Polaris Quantum Jacket  £89.99

7/10

Very waterproof, very bright, warm enough for deep winter & decent value, but could be more breathable.

Weight 480g   Contact  www.polaris-apparel.co.uk

by Steve Worland   November 16, 2013  

Polaris Quantum Jacket

The Polaris Quantum is a substantially constructed and feature-loaded jacket that doesn't just come in very, very, very fluoro yellow.

In fact its extensive reflective detail and piping on the front, back and sides means that the not-quite-so-bright orange or even initially-stealthy black options stand out in car lights too, so you only need to wear the uniform fluoro if you want to.

The fit is relatively snug compared to more general use all-rounder jackets.

In other words, it's a lot more cycling-specific than some, with a high front, long sleeves with Velcro straps and an obviously dropped back that contains a zip pocket with a storm flap. If you're determined enough this could double up as a stuff-sack for the whole jacket but it's a tight fit. The only other pocket is a vertically zipped one on the left breast.

There are long zips under each arm to assist the mesh lined Hydrovent fabric, a good thing as after a few fairly rapid outings we'd say the fabric itself is less obviously breathable than some of the more costly fabrics, for example Gore Windstopper.

On the positive side, it's more obviously waterproof than some more breathable fabrics and the double layer construction means it's a lot warmer than some single layer jackets on very cold days. First impressions are that the Quantum doesn't leak at all.

The extra mesh inner lining helps to trap body heat and helps to avoid the clammy feeling you get from some single layer jackets when you put them back on after a stop.

We like the roll-up adjustable hood and the underarm zips have certainly been useful on showery but mild rides as the snug fit and mesh lining soon allows heat to build.

The heat build factor effectively makes it a great winter conditions top rather than a pack-away option for spring/summer/autumn showers, unless you have the cold blooded constitution of a lizard, in which case it'll serve you well for the whole year.

We've cool washed it in a machine three times so far. Thirty degrees is recommended; much hotter and you'll compromise both its waterproof and its breathable qualities.

Verdict

Very waterproof and very bright, but other colours available. Only moderately breathable but warm enough for deep winter. A bit too warm for other times. Not bad value.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Polaris Quantum Jacket

Size tested: Medium Fluo Yellow

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?

It's a properly waterproof top that's only slightly breathable but snug and tailored enough to make it cycling specific. Its emphasis on warmth makes it a bit more bulky than some and it's too warm for faster longer rides unless you're one of those cold blooded non sweaty types.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Nice tailored, thoughtfully highlighted for dark conditions and well made.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Great for in winter. Overkill for milder conditions.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Seems tough enough.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

Not a lightweight option but packs down fairly small when necessary.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

Very comfy fit but snug so you need to be careful on sizing

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Great for deep winter, or for short wet rides at other times. Too warm for longer, milder rides, however wet it gets.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The cut was excellent.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Personally I'm not a fluoro fan but I like jackets with lots of reflective piping instead so I could be persuaded to wear the black one.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, apart from regularly becoming overheated.

Would you consider buying the product? No.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they were looking for winter darkness fluoro yes.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 58  Height: 181  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Merlin Ti  My best bike is: Ibis Silk SL

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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

2 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Don't want to moan, because it looks like a good jacket (at least for daytime use) but "extensive reflective detail" ? Don't be daft - the reflective area is only a fraction of a standard high vis vest.

It's hard to tell because suppliers have yet to grasp, at least when it comes to hi-vis, that we need to see both sides of the garment to be able to make a proper assessment.

It's absolutely vital that cyclists understand the difference, and are not lulled into a false sense of security, by clinging to the notion that a little bit of reflective detail here and there is adequate.

All cycling media need to shine a light on this issue by either providing, or insisting on suppliers providing, images of the actual garment "in the field" (my avatar gives some idea of what is required).

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

Neil753's picture

posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
16th November 2013 - 17:02

11 Likes

Part of the reviewer's job is to help you with a decision, especially where the supplier hasn't provided enough photos, so Steve Worland says here:

"In fact its extensive reflective detail and piping on the front, back and sides means that the not-quite-so-bright orange or even initially-stealthy black options stand out in car lights too, so you only need to wear the uniform fluoro if you want to"

posted by fatsimonstan [38 posts]
18th November 2013 - 10:40

8 Likes

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