The Altura Nightvision Overtrousers are highly breathable, very comfortable and cut from completely waterproof fabric. Unfortunately you can't say the same about the pockets, which let rain in to soak through your clothes.
I spend a lot of time riding in regular clothing, and have nightmares about getting to my destination soaked. Though I've had great success with Gore-Tex jackets, my experience with waterproof trousers has been pretty mediocre.
While the majority have worked theoretically, they've got so hot I've ended up just as wet on the inside as the outside.
First things first – the Nightvision Overtrousers don't make my legs sweat. Not one bit in temperatures from 5-12°C, even though they're windproof and keep your legs pleasantly warm. The breathability is impressive.
Waterproofing is also very impressive. Even in heavy rain, nothing defeats the actual fabric, and the elasticated internal gaiter means that even if water somehow gets around the outer cuff, your regular trousers and socks stay dry (and a Velcro adjuster keeps everything away from the chain).
The downside is you're forced to remove your shoes to get the Nightvisions on or off, despite the long zip.
All of this is spoiled by a simple thing, however. The pockets are not waterproof.
Unfortunately, as you ride the baffles that are supposed to protect the (non-waterproof) zips from rain act instead like scoops, pooling water until it leaks through and wets the hips of your trousers.
While this doesn't seem to happen in light rain, in anything persistently heavy it starts leaking within 5-10 minutes. I cannot fathom how these trousers got through testing, but there you go.
The fit is good – casual enough to be worn over trousers without feeling tight or baggy – and though I found the legs a little short, I'm 6ft 4in with a 33in waist, so probably a fairly extreme case.
The large reflective print down the side of each leg really helps at night, though I'd like to see it continue around round the back to catch headlights behind you too.
At £65, the Nightvision Overtrousers and well priced. For a tenner less, the Proviz Reflect360 Men's Waterproof Trousers don't have any side pockets to cause problems, though their breathability is pretty poor. If you're willing to spend a lot more – twice as much – the Cube Blackline Rain Pants offer excellent waterproofing and good breathability for £129.95.
Unfortunately, until Altura fixes the flawed pockets – either with waterproof zips or by deleting them entirely – it's very hard to recommend the Nightvision Overtrousers. That's a shame because otherwise, they're a top-performing piece of kit I would happily recommend to any commuter, especially given the reasonable asking price.
Leaking pockets undercut an otherwise very impressive performance
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Nightvision Overtrouser
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Altura says, "The Altura nightvision Waterproof Overtrouser has an updated reflective graphic print which offers excellent visibility in low light conditions. The addition of an internal leg gaiter ensures a close fit at the ankle and minimises water ingress at shoe level. The breathable, waterproof fabric and taped seams keep you dry as well as comfortable during your commute. They pack down small enough to fit in a jersey or jack et pocket - do not leave home without them."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Fully waterproof including taped seams
10/10 waterproof and breathability
Highly reflective print
Internal leg gaiter
Two hand pockets
Great waterproofing and breathability, let down by pockets that are effectively a sieve.
Go over jeans nicely without feel too tight or too billowy.
Large fitted me and my 33in waist perfectly, bar leg length – but then, I'm 6ft 4in.
Not too heavy and pack down pretty well.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Throw in with the regular wash at 30 degrees – they come out looking great.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The lack of waterproofing around the zips means your hips/backside get wet in heavy rain – an obviously huge flaw in waterproof trousers.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The breathability is brilliant.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pockets aren't waterproof.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Definitely at the cheaper end of the spectrum – if you want something similar in terms of price, the Proviz Reflect360 overtrousers should do the trick, but suffer from poor breathability. At the opposite end is the Cube Blackline Rain Pants, which are both waterproof and very breathable, but are twice the price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes... until it rained heavily
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Altura Nightvision trousers do everything really well... except stop heavy rain getting in via the pockets. It's a shame that simple flaw lets them down completely.
About the tester
I usually ride: Steel audax bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,