If being seen on the road is your ultimate safety concern – and, let's face it, it probably should be – then the new version of Proviz's Nightrider jacket really couldn't do much more to help. It's made from two types of material: super-loud yellow high-vis and Proviz's REFLECT360 fabric at the shoulders and tail. Which means, whether you're cycling in daylight or darkness, as long as a source of light bounces off the jacket from somewhere, you'll be seen.
- Pros: Super-bright and visible, excellent weatherproofing and breathability, just enough pockets and features
- Cons: Not great for off-the-bike use, looks won't appeal to all
The effect of Proviz's high-vis yellow material is clear for all to see in daylight (the women's version uses an equally lurid pink), but it's the performance of the REFLECT360 material at night that is so impressive.
To my eyes, that seems to have taken a step forward since Proviz's original REFLECT360 products and it really does need only the faintest light, not even hitting the fabric surface directly, to glow like a loved-up phantom. It's very impressive.
In other areas performance isn't quite so instantly startling but still accomplished. Waterproofing is faultless and the jacket dealt with some fairly nasty downpours admirably. Breathability is also surprisingly impressive; even on particularly hard rides, the inside of the jacket has remained bone dry.
Other spec details are largely as you'd expect. There are two waterproof side pockets; an adjustable waistband; Velcro cuffs; a waterproof storm zip; and the seams have been sealed for extra protection. Proviz also specifies a mesh lining, which seems a small thing but – for me anyway – makes the inside of the jacket much more welcoming to wear than unlined jackets. In general terms, there's really not much more you could want.
Fit is more than satisfactory, too. There is enough length in the sleeve for a comfortable riding position, and the drop tail at the back is just about enough, although another inch wouldn't hurt. This XL version managed to do up across my stomach without putting up a fight, which is what I'd hoped for, so sizing is just right, too.
Long-term care is pretty straightforward. Once it's generally muddy, stinky or you've developed a streak of shame up the back, simply stick it in the washing machine at 30 degrees and hang to dry. I've washed this a couple of times now, to no ill effects.
With a retail price of £74.99, this is a very fairly priced product, especially when you factor in its all-round performance and features. On the face of it, it's better value than the Madison Sportive Hi-Viz or the Pactimo Torrent, but then it is a slightly different product. I do think it stops just short of being an all-out bargain, though, because of the overall impression it gives... I don't think you would confuse the Nightrider with a premium product. There's a little bit of micro-fleece lining at the collar, but that's all in terms of luxuries and it feels a little short on 'specialness'. That's a shame because, in use, it's very impressive.
Of course, simply getting to your destination in one piece while staying warm and dry might be all the cosy and fuzzy feeling you're after. In which case the Proviz Nightrider jacket is a very, very competent cycling jacket.
Very impressive high-vis/reflective jacket for wet and dark – or even bright and dry – conditions
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Proviz Nightrider Men's Cycling Jacket 2.0
Size tested: XL
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?
The Nightrider Jacket is for safe night-time riding and is probably mostly aimed at commuters.
Proviz says: "The new Nightrider jacket from Proviz combines the much-loved and highly effective retro-reflective REFLECT360 material with a high-spec super visible, waterproof and highly breathable fabric to give the complete day/night combination for all year cycling. Highly breathable (10,000 gm/24hr) material keeps you at your own optimal temperature and excellent waterproofing (10,000mm) ensures you'll stay dry but any excess moisture will be able to easily escape. We have used the same material as our world-renowned REFLECT360 range. The material has been strategically positioned on the jacket to give the maximum amount of retro-reflection. Light from a vehicle's headlights are reflected back towards the driver to help you be seen more clearly at night and defy the darkness!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Highly breathable (10,000gm/24hr)
Micro fleece-lined collar for added comfort and warmth
Quick-dry mesh lining for extra comfort
Utilises REFLECT360 retro-reflective material
Adjustable waistband and velcro cuff
Waterproof storm zip
Seam sealed for extra waterproofing
Low profiled rear spray guard
Weight: 440g (size variable)
Fabric: 100% Polyester with TPU waterproofing
It's well made but a practical rather than a prestige product.
In all regards - waterproofing and night-time visibility - it really succeeds in doing what it sets out to do.
It should be OK - good so far.
Again, I have no complaints - it's impressively breathable.
Good - fits exactly as expected.
Not a lightweight jacket but it doesn't feel too cumbersome.
Mesh lining helps interior comfort.
Very fair value considering its performance.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy - just put it in the washing machine when it gets dirty. Jacket coped very well with a spin at 30 degrees.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Couldn't fault its performance - does everything exactly as claimed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The REFLECT360 elements are fantastic at night. Breathability was surprisingly good.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Only subjectively – it doesn't feel 'special' enough, almost like its slightly old-school high-vis design counts against it.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
On the face of it, it's better value than the Madison Sportive Hi-Viz or the Pactimo Torrent, but then it is a slightly different product.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Definitely
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Definitely
Use this box to explain your overall score
With superb waterproofing, surprisingly impressive breathability, and the kind of highly visible road presence – day or night – that we've come to expect from Proviz, the Nightrider jacket is a commuter-friendly outer layer that does everything you could ask of it.
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, mountain biking, leisure