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The Nightvision Typhoon Women's Waterproof Jacket is another great piece of urban-orientated kit from Altura. It offers good protection against the wind and rain without causing excessive overheating, the reflective detailing is well placed and plentiful, and with a detachable hood and casual cut it works well both on and off the bike.
The Typhoon Jacket is not dissimilar to the Storm Jacket that I tested a few months ago. The Nightvision range really offers commuters – and those relying on a bike more than a car – exceptionally practical clothing with a focus on visibility in low light conditions and at night.
Just as with the Storm Jacket, I've struggled to fault it from this perspective, both on and off the bike.
The jacket is a relaxed fit. Following Altura's size chart, I tested a medium, and while I've got plenty of breathing room inside the jacket, it doesn't make me look like a sack of spuds; the cut is subtly feminine. I can happily fit plenty of layers under it without feeling like it's starting to be overstretched on the bike.
The sleeve length is generous, too. Velcro adjusters allow you to secure the cuffs over a glove, keeping draughts at bay.
The neckline is pretty high and has a little more girth than the Storm's and doesn't have a toggle to tighten it. That's not been a problem during the test period when I've been wearing so many layers and a neck warmer under it, it's been packed out and couldn't have been tightened anyway.
There is a section of soft, suede-like fabric that's just enough to take the coldness off, but it's not exactly cosy, and without all the extra layers I found that the collar moved around a bit and rubbed under the chin. That said, in milder temperatures I'd probably have it unzipped a few centimetres anyway.
There's decent length in the jacket and a slight drop at the rear to protect your lower back if your guards fall a little short. There could be more protection here – especially if you don't have mudguards. A toggle-operated cord tightens the lower hem and is easy to access and use.
Altura claims a 15k waterproof rating on the Typhoon, an extra 5k on top of the Storm Jacket. I'd say the difference is noticeable, but not huge. The Storm stands up to about 45 minutes of continual rain before giving in, while the Typhoon stretches to about an hour.
Bearing in mind it comes from a commuter collection, it definitely serves its purpose for short, rainy rides in terms of waterproofing. It's a pretty thin fabric and I could shake off the worst of the rain when I took it off, which helps with continued performance. It doesn't carry the price tag of a top-end garment, but it's a great investment if you are committed to commuting in bad weather and want something to serve you well without putting a Gore-tex-size dent in your bank balance.
The breathability of the jacket is surprisingly good, too. I never once felt like I was overheating. Admittedly, I'm not racing around, but equally, I am occasionally running late and not averse to pressing on a little. The compromise is that it doesn't offer much protection from biting winds. As I said, though, there's room underneath for layers.
Overheating might be more of an issue if you're using the jacket in milder temperatures. In this case, it's good to know that there are vents at the rear and zipped ones under the arms, all of which are great for encouraging airflow if you are starting to feel sweaty.
Naturally, unzipping at the front helps too, though the jacket is prone to billowing up because of its relaxed fit. A substantial zip guard protects clothing underneath, and goes some way to keeping out draughts too.
The hood is an under-the-helmet job and has been well designed – it doesn't hinder vision and has a well-proportioned top flap. It's easy to adjust, with two separate side cords and toggles. Hoods are a love-or-hate matter, so it's great that Altura has made it detachable. This has been kept simple – two Velcro patches and two studs.
For me, the storage on the Typhoon is not as good as that on the Storm. At the front, there are two roomy hand pockets and one chest pocket that's rather small. There's no rear pocket. There is plenty of space in the hand pockets, but if you are loading them up you definitely need to tighten the toggle to avoid bagging/swing.
The chest one has become my pocket for stuffing a face mask in; you really can't fit anything substantial in there.
All the zips are smooth running and have sizeable toggles attached to lengthy cords, which makes locating, gripping and using them easy, even with gloved hands.
The reflective detailing is exceptionally striking under headlights and has been thoughtfully placed: upper shoulders, down the arms, and on the tail – basically, the parts that won't be covered by a rucksack but will be most exposed when you are in a riding position.
It does miss the side detail that the Storm has, but while I personally preferred the reflective detailing of the Storm as a look for off-the-bike, the Typhoon's is no less effective and practical.
