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Pat Kinsella

Salomon Sense Flow Vest review: super-lightweight running jacket that’s armless fun

Running man wearing Salomon Sense Flow Vest.

Salomon Sense Flow Vest: first impressions

Often, especially in the shoulder seasons, you don’t need an extra layer that fully covers your entire top half when you’re out trail running or doing a brisk hike, you simply need something that will help keep your torso toasty and fend off the negative effects of windchill, so that your core temperature doesn’t drop. 


• List price: $150 (US) / £135 (UK)
• Insulation: Synthetic
• Gender availability: Male / Female
• Sizes: S / M / L / XL / 2XL
• Weight: 3.7oz / 105g
• Colors: Men’s: Carbon; Women’s: Carbon / White & Peach

This is where a good gilet is the perfect piece of apparel, and the new Sense Flow Vest from Salomon is an extremely lightweight version of exactly this kind of windproof garment. 

Designed primarily for runners, and small enough to be easily stuffed into any hydration pack, daypack or fanny pack, it can also be used by hikers and fastpackers as a super minimalist extra layer. 

It’s essentially the vest version of the more comprehensive Sense Flow wind jacket, but the gilet style enables you to keep your arms free whilst running and hiking, and permits a whole lot more airflow to areas such as your armpits.

Salomon Sense Flow Vest: on the trails

If you need it, the extends up into a high neck for extra protection (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

I began testing the Salomon Sense Flow Vest several weeks ago, running and hiking on a variety of coastal and countryside trails and hillsides – many of them extremely exposed – just as fall began to bite, with high winds barreling in, often spiked with an icy chill. 

And this is exactly the kind of conditions the Sense Flow Vest has been designed to perform in. Incredibly lightweight, this minimally insulated sleeveless gilet top from Salomon is excellent for keeping windchill off your body during outings in blustery but changeable weather, when you might be running in to a Baltic-feeling breeze one minute, only to turn a corner and find yourself sweating along a sun-splattered section of sheltered trail.

The pinprick vents on the back panel make the Sense Flow Vest extremely breathable (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

The smart design features pinprick vents on the back panel of the vest that make the Sense Flow Vest extremely breathable, while still shielding the wearer from the wind at the front, where the zip extends up into a high neck for extra protection. In really warm conditions, you can open the zip partially or fully, but stop it flapping around by using a purpose-made popper that keeps the two sides together.

There are reflective flourishes across the shoulders of the vest for safety while running along lanes and roads shared with motorized traffic, and a zipped pocket on the chest can be used for carrying small items such as a gel, key or credit card.

The Salomon Sense Flow Vest – front… (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
…and back (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
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