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The Proviz Classic Men's Tour Cycling Jacket is a waterproof, breathable softshell design with a sportier cut than some commuter models, so well suited to steady day rides. It's more comfortable on milder days than the breathability figures and weight might suggest, but I do feel it could do with a breast pocket in addition to the two at the hip.
The 'polyester peach' softshell fabric has PU (polyurethane) waterproofing and seam sealing to lock the elements out, a theme that continues with a waterproof storm zip and a 'low profile spray guard' around the hem – essentially, a shallow drop tail to protect the lower back from water thrown up by the rear wheel.
Proviz cites both waterproofing and breathability at 10K, and overall performance has been favourable. I've remained comfortable at a steady 17-18mph and battling some strong headwinds – and without any annoying, power-sapping flutter.
In heavy rain and wintry showers I've remained completely dry, even after two or three hours of constant downpours. The fleece-lined collar and adjustable cuffs and hem have also helped lock out cold and watery trickles, even when I've been hunkering low on the drops.
As for breathability, the quality of mid and baselayers coupled with our individual internal thermostats all play their part, but when the temperature has been hovering around 12°C I've noticed a subtle lag before the fabric begins wicking – some faint dampness around the armpits, chest and lower back, which steadily evaporates, and from then on it's kept pace with my efforts.
A mesh liner inside the jacket is designed to aid wicking while protecting the outer against premature wear. Here it's made from recycled plastic water bottles, which may broaden the appeal, though I did note that when using a helmet-mounted light with an external battery there was a tendency for the cabling to snag on the mesh, whereas it would just glide across a plain laminate. This didn't restrict movement, just took a little while to adjust to.
When not required, the jacket packs down surprisingly compactly and is easily stashed in bigger bikepacking or touring luggage, though unlike thinner hardshells it's not something you'd stuff in a jersey pocket.
While this matt yellow might not be to everyone's taste (it's also available in blue or red), there's no doubting its value on dull, misty rides. The subtle REFLECT360 retro-reflective detailing is similarly useful, bringing some additional presence along pitch black lanes.
By most manufacturer's size charts these days I'm a medium. Traditionally, Proviz tended to come up on the generous side, but in this instance I needed a large. Crucially, the sizing chart is accurate, taking the risk from online purchases.
I found it proportionally just right, too, which isn't always the case given that I'm broad across the shoulders, short in the torso, and relatively long limbed.
The cut is described as semi-fitted, which I'd broadly agree with. It's snug without being 'racing snakes', allowing for layering and unrestricted movement. I've typically opted for a long sleeve light to middleweight jersey and long sleeve baselayer, which has been a comfortable arrangement between 1 and 12°C.
There are just two pockets at the front, which is a deviation from the script of three rear or one poacher's plus a breast pocket. They feature a long toggle for easy access, even when you're wearing full-finger, winter-weight gloves, and provide a decent parking spot for hands when you're mooching about, but their positioning means their contents can interfere with your pedalling stroke.
Proviz claims these are designed to house 'all of the gear needed on your ride'. That's not to be taken too literally, I appreciate, but if you put heavier stuff in them – I tend to stash items I might need quickly in my jacket, such as keys, a compact camera or phone – they can periodically catch my knee.
It's less pronounced than some, with the fabric offering a decent amount of support, but it's something to bear in mind when loading up.
A similar breast pocket (or better still, two) would offer better weight distribution and subvert this minor issue.
I wasn't sure how well the matt fabric would resist winter's greasy cocktail and oily digits, but I've been pleasantly surprised. No lingering patina, several weeks down the line, and thus far it's emerged from periodic 30-degree Tours De Samsung looking and smelling fresh.
I know it's a road garment, but I like to disappear along forest trails and green lanes on my bikes, and brushes with brambles, thorns and other foliage haven't caused bobbling, fraying or similar deterioration.
A penny under £100 isn't particularly expensive for the spec and in comparison with the competition.
dhb's Aeron All Winter Softshell Jacket, for example, is £120 at rrp (though currently reduced to £85 for the fluoro yellow option). It does have four pockets, though – three traditional style across the rear, and one zipped at the hip.
