At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.What the road.cc scores mean
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The Altura Nightvision Electron Men's Jacket is a very good waterproof option for urban commutes. With two light strips running over the shoulders and all the way down the back, the jacket aids visibility from the rear and the sides, and they last long enough for a lot of commuters before the compact power bank needs recharging. Waterproofing and breathability are both good and it's a very comfortable jacket to wear, but you can get waterproofing and visibility for significantly less money.
Generally, on the winter mornings that I'm in the office, I pop my office attire on, grab a casual, non-cycling-specific jacket, and head out for the 90 per cent downhill ride to work. As soon as the downhill begins, I remember why a cycling-specific jacket is actually a really good idea as my lower back and wrists begin to freeze.
The Nightvision Electron is a thin, waterproof, windproof, and surprisingly warm jacket that has a perfect cut for use on bikes with more upright riding positions. Small touches such as a soft, fleece-lined collar make it really comfortable and the clever placement of the reflective pattern on the wrists and the light strips really should help with visibility.
Speaking of which... the battery-powered optic fibre light strips that run from the shoulders down the back of the jacket are the main features of this jacket.
There is no figure provided to indicate the brightness of the lights, but I'd place this in the supplementary category, like a blinker that you attach to a backpack. The lights are well positioned for visibility to the side and rear, and the distinctive flashing mode is noticeable, but you'll still, by law, need a rear light mounted on your bike – and I'd still be looking to this to provide the main part of my 'please see me' strategy.
The positioning of the strips not only means that they aren't obstructed by a backpack but that the jacket is also comfortable to wear when said pack is fully laden. I've had no problem with my 30L backpack from CamelBak, so the jacket should play well with most designs.
The lights are powered by a 250mAh powerbank that is about the size of a small smartphone. It lives in the left pocket, making it super easy to access when you need to turn your jacket on (I can't believe I've typed that) or when you need to recharge.
Altura says that the jacket will do up to 50 hours before the battery pack needs topping up, but there is a simple LED indicator on the battery to show a rough percentage of charge remaining.
With the powerbank connected by a dual-sided USB cable, it's really easy to pop out of the pocket for a quick recharge. I would have loved to see the powerbank get its own zipper pocket within that left pocket. That would have made it stow away a little better.
There is more to like inside the jacket. Altura has lined the front and sides with a thin fleece. For me, this provides just enough insulation to keep me comfortably warm while riding. Anything thicker inside the windproof outer would have been too warm for much outside of the colder winter days, especially with the huge hill that I have to ride up on the way home. It means the jacket isn't too thick for use during the rest of the year when rides to and from work can still be happening in less than perfect light.
The back panel of the jacket has been left free of this fleece, the thinking being that many riders will be using a backpack and thus get insulation from that. As a backpack wearer, I find this a welcome omission.
The fit is nicely balanced, with a relaxed cut that isn't too baggy. Layering this over a big jumper or hoodie, for instance, is easy.
The arms have plenty of length to them, making combining this jacket with gloves really easy. On super-cold days, the Velcro tabs on the cuffs mean you can shut off any gaps and keep the pesky cold air out.
With a 10K waterproof rating the jacket should be capable of fending off heavy rain, and while I've managed to dodge heavier downpours thanks to only being in the office a bit over the past month, I did subject the jacket to a sustained hosepipe test. It had no trouble keeping this out. The detachable hood comes in handy too, and can be stowed away in the collar.
Breathability is one thing that I can properly test. While my ride in is a roll down the hill, the ride home, even on an e-bike, is a heart-rate-spiking effort. The jacket didn't leave me sweating buckets, though milder temperatures would be the limit of where I'd want to use this jacket for my commute. For comparison, I found this better for riding up hills than Shimano's Transit Hardshell.
My only real gripe is the price: for £190 you could almost get two Proviz Reflect360 jackets, or just the one Reflect360 along with a powerful rear bike light and a blinker to attach to your backpack. The Proviz is brilliant for adding visibility when car headlights hit its reflective surface, though it has to be said that the Altura's light strips are better for making you visible to pedestrians from the side.
There is also the Galibier Courchevel Storm Jacket to consider, for £92.40. It offers a huge amount of performance in wet weather for significantly less money.
That said, the Altura Electron certainly isn't the priciest out there: Rapha's Hooded Rain Jacket, for example, is £230.
All things considered, the Altura Nightvision Electron is a very good commuter jacket for adding visibility when you're riding to and from work. The waterproofing is excellent and the breathability is good too. The lights are well positioned, and with the powerbank being compact and simple to recharge, it's an easy bit of tech to live with. Bear in mind, though, there are excellent jackets that aid visibility at much lower prices.
Waterproof, good breathability and comfy fit, and the lights add visibility
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Nightvision Electron Jacket
Size tested: Small
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?
From Altura: 'Taking our Nightvision range to the next level with our new Electron jacket. Cleverly designed incorporating our SCILIF Lighting system with a rechargeable powerbank, which can be easily removed for washing so you can keep your jack looking as good as new.
"The Electron Jacket features excellent 10k/10k waterproof and breathability ratings. Reflective panels and fleece-lined front and side panels providing extra visibility and core warmth during winter commutes. Zipped chest and hand pockets allow you to carry those essential belongings safely and the jacket hood can be discreetly stowed away making this a highly innovative and versatile addition to the Nightvision commuter range."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
- SCILIF Lighting system with SCILIF rechargeable powerbank included
- Taped seams
- 10k / 10k waterproof and breathable
- Durable water-repellent finish
- Reflective panels
- Fleece-lined front and sides
- Zip chest pocket and two zip hand pockets
- Stow away hood
- Cuff adjusters
- Relaxed fit
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Mud splatters wipe off with a damp cloth.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Protected me from the cold and rain and provided a boost to visibility.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The light strips are well placed, ensuring that they don't interfere with your backpack, and this is quite simply a very comfortable jacket to wear.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The cost of adding the lights is significant and puts this jacket at double the price of some excellent rivals.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's quite expensive: £190 will almost get you two of Proviz's Reflect360 jackets, while the Galibier Courchevel Storm jacket is £92.40. Rapha's Hooded Rain Jacket is £230 though.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Maybe, though I'd probably have to go for a cheaper option.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's very good: protects from the weather and aids visibility. The fit is very good and the lights are well positioned. I just wish it wasn't so expensive.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!