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Polaris RBS Grid Jacket



Eye-wateringly bright jacket that will make you stand out on the road

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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My daughter's reaction to me trying on the Polaris RBS Grid jacket was simply, 'WOW'. There really isn't an excuse for, 'sorry mate, I didn't see you,' if you're wearing this. To say the jacket is bright is an understatement.

This is possibly the brightest hi-viz jacket I have come across. There's no denyiing that hi-viz gear divides opinion among cyclists - with some seeing it as a vital safety aid while others regard it as no substitute for drivers looking properly or indeed a step towards putting the onus on vulnerable road users to be seen rather than on drivers to look. Everyone has a view, but it if hi-viz makes you feel safer on the road then it's doing you some good.

The point of the Grid jacket is to ensure you are seen by other road users, whether you are commuting, racing or mountain biking. The main features include Hi Viz Grid technology, designed to capture the attention of other road users. This is supplemented by Radiant reflect print technology, again aimed at handling the traffic with ease by making sure you are never left in the dark.

That's the marketing line and the RBS Grid jacket leaves nothing to chance in terms of visibility. This could be an ideal commuting companion. Given the price tag of £74.99, this is quite a lot of jacket for the money.

I had a medium to try out but even though I normally take a large, this fitted fine. With a base layer and a jersey underneath there was no struggle to get the jacket on. On the bike the RBS Grid felt comfortable.

The outer material is made from Hydrovent that will keep the weather out. The moisture is controlled on the inside by a mesh liner allowing it to transfer through an outer membrane. If you're worried about overheating, there are two large zips on either side that will allow plenty of ventilation to circulate around the inside. I've used this is in the cold and the rain and always arrived feeling comfortable and dry.

To make sure the fit on the RBS Grid is snug and doesn't allow any unwanted draughts you can adjust the sleeves with the velcro tabs. On the hem and the collar, there are elastic draw cords that give you the option to baton down the hatches.

For storage, you have two options. On the rear there is quite a large pocket, with a reasonable lining for keeping essentials in. There is a second choice, a breast pocket but this is on the small side.


Eye-wateringly bright jacket that will make you stand out on the road. test report

Make and model: Polaris RBS Grid Jacket

Size tested: Yellow/orange hi viz

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?

Ideal for commuting and will give any other road user no excuses for not picking you out on the darkest of nights. Protects you from the elements too.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

The grid system in conjunction with the reflective decals make this very effective and highly visible. Keeps out the wind and rain and proves pretty good value.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Well made and robust.

Rate the product for performance:

Even in the wind and rain, this jacket denied both. Keeping me warm and dry and highly visible amongst other road users.

Rate the product for durability:

So far it has coped with the elements.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Reasonably lightweight but not one you would consider packing into your back pocket.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Fitted well and doesn't ride up on the bike.

Rate the product for value:

Given the high viz elements and quality this is quite a lot of jacket for the money

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

No more excuses for not being seen - maybe too visible!

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Simple but effective, the RBS Grid sets out to create an easily visible piece of clothing. Tick that box

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Possibly a little too bright for my liking.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? I would.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 178cm  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Currently riding a Pinnacle Evaporite Three  My best bike is: As above

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, mtb, Not yet but looking to dip my toe in the world of TT


Add new comment


joemmo | 11 years ago

It's hugely disingenuous to argue that making yourself more noticeable on the road is pointless because an inattentive driver will hit you anyway. A cyclist is smaller than a car and more easily obscured by traffic, at the same time the view from inside a vehicle is easily compromised by rain, reflections and poor light. It's not a perfect world out there and sometimes being spotted a few seconds earlier in someone's peripheral vision is going to make a difference.

That said, that's one hell of a garish jacket, I think I'd prefer one of these for the winter commute when my tatty altura night vision gives up the ghost

a_to_the_j | 11 years ago

theres a gillet version too, that looks a pretty good roady/commuter choice.

amazon22 | 11 years ago

I want to like Polaris stuff, and its well enough made with good materials, but they're styling is, well, naff, to say the least. It seems they'r up against the likes of Endura (nice styling) and Lusso (not quite so nice) and they come a poor third. What is their USP?

ubercurmudgeon | 11 years ago

Perfect for any railway workers who cycle to work.

benb | 11 years ago

Make, 'sorry mate, I didn't see you,' a thing of the past.

Hardly, as "sorry mate, I didn't see you" = "I didn't look properly". If they don't look properly, it doesn't matter how visible you are.

brittleware replied to benb | 11 years ago

However, I'd like to know that they have no excuses - even if they think they do. Like the look of this.

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