Rivelo's Thornecomb Softshell Jacket boasts a higher breathability rating of 20,000 and a more traditional and generous pocket layout, but comes in at £160 – and the cut and fit may not suit everyone.
The Stolen Goat Waterproof Navy Jacket offers a higher 15,000mm waterproof rating, and has a zipped rear pocket, but it's also £135.
There are cheaper options, though – Shutt VR's simply named Softshell is £79, though its water repellency is 5,000mm, while Galibier's Mistral Pro is on its second iteration since Mat tested it back in 2018, and in orange costs £89.22 (black is a cheaper £82.33).
Minor gripes aside, the Proviz Classic Tour is a well-conceived jacket. It performs in a wide range of temperatures and does a good job of keeping grotty weather outside.
Decent all-rounder for general riding but the pockets could do with revision
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Proviz Classic Men's Tour Cycling Jacket
Size tested: Large
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?
Proviz says: "The Classic Tour jacket is made from lightweight polyester peach material and has a waterproof PU coating to see you through those challenging rainy rides. The material's highly functional polyester microfibres are brushed to create a smooth, suede-like texture and a matte finish. The seams are all sealed on the inside to ensure no rain can get through yet the material gives good levels of breathability. Strategically placed REFLECT360 trim, a micro-fleece lined collar, and good-sized pockets allow you to keep your essentials close to hand."
My feelings are that it's a generally competent and comfortable jacket. The hip pockets are useful, but I would welcome a third (breast) pocket.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Highly Breathable (10,000+gm/24hr)
Fabric: Lightweight Polyester peach material with PU waterproofing
Seam-sealed for extra waterproofing
Micro-fleece lined collar for added comfort and warmth
Utilises our REFLECT360 retro-reflective material
Adjustable waist and Velcro cuff
Waterproof storm zip
Low-profiled rear spray guard
Weight:400g (size variable)
Uniformly neat and seemingly sturdy throughout.
Good all-rounder, which offers similar weatherproofing/breathability as sub-£100 laminate types but the softshell fabric offers a closer, flutter-free fit.
Too early to comment on long-term durability but washing and wearing well so far.
Has kept the elements out very convincingly.
Good, and better than I was expecting from a garment with a 10,000 rating, even when layered and in milder weather. You can expect a little dampness around the pits, lower back, and chest area before the fabric begins wicking. At this point, the inner climate remains pretty arid.
Nice snug fit but still allows for comfortable layering.
Medium came up just right.
Felt lighter than 402g suggested.
Generally good, all round.
£100 isn't particularly expensive relative to the spec and competition.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I was pleasantly surprised by how clean the matt fabric has remained and it also washes very nicely too (I've stuck religiously to 30-degree machine washes and minimal detergent).
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, and for general riding, I've been pleasantly surprised by the Tour jacket. The fit is good, it keeps the elements out without any annoying flutter, and breathes fairly efficiently too. The hip pockets, though welcome, merit improvement, since if laden they can catch knees periodically, especially turning a brisk cadence. I would have welcomed a breast pocket for better distribution, even if it meant a slight price increase.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Nice cut and fit. Better suited to more spirited outings than the shell types offering similar waterproofing and breathability figures.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
By no means a deal-breaker but the pockets merit minor revision, and a breast pocket would be welcome.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's cheaper than some, though the waterproof/breathability ratings aren't as high: Rivelo's Thornecomb Softshell is £164.99 but boasts a breathability rating of 20,000 and has a more traditional and generous pocket layout, and the Stolen Goat Waterproof Navy Jacket is £135 but also offers proportionally better (15,000mm) waterproofing.
dhb's Aeron All winter Softshell Jacket is £120 at rrp, currently reduced to £85 for the fluoro option, but there are cheaper options: Shutt VR's Softshell is £79, though its water repellency is 5,000mm, while Galibier's Mistral Pro 2 is £89.22 for the orange option.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? With revised pockets, yes.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Worth considering for general riding and as an upgrade to a more commute-orientated laminate.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Decent softshell jacket that gets most things right. The pockets merit a slight tweak, and a breast pocket would broaden the appeal, but overall the performance is good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)