Winter's coming, and it's time to reach for the longer sleeves and thicker fabrics. The Polaris Niteride II is one you could reach for – updated for 2008 it features Therma-Stretch™ fabric, a windstopper layer, rear pockets, reflectives and a full-length zip. Does all this make for a comfy Winter jersey? Let's start with the fabric. Therma-Stretch™ is a Polyester/Elastane mix that's like a heavy Roubaix lycra.
On top of that there's a tight-weave Polyester lining at the front which acts as the windstopper. The tail is dropped with a gripper to keep it there, and the sizing is, well, correct – Polaris have historically produced enormous clothing but they seem to have it more or less spot on now, the XL was a reasonably snug fit on me like I'd expect. There are thumb loops in the sleeves which I generally think is a great idea, though I found them a little small.
It's a reasonably heavy top at 458g and provides plenty of warmth on colder days. it's plenty warm enough to wear as a single layer under a gilet or shell on a crisp morning, and it's comfy next to the skin, but it's better with a base layer as it's not the best at wicking away sweat. The windstopper is effective and the cut is good on the bike, it doesn't bunch up in the belly and the tail gripper stops it riding up. The three pockets are stretchy and a decent size, and there's a zipped fourth pocket in the middle for cash and keys. The reflective – on the sides, shoulders and arms – is excellent and the red one we tested is pretty visible anyway, but it's a shame there isn't a bigger reflective patch on the rear pocket as that's a key area.