in its own bright yellow bag, making it easy to transport and protecting it from dirt while knocking around in your bag or top box. The bag itself is printed with specifications and sizing information, and closes with a toggle and elastic.
The high-visibility EN471 certified neon yellow vest is constructed from mesh, giving good air flow and plenty of stretch, as well as keeping it from billowing and ballooning in the wind.
There are two 50 mm (2") high stripes of silver 3M Scotchlite reflective material low down on the back, another 50 mm stripe over each shoulder, and a reflective Rev'it logo between the shoulders. The wide elastic straps that hold the vest close to the jacket are striped yellow and reflective silver.
The surface area is smaller than some vests, particularly in the front, but there's certainly enough cover to ensure the material will be visible, with some reflective and hi-viz material in sight from every direction.
The Connector HV vest has a series of connectors (thus the name "Connector" vest) that fit specific Rev'it jackets, such as the Rev'it Levante jacket (review) and others. The Connector HV vest was first introduced in the webBikeWorld 2013 Rev'it Spring Clothing Preview.
The Connector-ready jackets come with very small fabric loops in front and back that mate to the Connector HV vest, which then fits on the jacket looking like it is part of a system. Rev'it does sometimes refer to this as a "modular" design, and it's very clever and what makes the Connector HV vest different from the rest.
The Connector HV vest can also be worn over non-Connector-ready Rev'it jackets or jackets of other brands, making it a very useful all-around product.
The Connector HV vest comes in sizes from S to XL. A chart on the bag matches vest size to men's and women's European jacket sizes. My vest is a size M, which fits nicely over my size 40 Levante women's jacket. The size can also be adjusted using plastic fasteners on the elastic side straps.
According to the Rev'it website, the Rev'it jackets that are currently compatible with the Connector attachment system at are the Rev'it Sand 2, Sand 2 HV, Levante, Nautilus, Safari, and Outback.
It's easy to fit the connector vest to a Rev'it compatible jacket, whether or not the jacket is being worn at the time. Compatible jackets have a small loop of ribbon at waist level, on either side of the main zip. Simply slip the jacket sleeves through the vest's armholes, then pass the hook-and-loop tab at each side of the vest through the jacket loop and close.
The loops on the jacket are unobtrusive, and riders who don't purchase an HV Connector might not even notice them.
Once fitted, the vest stays snugly in place while the jacket is worn. However, I would have liked another loop and tab at the back of the jacket neck, to stop the vest from sliding down while taking the jacket off or when the jacket is placed on a hook or hangar. The vest itself has a hanging loop at the back of the neck for storage.
Another minor niggle: the label inside the neck is large, only attached at the top, and it tends to poke out from under the fabric.
The third and last of my grumbles is that the black tape edges of the vest tend to roll under, although this doesn't affect the amount of hi-viz material on display.
To fit the vest to a jacket without the connecting loops, simply pass the hook-and-loop tab on the left through the loop on the right side of the vest itself. You'll need to stretch the front of the vest a little further to fasten it this way, but there shouldn't be enough of a difference to necessitate buying a larger size.
The Rev'it Connector HV vest is convenient and turns any jacket into a hi-viz type. The advantage over a full HV jacket is that the vest can be more easily cleaned or even replaced when it gets dirty.
When worn with a compatible Rev'it jacket, the fastening system and the stretchy fabric make it difficult to tell that the jacket isn't a high-viz type.
Many motorcycle riders today have a high-visibility vest at home or stored on the bike, but we often forget or can't be bothered to put it on when dusk falls. Adding the HV Connector to a compatible jacket makes it an opt-out rather than an opt-in system, adding visibility without the extra bother of putting on yet another piece of gear.
Remove it to travel incognito, or so you don't look like a giant Dayglo bee in the rideout photos, otherwise fit and forget.
wBW Product Review: REV'IT! Connector HV Vest
|Manufacturer: Rev'it||List Price: $49.99 or £29.99|
|Colors: High visibility neon yellow, EN471 certified.||Made In: China|
|Sizes: S to XL (Unisex)||Star Rating (1-5):|
|Review Date: July 2013|
Note: Item was provided by a retailer, distributor or manufacturer with these Terms and Conditions.