The purple (tested) and navy options are certainly more subtle for off the bike use, but if you want to make more of a statement there's a Lime Green option too.
I've given the jacket a few washes in a cold cycle and it's not deteriorated performance-wise. This dark version has also escaped the machine more than the Lime Green option might have... You can reproof the jacket when needed – the jacket on test has had a real battering in recent weeks and would undoubtedly benefit from this.
It's showing no visible signs of wear and tear, despite plenty of use. If past Altura products are anything to go by, it'll wear well.
For £99.99, the Nightvision Typhoon is reasonable value, especially given its versatility. It's the same price as Rapha's Commuter Jacket which Matt found lacking in some areas such as breathability and reflectives when he reviewed the men's, although we haven't tested the women's version. I did test the women's Commuter Lightweight Jacket, though, which is £20 less, and the Altura outperforms it where waterproofing is concerned.
If you want 100 per cent waterproofing for any duration of ride, you can spend significantly more: the Showers Pass Atlas Jacket is £210, Findra's Stroma Jacket is £159, and Gore's Active Hooded Jacket is £169.99.
Or, if you're happy without a hood, you could choose the Storm instead and save £20 – I can say confidently that you won't be making a huge compromise with waterproofing, having tested them both.
Overall, if you want a quality, functional, reliable commuter jacket, you could do much worse than Altura's Nightvision Typhoon Jacket. It'll protect from the elements both on and off the bike without breaking the bank. The hood's detachability is a big plus.
Capable, practical jacket for commuters or those relying heavily on the bike for transport – and works well off the bike too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Nightvision Typhoon Women's Waterproof Jacket
Size tested: 10
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?
Altura tell us, 'The Nightvision Typhoon Waterproof Jacket takes inspiration from our popular Nightvision styles from past seasons with a focus on improved reflectivity and styling. The strategically placed silver reflective panels provide visibility from all angles and help to keep you safe in low light or dark conditions. The fully waterproofed fabric and taped seams will keep you dry when the heavens open whilst the highly breathable fabric as well as underarm and back vents will help to keep you comfortable during your commute.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
-Silver reflective panels
-Fully waterproof including taped seams
-15/15 Waterproof and breathability
-Underarm and back vents
-Two hand pockets and chest pocket
-Removeable hood with stiffened peak
No obvious weaknesses to note.
It's rated 15/15 (waterproofing/breathability), but I didn't find it to be significantly more water resistant or breathable than the Storm Jacket, which is rated 10/10.
Has stood up to daily use and is not showing signs of wear. If previous Altura jackets are anything to go by, the waterproofing will deteriorate before any of the construction/material.
Altura claims it's 'fully waterproof'; it holds off steady rain for about an hour.
I found it spot on. There is sufficient room for layers, there's good length in the body and sleeves, and the cut is sufficiently tapered to be feminine but not restrictive.
Stay true to size if you want to be able to get layers under it.
Good – it won't add much to your bag if you whip it off and stick it in there.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Dark colour doesn't tend to show up much dirt and, to date, performance hasn't been affected by washing on a cold cycle.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great in damp and dreary conditions. Will protect you well for up to about an hour of steady rain. It's breathable enough for most commuters' needs – I certainly wasn't overheating – but that will also depend on the layers you use under it.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Good balance between breathability and waterproofing. Great reflective detailing. In the recent snow, the hood was seriously appreciated.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Very reasonably priced for what you are getting. Rapha's Commuting Jacket is the same price but possibly not as breathable (or reflective), while jackets with higher waterproof ratings from Gore, Findra and Showers Pass are well in excess of £100. Altura's Storm Jacket competes with it in terms of an almost parallel performance for a lower price – but no hood.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes, if they wanted a hood. Otherwise, I'd say buy the Storm.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a great jacket for any regular commuter or those who might rely more heavily on a bike than a car for day-to-day transport. It's comfortable, it protects against the elements, it offers reasonable storage options and it will get you noticed at night. All of this applies both on and off the bike. The hood is certainly a bonus, if that's your bag, in extreme conditions. It's very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…