The original Night Vision was an instant commuter favourite, combining massive reflectivity with Altura's proven ability to knock out good quality kit at sensible prices. This latest version turns the knob up to 11, this is one seriously bright jacket with more reflective surfaces than a glitter ball.
Altura pitch this as a waterproof jacket and our glorious summer weather very kindly assisted in testing this facility to the full. Post-ride the jacket felt pretty damp inside, but that had more to do with condensing sweat than rain soaking through. The plush two-layer fabric (more like a softshell than a normal waterproof) and mesh lining give it a luxurious feel, but they also make it very warm. Long pit-zips and a mesh vent between your shoulder blades help somewhat, but on a human kettle like me they struggled to hold back the tide. The answer is to take things a little more easily and not to treat the commute like the run-in to a bunch sprint.
Of course the main selling point is the dazzling show that the various reflective bits put on in the headlights. These bits come in a variety of flavours, stuck-on patches, heavy duty velcro straps and strips down the front zip. Oh, and a removable lightstick mounted on the rear. Some of the Mk1 Night Visions had a problem with the stuck on patches coming adrift, but Zyro assured us that the quality control process has been improved, with the result that many fewer items are returned. Perhaps they've got a hotter iron? The same goes for the zips, which have also been improved following user feedback. Zyro claim they are "among the smoothest running waterproof zips around". I'm not about to carry out a massive group test of waterproof zips but I had no problem with these. They've all got nice long toggles on them too, which makes life easier on the road, especially as there are two handpockets, a chest pocket and a rear pocket to stash your stuff in.
If you're in the market for a well made winter commuting jacket that also doubles up as a valuable safety aid then this is about as good as it gets.
Top quality commuter jacket that just loves to show off in the spotlight.
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Make and model: Altura Night Vision Evo jacket
Size tested: L
Tell us what the product 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?
"An Evolution of the best selling Night Vision Jacket. In a new fabric and new design featuring a removable LED tab, front hand pockets, hood fittings and loads of reflective trim this is the Ultimate commuting jacket."
Yup, sounds about right.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
More techy than a Timelord's screwdriver.
"* Waterproof, breathable and highly durable
* Soft touch 2 layer fabric with mesh lining
* Critically positioned highly reflective trim
* Pit and rear vents
* Front chest and hand pockets plus rear pocket
* Water repel zips with reflective trim
* Optional hood fittings
* Removable rear led mount"
Feels well made and robust, Zyro assured us that quality control issues with previous jacket have been fixed.
The main selling point is the brilliant 360 degree reflectivity, it really makes you stand out.
Altura have beefed up their quality control, so the weak points of the original jacket (peeling reflectives and dodgy zips) should be a thing of the past. Zyro recommend washing with a non-bio detergent at 40 degrees max, and lay off with the tumble dryer.
It's a fairly heavyweight jacket, but for commuters that's not going to be such a big deal.
With a mesh lining and a generous fleece lined collar this is a very comfy jacket to wear, even with only a shortsleeved top underneath.
It's £20 more than the original, but it's a better jacket. With lots of features and excellent construction quality this is well worth the money.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's very warm if you work hard on your commute but if you take things easy it's much better.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The amazing array of reflective bits. It feels like a quality piece of kit too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's very warm even with pit-zips and vents.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 40 Height: 5\' 8 Weight: er....86kg
I usually ride: GT Rave - singlespeed conversion My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
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: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,