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Proviz's Reflect360 Waterproof Trousers are decent overtrousers that do their two main intended jobs well, keeping you protected from the weather and easily visible in poor conditions. However, breathability is not their strong suit and you're going to get clammy if you work up a sweat.
For all the added extras that many product manufacturers throw at their wares in the hope of giving them an edge over rivals, it's fair to say that most waterproof cycling trousers tend to stick pretty resolutely to the task in hand. They might use advanced technical fabrics and a few zips or bits of Velcro here and there, but in terms of obvious outward ability, they often look like something the folk on The Great British Sewing Bee might be asked to rustle up with a couple of bin bags.
Proviz's Reflect360 waterproof trousers, though, manage to add just enough useful additions to the typical overtrouser formula without overdoing novelty for novelty's sake.
For example, there are those renowned Reflect360 highlights, with significant sections of the thighs and particularly the calves offering fantastic visibility in dark conditions. Then there are the zipped and Velcro closings at the bottom of the legs, which allow you to get them on and off quickly without even needing to remove shoes.
But best of all, they feature a Velcro-secure single rear pocket. That might not seem like a big deal, but a lot of waterproof pants don't come with pocketing of any kind, which makes it tricky to get hold of something you'd normally want close to hand – perhaps keys or a multi-tool. Here, you can securely stash something small with ease.
Of course, none of this would be worth a jot if the trousers themselves don't actually work as expected in testing conditions. But when it comes to keeping water away, they work superbly. The sealed seams and '100% waterproof' fabric live up to the billing – in even the hardest rain, not a drop of moisture makes its way through.
Unfortunately, performance isn't entirely ideal and the trade-off for this impermeable perfection becomes apparent when you'd quite like moisture to move from inside to out. Despite Proviz's claims that the material used is breathable, I found it ineffective. In fact, the inside of the Reflect360s tested has now been dyed blue from the perspiration escaping through my cycling jeans. I've also used them with just shorts underneath and the same levels of clamminess occurred. In mild conditions you're going to suffer from significant self-induced dampness – I wouldn't choose to use these on brisk summer commute, for example.
The only other minor failings are the Velcro ankle tabs, which feel a bit flimsy and didn't offer a tight enough closure around my ankle. Although there's a fair amount of adjustment and Proviz says they are only to stop the trousers flapping into the chain, it wouldn't take much more adjustment to effect a nice breeze-proof seal.
You might also want to tie a knot in the waist drawcord so the ends don't slip through the adjuster.
Otherwise, fit is really good and these 'large' trousers actually flattered my 38in waist. No XL needed here – thank you Proviz. Leg length is enough for my 6ft frame without being too long. And pedalling performance in general was very impressive with no worries about the kind of slipping around in the saddle that can accompany other waterproofs.
One thing I didn't mention earlier was, for all the apparent simplicity of most waterproof trousers, that doesn't normally stop manufacturers from charging top dollar and I've tested plenty that sometimes lurk around the three-figure mark.
For example, the admittedly excellent Cube Blackline Rain Pants come in at £129.95, while Endura's also superb Urban Luminite Pants cost £89.99. In that company, the Proviz trousers seem like very decent value, and I'd say that – at the other end of the market – they even offer enough enhanced performance to justify the small premium over the Altura Nevis III at £44.99.
So it's a slight shame about the breathability issue because in all other respects these are excellent overtrousers that offer great value for money. If you can live with sweaty legs or only plan to use them in the depths of winter – when that enhanced reflectivity will really come into its own – they remain a decent option.
Decent overtrousers that offer excellent rain protection and enhanced visibility, but breathability is a big issue
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Proviz REFLECT360 Waterproof Trousers
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
These are waterproof trousers with enhanced reflective highlights for added visibility.
Proviz says: "The REFLECT360 trousers are a rugged, hard-wearing waterproof and breathable trouser designed specifically to ensure you arrive at your destination dry on those wet and windy days. The elements will be kept out yet the breathable fabric will enable heat to escape.
"Designed specifically for cycling and cut accordingly, the lower leg has a 30cm (size variable) zipper to allow you to quickly get them on/off over your shoes. The zip has a protective waterproof velcro flap to ensure no water can access the zip. An additional velcro adjustable leg band gives you flexibility to ensure no excess material will get caught up in your chain.
"The REFLECT360 range is renowned for its reflective features, so we have given the REFLECT360 waterproof trousers ample two thick stripes at the top (on each leg) and the same on the lower leg ensures lots of reflection at night, but we've also added a 5cm thick strip on the lower zip cover along with plenty of extra reflective piping and logos."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Proviz lists these details:
100% waterproof (5,000mm) and breathable material
Large amounts of reflective detail and piping
Strategic reflective panel on rear of trousers for cars to see from behind
Drawstring elastic waist
Lower leg zip (30cm – size variable)
Adjustable ankle strap
Cut: Cycle specific
Very well made – the Reflect360 sections are particularly impressive.
Very good at keeping out rain, very easy to wear and use in the saddle. Breathability is the only major issue.
They should prove tough enough for a fair few seasons.
Actually fitted very nicely. Other than waterproofing, fit is one of these trousers' best features.
Sized perfectly as per the Proviz website.
At just over 300g a pair, pretty decent weight.
One of the better waterproofs I've used when it comes to on-bike comfort – other than a bit of rustling, I didn't really notice they were on.
Really decent value. They offer more performance than the Altura Nevis III at £44.99, yet they are significantly more affordable than the Cube Blackline Rain Pants at £129.95 or even the Endura Urban Luminite Pants at £89.99.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Fine. Wing it in the machine at 30 degrees and drip dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
On the bike, the Reflect360 waterproof trousers worked very well at keeping the rain out. However, when I worked up a bit of a sweat, the inside quickly became clammy or worse, so breathability is a big issue.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Rear pocket is a very handy extra.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of breathability and the ankle Velcro straps aren't as effective as they could be.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The excellent Cube Blackline Rain Pants come in at £129.95, while Endura's also superb Urban Luminite Pants cost £89.99. At the other end of the market, the Altura Nevis III overtrousers cost £44.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? In cool, rainy conditions, yes. In warmer conditions, no.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
If I was to focus on only the crucial factors of rain protection, enhanced visibility and even fit and in-saddle performance, the Reflect360 overtrousers deserve a score of 9 or 10. But it's hard to ignore the fact that even a moderately spirited ride will leave you clammy with sweat.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Leisure