The Polaris Shield windproof jacket has been my trusty companion in the turbulent weather we've been having. It's a lot more waterproof than its name suggests, and it packs down nice and small.
It's pretty minimal; my scales report a mere 125 grams for the size large tested. You don't get any pockets, but there is a drawcord at the hem and the collar. You get thumb loops on the sleeves, which seem to come on most jackets of this type. They are pointless in my opinion, but others might find them useful.
There's a full length zip at the front; it's not waterproof, but you do get a flap behind the zip to keep the wind out. There's a "zip garage" at the top to keep it from scratching your chin - nice detail. There's plenty of subtle reflective detailing down the back and on the sides and arms, but hardly any on the front.
The jacket comes with an internal stuff pocket: this is a of mesh sewn into the side which together with the jacket outer forms a stuff sack when you turn it inside out. It's on the generous side - it's pretty easy to stuff the jacket in and a wide elastic strap keeps everything in. Nice to have, but hardly got used.
In terms of fit, a large is pretty big for a 5ft 10in, 80kg cyclist and a medium would have been fine, or even a small for a racy fit. On the flipside, I did enjoy the easy fit over my biggest winter jersey, even at the collar. The back goes down far enough to keep road spray off lycra.
While Polaris bill the jacket as a windproof, rainwater pearls up nicely on the fabric and is absolutely fine in anything but a prolonged downpour. Polaris's claim that it's "extremely breathable" is a bit optimistic in my opinion - anything that is extremely breathable lets wind and rain through in my experience. However, as waterproofs go it's pretty good, especially given this price point. The vent flap on the back helps, too.
The jacket is available in black or white and in 5 sizes: Small, Medium, Large, XL and XXL.
A really decent, good value, surprisingly waterproof jacket, but check you're OK with the fit.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Polaris Shield Windproof Jacket
Size tested: White, Large
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?
Polaris bill it as a "super lightweight windproof cycling jacket"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
It's made from a showerproof micro dernier ripstop fabric.
It's a lot more waterproof than some other "showerproof" jackets I've tried.
It has stood up well to the 2 months or so I've had it on most days, I reckon it'll last a good while.
125 grams at this price isn't very heavy.
The size tested was a large, which is probably a bit big for me (5ft 10in, 80kg). Nice because it easily fits over a long sleeve winter jersey, collar and all. A bit flappy though.
It's a very decent jacket for the £50 mark.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's so light that it has gone with me on every bike ride in the last few months, and it has kept me warm and dry when needed. Just the job.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I actually quite liked that it's a bit roomy.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The version tested was white, which is more like semi transparent and it is starting to look a bit tatty from road spray.
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?
The Polaris Shield windproof is a really decent, good value, surprisingly waterproof jacket, but check you're OK with the fit.
About the tester
Age: 32 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cervelo Dual
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, Audax