Altura Night Vision Windstopper jacket review.
Many of us have the luxury of commuting by bike (substitute the word ‘luxury’ for something less fluffy when it’s freezing cold and pouring with rain) and like many regular commuters I like to be both warm and visible.
This winter my first choice of top layer has been this Altura Night Vision Wind stopper jacket, the Wind stopper material covers the front facing sections of the jacket with more breathable shell sections used for the areas of the garment sheltered from the wind, essentially the back of the jersey and the underside surfaces of the arms.
This is not as expensive as many jackets on the market but I must say I have been very impressed, the Wind stopper sections are located perfectly keeping the wind chill just off the areas that need them, the more breathable shell sections have been effective enough to help stop me feeling sweaty which is ideal, especially as the winter draws to a close and temperatures start to increase, as does my mileage and work rate on my ride home.
As my night time mileage increases it brings me to the subject of making myself visible. Over the years this means that I have worn Sam Brown reflective belts and even reflective tabards, simply because although brightly coloured cycling garments have been available for a few years, which are good for day time visibility, at night they still require a reflective element to be effective. As you can see from the pictures the bright yellow colour of this jacket is visible in close up shots only, the secondary shots were taken at a slight distance, as you can see only the reflective sections are actually visible. Fortunately this ‘Night Vision’ jacket is so named because it does contain a generous amount of reflective material.
Infact I no longer use my tabard or Sam Browne belt, as the jacket concentrates the reflective elements on areas relevant to a bike rider, especially on the front facing areas like arms and across the front of the shoulders, where large areas of a Sam Browne belt for example may be wasted in less relevant and as such less effective areas. Effort has also been taken to incorporate the reflective sections into the design is such a way that the jacket does not have that ‘railway workman’ look about it, as many can do and as such are often reserved just for riding in the dark, where as I would be happy to wear this jacket for day time use only.
In conclusion this is a very versatile jacket, wind proof yet breathable enough for use across a wide temperature range, plus an effective reflective jacket.
For. Warm, breathable and reflective
Against. Exceed the 30 degrees max washing temperature and the reflective material can come off.
Written and reviewed by Paul Smith for roadcyclinguk.com