Positive comments in abundance from both drivers and fellow cyclists on the visibility provided by Proviz's new Reflect 360 Jacket can't be a bad thing. If you spend a lot of time on the roads in the dark it'll certainly get you noticed.
Hi-viz is okay for overcast days or just before sunset but if you ride in the dark reflectives are what you need. UK company Proviz has taken this to the extreme with the new Reflect 360 jacket; the outer is made entirely from reflective material.
In daylight it just looks like a light grey jacket yet as soon as it's dark whatever light source and colour hits it is reflected back brightly. On dark roads it gives you an amazing presence as soon as a driver picks you out. Even with powerful front and rear lights a cyclist can still be seen as quite a small object on the road but with the 360 on I could definitely hear cars behind me slowing earlier or not going for that suspect pass in the first place.
What caused it I'm not sure, whether it's the fact that the reflective jacket shape humanises you as a rider or whether it's just the sheer contrast of light against dark I don't know but it works.
Signalling is more pronounced too; having your entire arm lit up by car headlights means people can be under no illusion of what you are intending to do.
The cut of the jacket is more commuter style than race so it's safe to assume that a streetlit urban environment is where the designers expect it to be used most. It works here too standing out among all the lights from shops, traffic and signs, plus creases in the material mean that streetlights reflect off the jacket at all angles as you move.
The Reflect 360 is water resistant rather than Proviz claiming any waterproofing ratings but the material keeps out moderate rain for a decent amount of time backed up by taped seams and a storm zip. The rear drops slightly to which also adds protection if you aren't using mudguards.
Our test model is a medium, the size I take in most things, but due to the relaxed cut the sizing is generous and a small would fit me better. Proviz's size guide does come up right though so it's best to use that.
The fit of the jacket is good with a high neck and sensible length sleeves. You get a drawstring waist and cuffs to tweak everything and it looks just as good with regular clothes as it does with cycling specific kit.
Breathability is taken care of by vents below the shoulders on the back. These are open full time but are covered by a storm flap to keep the wet weather out. The underarm zips are large and allow you to control body temperature quite impressively. A spirited two hour ride at 12°C was just right with all the vents open to full although you soon heat up should you need to stop.
Storage is taken care of by a couple of chest pockets on the outside and one on the inside which are all the right size for a mobile phone or wallet. The outer ones are zipped for security including a rear one which runs along in the usual place.
Overall the Reflect 360 is a great dark ride reflective jacket and certainly makes you stand out in the sticks or in town. Its a quality product too that looks well made and durable which it should be considering the £74.99 price tag. Up against the likes of Altura's Night Vision Evo it holds its own and looks good value for money.
Comfortable commuter friendly jacket for those night time rides thanks to highly visible reflectivity
road.cc test report
Make and model: Proviz Reflect 360 Jacket
Size tested: Medium
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 REFLECT360 jacket is designed as a year round jacket for use in the dark. The material is water resistant and windproof making it ideal for the winter months for commuting or general riding.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100% reflective outer-shell
Built in air vents to keep ventilated (front, under-arm and shoulder/back)
Fleece-lined comfort collar
Adjustable waistband and velcro cuff
Water-repellent storm zip
Seam-sealed for extra waterproofing
Inside chest & back pockets
Low profiled rear spray guard
Inside mesh lining for added comfort
Conforms to EN ISO 20471:2013
Neat and tidy finish.
Impressive as a reflective jacket and does a good job against light rain and showers.
The material feels durable as do the zips.
The mesh lining is soft against the skin and the rest of the jacket feels nice when its on to.
Right on the button against the opposition like Altura's Night Vision and the like. If you buy it direct from Proviz you get free UK delivery and a pair of lights thrown in for free.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pretty well, the reflectivity is great as is the water resistance and breathability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How visible you become in the dark.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A slim cut race version would be a nice touch.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Why no one has thought of a fully reflective jacket before I don't know but it makes a lot of sense. The REFLECT360 delivers solidly on all counts which is why I think it deserves four stars. A more tailored racing version would be nice for racers to who have to train in the dark.
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.