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Verdict: 
A very good performance jacket that offers startling reflectivity
Weight: 
370g

Reflective cycle clothing has improved a lot in recent years – and become a lot more acceptable – and the Proviz PixElite Softshell is among the new generation of jackets that discreetly feature large panels of reflective material without looking like a shiny beacon during the daytime when you don't need it.

It's a very good jacket, this. During the day it's just a black and grey jacket. Very understated, though not perhaps what you might describe as stylish. But at night it comes alive: the large panels of pixel fabric do their thing and light you up like a lantern when the beam of a car's headlight falls upon you.

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The Italian made jacket employs the clever PixElite fabric in large swathes over the arms, sides, shoulders and lower back. It owes its appearance to a reflective yarn weaved into the fabric, giving a dotted appearance. You can see just how reflective it is by watching this video.

If you do a lot of riding in the dark, whether it's daily commuting or early morning training rides or chain gangs in the evening, then making sure you're visible to other road users is clearly a good thing to do. Many cycling jackets offer token gestures to reflectively, small tabs here and there. Wearing a jacket that offers 360-degree reflectivity provides a great confidence boost when heading out into the dark, particularly the unlit country lanes that make up most of my riding.

Proviz PixElite Softshell Cycling Jacket - detail.jpg

The rest of the jacket is made from a tri-layered back-brushed thermal micro fibre, it says here, which means in reality that it keeps you toasty warm in single-digit temperatures. Worn over just a baselayer, it provides ample insulation for chilly early morning rides, and the breathability is sufficient that overheating is kept to a minimum.

The fit is very good, but – and the company does warn of this – it's proper Italian sizing. The medium I tested fits more like a size small from other brands. You might want to go up a size if you don't have the build of a racing snake. That aside, the shape is good with no restriction around the shoulders and a generous length to the torso, arms and collar. The long elastic cuffs provide good comfort and stop cold air sneaking up the arms.

Proviz PixElite Softshell Cycling Jacket - riding.jpg

It's great in brisk wind – the material is completely windproof – but you'll need a waterproof shell if heading out in heavy rain or you get caught in a storm.

> Check out our guide to the best winter cycling jackets here

You get plenty of pockets for carrying stuff: as well as the three around the back, there are two zipped pockets, one at the back and one on the chest, handy places to put house keys and money.

Proviz PixElite Softshell Cycling Jacket - pocket 2.jpg
Proviz PixElite Softshell Cycling Jacket - chest.jpg

Traditionally, cycling jacket choices, if reflectivity is high on your list, have mainly been garish commuting jackets (horrible – in my opinion – bright yellow things), but here's a jacket aimed at the sport cyclist who values the sense in being highly visible, but wants a normal looking jacket, one that needs to provide a good fit and work well when training at high tempos. This is one of the few jackets that really succeeds in bridging the divide.

Verdict

A very good performance jacket that offers startling reflectivity

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Proviz PixElite Softshell Cycling Jacket

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the jacket 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?

Proviz says: "The Proviz PixElite jacket is a high performance, Italian manufactured, winter cycling jacket that gives you warmth, breathability and features our new highly reflective PixElite fabric in the arms, sides, shoulders and lower back. The performance fit gives you everything required on your rides without being a super tight race fit, but if you like a little bit more room it is best to move up by one size. The bulk of the jacket is made from a soft-stretch mix of polyester, elastane and brushed thermal microfibre. Together they block the wind, keep you warm and regulate heat build-up on a hard winter ride."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?

Incorporates Proviz PixElite reflective performance fabric

Performance fit

Non-slip silicone hem

Lock-zips

Highly breathable

Windproof

Front and rear pockets

Embroidered logo

Machine washable

Made in Italy

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Excellent construction, very durable.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
8/10

Keeps you warm, helps you stand out in the dark.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
8/10

No issues to report.

It's not a waterproof jacket.

Rate the jacket for breathability, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
8/10

Decent level of breathability.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
8/10

If you've gone for the right size, the fit is very good.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
6/10

It's Italian sizing, so it comes up small. Consider sizing up.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
8/10

Nice and comfortable, the fabric is soft on the skin when worn with a short-sleeve baselayer.

Rate the jacket for value:
 
7/10

It's all the jacket you need for most conditions most of the winter time. Obviously not much use to you if you never ride in the dark, but if you do a lot of that it's probably worth the money.

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Just follow the instructions.

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

Provides extra visibility when riding at night.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Comfortable fit and discreet reflectivity built seamlessly into the jacket.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

It's not the most stylish jacket.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

If you do a lot of riding at night time, a jacket like this provides a lot more visibility than most jackets, without compromising the performance and fit.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

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: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

3 comments

Avatar
themartincox [553 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

"But at night it comes alive: the large panels of pixel fabric do their thing and light you up like a lantern when the beam of a car's headlight falls upon you"

would be handy to see this?!?

Avatar
Jez Ash [243 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

Check the link to a video showing it, in the paragraph just below the one you quoted.  1

Avatar
vamper.cc [4 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
themartincox wrote:

"But at night it comes alive: the large panels of pixel fabric do their thing and light you up like a lantern when the beam of a car's headlight falls upon you"

would be handy to see this?!?

Looked at the PixElite Gilet a while back from the same range - they are both very good - and very bright!

https://vamper.cc/the-proviz-pixelite-gilet-cycling-apparel-that-literally-stops-traffic/