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review

Proviz Reflect360 Elite Women’s Cycling Jacket

8
£199.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Superb cold weather comfort and exceptional reflectivity, at a price – and check the fit
Extremely reflective
Good warmth and windproofing
Comfortable
Long cut won't suit all
Expensive
Weight: 
430g

At road.cc 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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The Proviz Reflect360 Elite Women's Cycling Jacket is part of the company's high performance road cycling range, which builds on the popularity of its incredibly reflective urban cycling gear. Using highly reflective materials together with stretch windproof and thermal fabrics, it's an impressively comfortable and warm jacket, ideal for winter road rides, though it comes at a hefty price.

This performance-focused jacket is designed to give good protection and visibility for road cyclists – and it does both really well. Despite its low weight it's superbly warm and protective, making for excellent comfort in low single digit temperatures.

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It's made from highly stretchy thermal fabric with wind and water repellency, as well as fully windproof and reflective panels across the upper arms and shoulders, and across the three pockets at the rear. Despite the jacket being primarily black, the reflective panels are so intensely reflective that this is an excellent choice for after dark rides. I felt confident that I was highly visible.

2021 Proviz REFLECT360 Elite Women's Cycling Jacket - refelctive back.jpg

The windproof panels are well positioned, offering good protection without causing overheating, and the breathability of the fabric is excellent. Even over the course of damp, hilly rides there was little sweat build-up.

2021 Proviz REFLECT360 Elite Women's Cycling Jacket - chest.jpg

While there is no claim of waterproofing – Proviz describes the fabric as water resistant – the jacket did a decent job of keeping me dry in moderate rain over the course of a short ride. I wouldn't choose it if prolonged bad weather were likely, though.

The zip is easy to operate single-handed and the collar secures snugly at the neck to keep draughts out on descents.

2021 Proviz REFLECT360 Elite Women's Cycling Jacket - collar.jpg

The stretchy cuffs are snug, too, but not so tight that they cause any issues with gloves – or my GPS watch.

2021 Proviz REFLECT360 Elite Women's Cycling Jacket - cuff.jpg

As well as the traditional three pouch pockets at the rear you get two zipped side pockets. The three at the rear are a good size and easy to access, and being fully reflective they also have a certain amount of rainproofness, as the reflective fabric is highly water repellent (although obviously they are open at the top, so...).

2021 Proviz REFLECT360 Elite Women's Cycling Jacket - back pockets.jpg

The side zip pockets have a water-repellent lining and are big enough for a small smartphone (they fit an iPhone 7 in a Rapha-style zip-up case but only just), but I'd still be inclined to limit their use to smaller bits like keys. The zip pull for these zipped side pockets is quite small and too fiddly for use with gloves – best to use for things that are just going to stay in there for the whole ride.

2021 Proviz REFLECT360 Elite Women's Cycling Jacket - pockets.jpg

The cut of the jacket is long and lean, and might not suit all. The size 14 I tested was neat but perfect with a fairly lightweight baselayer underneath; to fit a heavier duty baselayer underneath might require me to go up a size, but I'd find the jacket's length a possible issue there. For my average 5ft 5in frame, the jacket is already on the long side – I wouldn't want to risk it being longer still in a larger size. (Tass, who's modelling it, is closer to 5ft 7in.)

2021 Proviz REFLECT360 Elite Women's Cycling Jacket - back.jpg

Taller riders will be delighted with the cut, and there's plenty of length in the sleeves too.

The additional length didn't cause any issues with the hem riding up when on the bike, the silicone gripper holds it in place well.

2021 Proviz REFLECT360 Elite Women's Cycling Jacket - gripper.jpg

Value

The Reflect360 Elite is not a cheap option. In fact it's the most expensive in Proviz's range of women's jackets, its £199.99 rrp putting it up against some premium brands. Castelli's Perfetto RoS, for example, is £200 and the Pearl Izumi PRO AmFib Softshell Jacket is £199.99.

Looking closer to home, in performance terms it's a step up from its £119.99 PixElite Softshell sibling, which uses a different reflective fabric – PixElite rather than Reflect360 – but is it an £80 improvement? David tested the men's version a few years ago and thought it was very good.

Compared with many jackets of this ilk, there does seem to be a hefty premium attached to all that reflectivity. The Chapeau Men's Club Windstopper Jacket at £149.99 and the Gore C3 Gore-tex Infinium Thermo Jacket at £129.99 have a lot of the technical detail and functionality that the Proviz is offering, at a much lower price, but without that reflectivity.

