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A waterproof cycling jacket isn't usually top of my list for summer cycling purchases but after several
weeks of constantly getting caught in torrential rain on the way to or from work I decided it was time
for a new cycling jacket.
The Altura Night Vision Evo jacket is available in dayglo yellow, bright red or black. I ended up
buying the black version although I appreciate the added safety factor of a bright dayglo yellow
jacket for commuting I prefer to wear darker jackets when mountain biking and I need the jacket
to do both. The black jacket is understated enough to wear for nipping to the shops on the way
home or a quick after work drink without looking like you've just escaped from the Tour De France
but there's also plenty of features to keep you comfortable on the bike.
The jacket comes with reflective panels on the arms,shoulders and tail and also has reflective
taping around the main zip and around the pockets. On the black jacket these panels are grey
in colour rather than the white colour on the red or yellow jacket but after dark they shine a
brilliant white colour when car lights hit the reflective material lighting the jacket up like a landing
strip so even the doziest car driver should notice you.
The jacket is made from a waterproof and breathable material with taped seams. There are zipped
under arm vents and vents in the back of the jacket which prevent you feeling like a boil in the bag
curry on warmer days. Although the jackets is supposedly breathable you would definitely be too
warm at this time of year if it didn't have the vents. My previous Gore Tex jacket was definitely more
breathable than the Altura but to be fair it also cost a lot more and the Altura is definitely better
than many jackets I've owned in the past. The material feels quite substantial it's pliable enough to
roll up reasonably small for storing in your bag but not so flimsy that it will tear easily so hopefully
the jacket should last a while.
The inner lining of the jacket is made from a fine mesh material which keeps the waterproof outer
layer away from your skin. Unlike some cycling jackets I've owned in the past the lining is soft
enough to be comfortable against your skin rather than rough mesh that scratches your skin.
Drawstring toggles at the neck and bottom of the jacket and velcro adjusters on the sleeves
allow you to adjust the fit of the jacket and a fleece lined collar for added comfort. The jacket
also has the option to fit a matching hood which sadly isn't included so you'll have to fork out
an extra £10 to buy one.
The jacket has 3 pockets on the front and 1 pocket on the lower back of the jacket. The pockets
are a reasonable size and the zip closure ensures your stuff stays put. The pocket zips and
main zip have decent sized pull tags so they are easy to use even if you are wearing gloves.
The rear pocket also has a velcro tab for attaching an LED light to the jacket for greater visibility
at night. My jacket came with an LED battery powered lightstick with a clip that attaches to the
tab at the back of the jacket although I'm uncertain if this was a special offer or if all of the Altura
jackets come with this included.
Overall I'm pleased with the jacket so far it has been worn in torrential rain on several occasions
and I've stayed dry although I do feel it is slightly too warm and I need the vents open all the
time or I overheat at the moment. The night time visibility is fantastic which will make this a great
jacket for commuting in the winter months when it's already dark when I leave work to cycle home.
The jacket currently costs around £90 from cycle shops or online although it's worth looking out for
sales as I managed to get mine for £65 during a recent sale at our local bike shop.