Altura are known for producing good value kit that performs well for the money. The Night Vision Evo is just one below the company's top notch waterproof jacket (the Sirius Plus at £129.99) and as such is aimed at the more serious commuter, or rider looking for long duration protection from the elements and a comfortable ride.
It's an inoffensive looking jacket, with plenty of cycling specific features, such as huge amounts of reflective accenting, and the bright colour options (as well as good old black).
Features include part elasticated/part Velcro fastening cuffs, hip drawstring, two zipped side pockets that double as underarm ventilation, a rear lumbar pocket, vents across the shoulder area and a fuzzy patch to which you can stick the Velcro fastening Lightstick LED that comes with the jacket (a removable hi-viz gadget that flashes red). The collar is fleecy lined too, for cold weather comfort.
The fit of the Night Vision Evo is on the generous side, with a UK10 being equivalent to most manufacturers' size 12 (it's available in sizes UK8-18), with plenty of room for layering. That said, the fit is quite straight up and down, making it better suited to those with an athletic broad shoulders/narrow hips physique. It doesn't sit quite as well on a more curvy frame.
On the bike, this is a good midweight jacket, which was neither too warm nor too cold, making it handy for three season use. The combination of the mesh lining and soft-touch waterproof fabric meant it was comfortable against the skin, and it was genuinely breathable enough to mean I didn't get sweaty on the inside when wearing short sleeves under it in warmer conditions, yet it dealt quickly with moisture vapour with long sleeves too.
The side pockets with mesh lining doubled up nicely for a bit of extra ventilation. The sheer amount of reflective bits and pieces on it, coupled with the flashing doo dah on the back made me as visible as I possibly could be - given that I was obviously completely invisible by dint of riding a bike in the first place (sorry...rant over).
I particularly liked the reflectivity on the sleeves, which many manufacturers seem to overlook, despite its importance in helping to make hand signals visible after dark. The only little niggle I had was that the Lightstick LED gizmo doesn't have a replaceable battery, meaning you have to bin it and buy a new one (£9.99) once it runs out of juice, something the eco-miser in me isn't happy with. I also found the main zip a little on the stiff side for easy on-the-fly operation.
At £99.99 it provides very good value for money for a cycling specific waterproof, with all the bells and whistles, whilst being really comfortable and effective.
Good value for money for a high performance commuting waterproof. Highly visible and comfortable, but make sure the fit suits your body shape.
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Make and model: Altura Women's Night Vision Evo Waterproof Jacket
Size tested: 10
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?
Aimed at regular commuters looking for comfort, reliable protection from the elements and visibility.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
100% Polyester waterproof fabric
Soft touch 2 layer fabric with mesh liner
Zipped side pockets double as underarm ventilation
Rear shoulder vents
Night Vision Lightstick LED included (fastens with velcro to jacket)
Optional hood available separately
Rear zipped lumbar pocket
Machine Washable at 30 (non-bio)
Very tough and well made, from good quality fabric. Zips a bit on the stiff side.
Performed very well. Kept me dry and comfortable without overheating.
Should last well.
a pretty good weight considering it's a serious conditions jacket, rather than a lightweight occasional use garment.
Pleasant to wear fabric and breathed well.
Good value for money for a genuinely breathable jacket that'll last for years.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed excellently as a commuter jacket for weather protection and extra visibility.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Visibility, fabric, breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Cut (just didn't suit me), zip was stiff, non-replaceable battery in LED Lightstick.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, especially one with an athletic build.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Effective and highly visible. A sound investment for any regular commuter.
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.