|The zipper on this is horrible, and not to be trusted, but as a 2nd layer it's terrific.|
My ride was slow, because of detours on the ARPT due to the bottom of the draw at the bottom of the 'big' hill between Sunrise and Hazel being flooded, and because I had another flat (I'm looking at Conti Ultra Gatorskins again to get more flat protection in winter). Somehow it didn't matter a bit. I was just THRILLED be out riding again after days of rain. (and still more days of rain to come)
I've had good luck wearing a vest under a windbreaker before. The vest, especially one with a full mesh back like this one (black because it's intended for mtb riding, not road riding), acts as a diffuser, and allows you to open the jacket's collar without freezing your neck and shoulders, while armpits and core temps are kept under control.
The front zippers on the jacket, vest, and jersey offer tons of venting options to keep you warm, without soaking you in a sweat bath. Weirdly, it often works best to unzip the vest most of the way, and then use the jacket zipper to control overall air flow. This lets some air to the front of your chest without getting your shoulders cold.
The convertible jacket gives me lots of ways to stay cool - and dry if the skies decide to open up. It has tons of pockets, in addition to the 4 on my jersey, so the single folding phone pocket sewn into the side seam on the vest isn't an issue. For long rides it would make a nice place to store keys.
My jersey was pretty much wet when I got home, but no more so than riding with it alone on a humid, mid-70s temp day. With an orange LS jersey, and all the reflective tape on the vest, in a pinch I could do without the jacket - if she was REALLY gorgeous and needing to borrow some protection! ;D
I like the vest's tight elastic on the arm holes. It keeps the yoke well protected, keeping my neck and shoulders warm when I zip the jacket down for more ventilation. While I did get misted on, today wasn't a great test of the jacket's ability to handle rain, although, the yoke's design has a loosely Velcro-ed flap over a shoulder-to-shoulder patch of mesh, so it should shed water and still breathe well.
Pending an outing in real rain, I am very happy with this combo. Even the rather subdued red color of the jacket brightens up a lot under overcast skies, although, if I didn't already have a screaming yellow colored vest, I would have gotten that color in the jacket. For serious hill climbing I'd take the sleeves off and ride with just one vest.
I'm happy to have dialed in a great combo comprising the new jacket, as it has been a challenge with all the crazy weather we've had the last month.