The Proviz women's Nightrider jacket would be recommended by the 'Be Safe Be Seen' road safety hedgehog if he could ride a bike. Or could talk. Waterproof and well-lit, this is one of the most reflective jackets we've seen and combined with the Triviz detachable triangular light you'll be lit up like the angel on the top of the Christmas tree.
Since we tested the men's version back in 2010 Proviz have tackled our only gripe - the jacket is now machine washable. Because the jacket is now compatible with the Triviz light system, rather than having internal lighting strips, you can remove the electrics and bung the whole thing in the wash after a muddy ride. The label in my sample jacket said do not machine wash, but having checked directly with the manufacturers this is incorrect and the jacket can be washed at 30 degrees. The jacket retails at £60, or it can bought as a bundle with the additional Triviz light for £80 from www.velovixen.com.
The jacket has enough reflective aspects to enable you to take up a career in nighttime motorway maintenance. The long, wide strips down the arms are particularly effective when indicating. Under the arms, the 8 inch wide reflective panel adds to 360 degree visibility. The expanse of less breathable reflective material is offset by pit zips for added ventilation. Epaulettes, shoulder piping, a front zip strip of reflective material and the Proviz logos ensure that you catch the light from any angle.
The Nightrider is available in black and fluoro yellow for both sexes, I chose the female only raspberry colour which is bright but doesn't scream 'cycle safety'.
The Nightrider jacket is available in both women's and men's fit and I found the women's sizing to be on the extremely generous side. I usually take a size 16 and the 14 was still large on me with plenty of room underneath for winter layers. The Nightrider certainly isn't build for skinny fit speeding, and as the smallest size available is a listed as a 10, it may not be a good choice for petite riders either.
The cut isn't as feminine (i.e. tailored to cut in at the waist and flare over the hips) as I would have liked, and as a result it wasn't as flattering as it could be. When zipped up, the jacket's somewhat stiff material tends to bunch up around the lower chest. A more cycling specific cut with a slightly raised hem at the front would help to alleviate this. The jacket has a slight drop to the rear - this was enough to provide some weather protection for predominantly upright commuter riding, but if you like to ride low in the drops you may be leaving your bum slightly exposed.
On the back of the jacket there is a generous zipped pocket, placed low enough that items placed in it don't intrude into your ride comfort. In addition a velcro sealed inner chest pocket provides a perfect place to stash your phone. I'd have liked a pocket around the hip too, for off the bike use.
The back of the jacket features a velcro triangle which enables you to switch between a plastic reflective triangle and the Triviz light. The Triviz light can be switched between Proviz products, their rucksack for instance, where we review the Triviz light in full.
The initial feeling of weight quickly disappeared and I didn't notice the Triviz whilst riding. The choice of two flashing and a continuous light forming a blue triangle certainly stood out amongst the plethora of lights on the road at night. Even when I let the battery die, it triangle still stood out as a reflective beacon and even on London's notorious Cycle Superhighway 2 I felt pretty secure that I was as visible as I could make myself.
Proviz jackets have a good reputation for quality waterproofing and the Nightrider is no exception to this. Stormproof zips and seam seals meant that I wasn't getting wet no matter what November threw at me. As ever, the waterproofing does affect breathability but the pit zips and internal mesh work to limit this. The fleece collar adds comfort but the lack of a zip garage means I got the pointy edge pushing in my chin. The velco cuffs were comfy and the arm length was fine and even when fully extended my wrists stayed covered.
A great commuter choice if keeping dry and being seen are top of your list of priorities. Possibly the most reflective waterproof jacket on the market. Buy at least one size smaller than you think and pretend you've been riding enough to have dropped a dress size.
Super-visible waterproof commuter jacket that works best for a more upright riding position.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Proviz Womens Waterproof Jacket
Size tested: 14, Pink
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The PROVIZ Nightrider jackets are designed to make you stand out as much as possible on the roads 24 hours a day. The jackets have been designed to include the most amount of reflective panelling you will find on any cycling jacket on the market to give you 360 degree visibility.
The Triviz is designed as a visibility booster to help you stand out above the sea of red and white lights already on the roads. The Triviz is exclusively compatible with all the products in the PROVIZ Nightrider range and is attachable/detachable in seconds via super strength velcro to make sure it is held firmly in place. Simply remove the reflective triangle from your Nightrider product, and replace it with the Triviz. It's position, once attached, is designed to be at eye-level and in full view so vehicles give you extra room when passing.
I'd be hard pressed to find a more reflective jacket without going for an entire 3M Scotchlight offering.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Triviz light pack compatible (simply replace the reflective triangle)
Waterproof, breathable and hard-wearing fabric with mesh lining for extra comfort
Fleece-lined comfort collar
Highly reflective panelling, trim, logos and removable booster triangle
Adjustable waistband and velcro cuff
Waterproof storm zip
Seam-sealed for extra waterproofing
Inside chest, back pockets
Low profiled rear spray guard
Weight - 440g
Unique self-contained light-emitting warning triangle
Electroluminescent lighting - Most effective lighting system to draw attention to yourself when it is dark or during times of poor light
Colour: Blue or Red
Mini-USB rechargeable - 4 hours (power lead included)
Exclusively compatible with all products in the Nightrider range, attachable via hook and loop (in place of reflective triangle on chosen Nightrider product)
Size of triangle: 16cm x 16cm x 16cm
Modes: Constant, fast flash, slow flash
Run time: 12+ constant, 16+ flashing
Seams and zips were well waterproofed.
I couldn't fault its reflective features.
I'm waiting to see how further washing may affect its waterproofing.
440g, plus the 115g Triviz light.
A more tailored fit and a zip garage would improve the comfort.
More reflective than other jackets at this price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
No one said 'sorry mate I didn't see you' while I was wearing the jacket.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The visibility it gave me, especially when signalling.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The boxy cut and zip.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 5'7 Weight: size 16
I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure