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The Altura Nightvision Storm Waterproof jacket is great for commuting, offering huge amounts of visibility and weatherproofing, though you might want better breathability if you're looking for a jacket for more intense activity.
The key to cycle commuting in winter is a decent jacket – one that keeps you dry, offers good breathability, and helps you be seen.
In terms of waterproofing and windproofing, the Nightvision Storm works very well. It has a rating of 10 for waterproofing (and breathability), and I used it several times in very heavy rain without anything getting through.
This is helped by drawstrings that enable you to tighten it around the neck and waist, and Velcro straps around the wrists to keep all water out.
Every seam is taped, including the zip, and water simply doesn't get through at all.
Windproofing is also impressive, although the breathability – allowing the warm air you generate to escape through the fabric – could be better.
I found that after about 30 minutes of fairly intense riding there was quite a bit of heat build-up, though Altura has included zipped vents under the arms and a large vent running across the back under the shoulder blades to help.
I'd say there's enough breathability for most commuting scenarios, although you might want something a little more breathable for more intense sessions.
As for visibility, the NV Storm is very good – when light hits it, the whole thing lights up like a beacon. Across the shoulder, sleeves, down either side of the body and around the neck, Altura has added high visibility dots, which means that it should be very, very difficult for drivers to miss you.
These high visibility dots are on top of the fluoro yellow material of our test jacket, which is equally eye-catching, although it's also available in more muted maroon or blue.
Elsewhere, Altura has added some good features to help with comfort and practicality, such as the soft fleece around the inside of the collar to make it more comfortable and warm on the skin, and plenty of pockets for storage: one on the chest, one on the back, and two hand pockets on the front.
With an RRP of £79.99 the Altura seems decent value: the Rapha Men's Commuter Lightweight Jacket is 1p more but doesn't offer the same weatherproofing, while the ETC Arid Verso, which is £6 more, also isn't as waterproof and has a bit of an odd shape.
For £20 more you could upgrade to Altura's Nightvision Typhoon, which has a higher waterproof/breathability rating of 15 – and a hood! If your commute is longer or you like to keep a fairly high pace, Shaun found it good for an hour and a half at 17-20mph.
Overall, I was impressed with the Nightvision Storm. It offers everything you need from a commuting jacket at a good price: it keeps the weather out, has good practical elements, and lights up like a beacon at night. Breathability could be better for more intense efforts, but for typical commuting at a steady pace I'd say it's more than adequate.
Great visibility, keeps the weather out effectively and breathes well enough for typical commutes
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Nightvision Storm Waterproof 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?
A commuting jacket designed to make sure you're seen at night while keeping the weather off.
Altura says, 'The Nightvision Storm Jacket has an injection of our unique reflective print design that has been used successfully in our Nightvision Commuter range. The 'Silver Reflective' print will illuminate key areas of the body increasing visibility whilst maintaining breathability and comfort. The waterproof fabric, taped seams and fleece lined collar will keep you dry and snug whilst a variety of storage pockets let you keep essentials close to hand.'
It puts in a strong performance as a commuting jacket, though you might want a little more breathability if using it for more intense activity.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Silver reflective print
Fully waterproof including taped seams
10/10 Waterproof and breathability
Underarm and back vents
Two hand pockets, chest and back pockets
Fleece lined collar
Very well made with every seam being taped, robust zip and strong stitching throughout.
Does everything you want from a commuting jacket: keeps out the weather, keeps you visible, and has decent breathability.
Early days, but good quality construction suggests it's unlikely to need replacing any time soon.
It kept me dry even in some very heavy downpours.
Breathability is good enough for typical commutes and casual rides, but I would want something more breathable for a long weekend ride.
Fit is relaxed, as Altura describes it, without being overly baggy.
The medium I tested fitted as I would expect it to.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I put this in a tech wash without issue.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed well: it is a good commuter jacket that keeps out rain and ensures you're seen.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The visibility: it lights up like a beacon.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Breathability for more than a leisurely pace could be better, but for commuting it's fine.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Rapha's Men's Commuter Lightweight Jacket is 1p more but does not offer the same weatherproofing. The ETC Arid Verso is £6 more, also doesn't offer the same weatherproofing and has an odd fit. Altura's slightly more weatherproof/breathable Typhoon sibling is £20 more.
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 overall score
It's very good: it's waterproof, high vis and breathable enough for typical commutes, and it's good value.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.