This has to be a great idea. The Mavic H2O is a top-notch waterproof that also doubles as a reflective garment for bad weather or night time riding. Since having this on test I have to admit that I don't bother packing anything else for either commuting or training in either bad weather or at night. I've been delighted with its performance in every regard.
So what do you get for your £110? Well, this is clearly a well-made waterproof jacket with plenty of neat and well thought-out features. It's cut for performance, being fairly snug-fitting. It has adjustable cuffs and mesh inserts to help you vent heat and keep you comfortable, even in grim conditions.
Without being either tight or restrictive, it flapped about noticeably less than other similar jackets. Mavic have included a very large rear pocket that is easily opened and closed with a robust zip to stash those essentials and snacks. The Dura Lite Rain fabric is a light and reasonably breathable ripstop fabric that is noticeably more pleasant to wear than that used on some cheaper waterproofs. The Viz+ strips are cleverly positioned to provide you with maximum visibility to other road users from all directions. I particularly liked the long stripes down the arms and to the sides, which gave me more of a presence on dark roads when viewed from the sides and also when signalling.
The jacket actually exceeds the European and EN1150 standards for non-professional use safety equipment, which gives some indication of how effectively it performs. The EN1150 standard stipulates minimum areas for luminous background and retroreflective materials and should ensure that any garment meeting the criteria will be highly conspicuous either during the day or at night. Whilst the bright orange colour scheme is highly effective in fading light, the H2O still looks good and maybe not quite as obviously like a safety garment as some other jackets on the market.
As for its performance in the rain, well, it coped with everything that was thrown at it during the test, and hasn't noticeably deteriorated despite heavy use. As with all waterproofs, breathability is a factor to consider, and the H2O compared very well to other jackets. I frequently found myself riding in it on cold mornings with no rain forecast, mainly for its windproof properties and its high visibility. I didn't find it very sweaty at all. The fabric seems to be pretty durable and hasn't shown much signs of wear despite being repeatedly stuffed into a saddle pack and used when necessary. The build quality is excellent throughout, and the seams and finish of the jacket are faultless.
I realize these won't be everyone's cup of tea aesthetically, but I really like what Mavic have done here, putting high visibility to the forefront of the design of what is already an excellent rain jacket in its own right. It's so well done that I actually think it looks great.
Superb jacket for anyone who regularly rides in bad weather or at night.
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Make and model: Mavic Vision H2O Jacket
Size tested: Fluro Orange - M
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?
Stay dry and visible in even the worst weather. The vision H20 Jacket provides maximum visibility thanks to the Viz + Technology, which excedes the strict European safety standards, and waterproofing for wet, overcast and low light rides.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Mesh Lined Collar
Rear Zip Pocket
Dura Rain Fabric
Viz + Technology
Couldn't fault it
Great visibility and a very good waterproof in it's own right.
There are marginally lighter jackets out there, but not with features like this!
Difficult to put a price on being seen by drivers, but an altogether reasonable price for a quality garment.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great for being seen and comfortable and effective as a waterproof.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Visibility. Performance in the wet.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
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?
A superb jacket.
Age: 36 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Surly Long Haul Trucker My best bike is: Litespeed Saber
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, mtb, Triathlon