> Buyer’s Guide: 15 of the best high-vis cycling jackets

Overall, this is a high quality jacket that performs very well at what it's intended for. It's very comfortable to wear and use, and the reflectivity is literally brilliant – but it comes at a premium price. You might want to check the fit, too.

Verdict

Superb cold weather comfort and exceptional reflectivity, at a price – and check the fit

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Proviz Reflect360 Elite Women's Cycling Jacket

Size tested: UK 14

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?

Proviz says, 'The REFLECT360 Elite cycling jacket is the latest jacket to be introduced to our best-selling REFLECT360 range. The jacket utilises unique four-way stretch reflective material to give you complete flexibility and comfort while having the added benefit of being fully reflective when caught in a vehicle's headlights. This new material, sourced in Italy, brings a new dimension to the REFLECT360 range.'

It's a warm, windproof and water-resistant jacket aimed at road cycling use. It's especially suited to use after dark in street and headlights thanks to reflectivity.

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

From Proviz: 'The jacket has a silicon powerband around the waist to give the perfect on-bike performance fit. It is also wind-resistant, water-resistant and completely breathable to give road cyclists a product they can use throughout the winter.

'We have designed the arms and body of the jacket using Hydro Alpine 260 GSM fabric that enables ultra-fast drying and through flow of air which helps to regulate your body temperature and gives great insulation on those cold winter days. The cuffs are double layered Lycra fabric. There is also a dropped tail to block wheel-spray and above the tail you have three pockets to house your extras and two hidden side zipped pockets for your essentials.

'About the fabric: The material has millions of tiny reflective beads embedded in the material so when a vehicle's headlights hit the jacket, the beads reflective the light back to the light source meaning the driver should be able to identify the cyclist further in advance than normal and manoeuvre appropriately . During daylight it is a modest grey colour.'

Proviz lists these features:

Water resistant

Breathable

Windproof

Stretch thermal fabric

Highly reflective panels

Three rear pouch pockets

Zipped side pockets

YKK full length front zip

Soft stretch cuffs

Silicone gripper at hem

Available in sizes UK8-UK16

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Very well made with good quality fabrics and components.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
9/10

Performed extremely well. Kept me warm and dry and highly visible.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
8/10

Well made and good quality so should last very well.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
7/10

Not quoted as being 'waterproof', but water resistant. Kept out fairly heavy showers but not suitable for persistent rain over long periods. The fabric dries very quickly after getting wet though.

Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
8/10

Very breathable over the main part of the jacket; the reflective panels are less so, but are well positioned over areas that generate less heat and perspiration.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
6/10

A sleek and contoured fit; it's on the neat side, with plenty of length in torso and sleeves – best suited to taller riders.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
6/10

Sized up on the slightly neat side, but worked well with a light baselayer. If you want to wear thicker layers underneath you might need to go up a size, but there might be some issues with the length.

Rate the jacket for weight:
 
8/10

Very light for the level of warmth and protection.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
9/10

Extremely comfortable.

Rate the jacket for value:
 
5/10

Yes, it's an expensive jacket, but that Reflect360 technology costs.

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Very easy. Washed well.

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

Excellent levels of warmth, weather protection and comfort, and superb extra visibility in the dark.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Good warmth and windproofing, comfortable, extremely reflective.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Expensive, and the long, lean cut won't suit everyone.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's certainly not cheap, coming in at around the same price as some premium offerings, such as the Castelli Perfetto RoS and the Pearl Izumi PRO AmFib Softshell. In performance terms it's a step up from the Proviz PixElite Softshell Cycling Jacket, but it's £80 more. Compared with many jackets of this ilk, there seems to be a hefty premium attached to all that lovely reflectivity: the Chapeau Men's Club Windstopper Jacket at £149.99 and the Gore C3 Gore-tex Infinium Thermo Jacket at £129.99 have a lot of the technical detail and functionality that the Proviz is offering, at a much lower price, but without that reflectivity.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes, very much.

Would you consider buying the jacket? Probably not at this price.

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes, one with plenty of cash.

Use this box to explain your overall score

This jacket is well made and delivers excellent comfort, breathability and warmth, with astonishing levels of reflectivity under headlights after dark. It's not cheap, but it's very good.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 77kg

I usually ride: Liv Invite  My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite

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, mtb,

Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 

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