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The Altura Women's Nightvision Long Sleeve Jersey is a good option for cool, autumnal riding. It performs superbly in very specific conditions, can be worn as a mid-layer so you can get lots of use from it, and undercuts many on price.
The jersey is made from a lightweight, thermal fabric, though I tended to use a base layer to accentuate the thermal properties. That said, the thin, brushed fleece feels comfy if you wear it next to your skin.
I had a quandary with Altura's sizing chart; my chest, waist and shoulder/arm measurements fell into three different size brackets, from size 10 (chest) up to 14 (arm/shoulder). I opted for the size 10 which gave me a nice fit around the chest and waist, but the jersey came up short in arm length. The body length was acceptable, provided I was wearing bibs rather than waist tights, but the cuffs reached too far up the arm for me when I was leaning forward on the road bike.
The snug fit, coupled with a decent silicone hem, did mean that the jersey stayed in place well, even when I was out of the saddle moving around.
I did most of the testing in temperatures between 10 and 14°C and was always warm enough, never once feeling like I was overheating. There was certainly no build-up of moisture going on – the jersey is as breathable as they come.
The downside is that it's not windproof, so you'll need the support of other layers at times, a gilet or jacket if conditions are cold or rainy. Naturally, using it as a mid-layer rather defeats the purpose of the Nightvision element.
The colour I tested is as bright as they come, perfect for dull, autumnal days. The reflective detailing is effective but I do think Altura could have added more down the sleeves.
One downside of this colour is the classic splattering. I've tended to give it a good rub with Vanish before throwing it in the laundry and it's come up pretty clean, but it's clearly no longer 'new' looking. The purple option might be a safer bet on that score.
The pockets aren't as roomy as I'd like, and I found that they sat a little high up the back. If you like to really load up your pockets, it's a bit restricting.
Otherwise, the jersey is really well made with tidy seams and stitching. The full length zipper is easy to use on the go with a decent sized toggle and a smooth action. I didn't have it unzipped as much as I might a windproof top, so I was grateful of the zipper garage.
The cuffs are nothing fancy but offer a snug fit. There's a loop for hanging up the jersey, too.
Value-wise, it's pretty good – there aren't many jerseys out there for just less than £60. Most do offer more than the Nightvision, though, possibly justifying a higher price.
A fair comparison in terms of performance would be Castelli's Goccia Jersey, but its £110 price tag might convince you that Altura's is great value.
Overall, I'd say Altura's Nightvision is a great investment, very good as a standalone jersey and good for layering up. Just be sure to check the size charts so it doesn't come up short in the sleeves.
Great in very specific conditions, but limited use without other layers, and pockets could be bigger
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Women's Nightvision Long Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: 10
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says, 'The Nightvison Jersey has been revitalised with a new bold reflective print to help you stay even more visible in low light and dark conditions. The thermal, soft touch fabric, will keep you warm and comfortable. There is enough storage to keep belongings close to hand - making it perfect for the commute.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
-Highly reflective print
-Thermal brushed back fabric
-Three rear pockets
-Silicon hem gripper
Performs really well in very specific conditions...
While the performance isn't affected, the Coral option I tested is a tough one to get sparkling clean – though some splatters blend in with the reflective pattern.
I found the arm length too short.
I had a few issues here – I'd recommend paying careful attention to Altura's size guide, don't assume you are the same as in other clothing.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The Coral version shows up mud splatters, and if there's a mix of oil in there it's a battle to get it out.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great breathability and comfort in dry conditions around 10 degrees.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Its rather old schoolness; and that I could use it with other layers in a variety of conditions.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The pockets and, for me, too-short sleeves.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It undercuts many, even those offering similar, limited operating windows: Castelli's Goccia is £110, Rapha's Classic Jersey II is £125. Liv's Race Day Jersey comes close for £65, while dhb offers something (seemingly) similar for £40.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? I'd want to try before buying – the fit of the 10 didn't win me over.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It performs really well on its own when conditions permit, and it's good as part of a layering system when they don't. The pocket size and positioning could be better, but overall it's a good 'un.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…