Clothing

REVIEW: Proviz Reflect360 Cycling Jacket Recommended

by Nick Gregory

Price £74.99
Size Small to XXL
Colour Grey
The jacket won't be for everybody, however, for those commuting or riding on busy roads in dark conditions, it's an absolute revelation.

There comes a point in the year where every cyclist must make a choice: Do I put the bike away for the winter, dust off the gym membership and the rail season ticket, and admit that Britain's wintery conditions and roads just aren't conducive to cycling... Or, do I put enough lights on my bike to make Jimmy from Quadrophenia jealous, don the thermal bib tights, and dig out the high-vis jacket. 

No matter how race cut your usual jersey, how toned your legs and how bling your bike, no cyclist looks cool in winter! With the clocks changing this weekend it will be getting darker earlier in the evenings, and it's only sensible for our thoughts to be turning to safety. 

High-vis clothing is designed to be attention-grabbing and eye-catching. This is of course its main selling point, and the reason why it has been the choice of those that brave two wheels during the darker periods of the calendar. However, to be high-vis normally means choosing the lesser of various fluorescent and iluminous evils. It also often doesn't work, as at pace, even clothing that looks like a highlighter pen can still be hard to spot, as colours become a mono-toned blur. 

PV1

So what's the answer? Well, British company Proviz have come up with an innovative solution that allows cyclists to be visible at night without having to resort to the usual loud shades. Proviz have been around since 2009, when keen cycling brothers Anthony and Rupert Langly-Smith wanted to improve the safety of cyclists and runners. Since then they have designed and produced a wide range of high-vis clothing and apparel. 

Their recently launched Reflect360 collection is made using a unique material that has millions of glass beads interwoven into it. The result is a fabric that is an understated pearl grey colour under daylight, but comes into its own in the dark. When artificial light is shined on it, the small beads reverse the direction of said light and transform the jacket in to a brilliant white beacon.  

PV2

This proves far more eye-catching than traditional winter commuting gear, thus giving fellow road users that extra second or two to make their decisions. So much so in fact, that during several rides fellow cyclists and even commuters in cars have wound down the window to ask about the jacket whilst stopped at traffic lights and junctions.

Just as important as its reflectivity, however, is the fact that the garment performs its primary function - that of being a winter jacket - admirably too. Even without its reflective qualities, it would certainly hold its own against the competition. 

It is resistant enough to deal with heavy rain showers, as well as the wind and cold, however, I should stress it's not fully waterproof. The unseasonably mild weather we have been enjoying recently has also posed the issue of being too warm whilst wearing it on the commute, but it must be remembered that this is a winter jacket, and come December and January I'll be glad of the extra warmth. The cut is also very generous around the body, so don't expect to see too many wearing it on your next chaingang - it's definitely not designed to be aero or race fit. 

PV3

The jacket won't be for everybody, however, for those commuting or riding on busy roads in dark conditions, it's an absolute revelation. Retailing at just £74.99, it's also very competitively priced when compared to others on the market such as the Altura Night Vision Evo. The availability of a rucksack or rucksack cover, and a lightweight gilet made from the same reflective material also adds to the range's appeal.   

To find out more visit www.provizsports.com.





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