I’ve been cycle commuting for over 20 years and used quite a few jackets in that time . I recently bought an Altura Night Vision Evo cycling jacket which is one of the most popular jackets, and is the best I’ve used so far. The Jacket is a little too warm for the summer months but I tried it out for the first time last week on one of the cooler and wetter mornings.
The jacket is not the cheapest on the market but it does have a luxury quality feel about it. It’s made of a soft waterproof material and the collar is fleece lined for added comfort. Much is written about special materials with amazing wicking capabilities that magically transport away sweat but to be honest, with a few steep hills on my 7 mile route I tend to sweat in anything including the most expensive jackets. This one has a mesh lining though which I found makes the jacket more comfortable to wear and does help to avoid that clammy boil in the bag feeling. It has vents at the rear and it also has two zips which can open out the jacket at the sides for extra ventilation.
An annoying flaw with my last jacket was that it had no pockets (and neither do my panniers) which meant I was often stuck for where to keep keys etc. The Altura Night Vision Evo has no such problem with pocket space and has four in total; two in the standard place, one rear and one pocket in the chest area.
On the visibility side, Night Vision Evo is superb. It is available in 3 colours; red, black or the usual hi-viz yellow which unless your cycling route takes you predominantly through rapeseed fields is the most eye catching. It has numerous reflective areas to the front, rear and sides. It comes supplied with a free “lightstick” rear light which fixes by velcro to the rear of the jacket. It features steady and flashing modes and runs from a CR2032 lithium battery cell. It’s not particularly bright and Altura clearly state on the label that it shouldn’t be relied on (i.e. must be used in conjunction with a proper light). I doubt it’s particularly robust and would probably break if sneezed on. I guess it’s handy as a backup light though and is O.K. as a freebie but isn’t the reason you’d buy the jacket. I gave mine to my kids to play with. They were delighted with it!
The jacket is not overly bulky yet is reasonably loose fitting allowing for layers to be added underneath as the weather cools in winter. It has good wind and water proofing. It belted down with rain on the day I tried it and I’m happy to say I remained completely dry. There are a couple of poppers for fitting a hood which can be purchased separately.
On sizing, with any clothing I’m normally a large. I bought the large size of this jacket and it fits me perfectly. All in all, other than the gimmicky light, I can’t find anything wrong with this jacket. Highly recommended.