Friday 15 August 2014

The Best Waterproof Cycling Jacket - EVER!?

There are dozens of waterproof cycling jackets out there on the market. Finding one that will withstand a good few hours of rain as well as providing some reflective elements to alert other road users to your presence, especially when it is dark is pretty much the Holy Grail. I have searched long and hard but think I may well have found the best waterproof cycling jacket...ever!

I have had a few jackets over the years. My current one, 'Altura Night Vision' has pretty much given up the ghost as far as waterproofing is concerned. It has served me well but I have been looking for an alternative for some time.

My search ended up with me seeing the 'Proviz Nightrider' and liking what I saw. This jacket it nothing short of brilliant. It is cut really well with a longer tail and arms and velcro straps for the cuffs. The collar is high and lined and very comfy.

All good so far but what else. Well the Proviz Nighrider has a few other tricks up its sleeves. I had to buy an orange version of course (it also comes in black and yellow) but it is an incredibly bright orange and certainly stands out in daylight. In addition it has several large reflective strips, positioned at crucial points - shoulders, arms, sides, zip and back.

The back of the jacket has a large reflective triangle that when lit up by lights reflects very brightly. This triangle, attached by velcro, can be removed to attach a 'Triviz Lighting System.'

The 'Triviz' light is a brilliant addition to an already good design. Normally this retails on its own for £29.99 but for the moment at least Proviz are supplying one of these free with the jacket - which incidentally costs £59.99

The Triviz contains a waterproof UBS rechargeable battery in a zipped pouch that is in itself waterproof. It weighs only 120g all in. I certainly forgot it was there when it was attached to my jacket.

The run time is 12+ hours it on constant and 16+ hours if on one of two flashing modes (fast and slow).

For my money this is an excellent addition and getting it with the jacket for no extra cost was a bonus.

I took a picture of the jacket in daylight using the camera flash so that you could get an idea of the amount of reflective elements. The picture does not really do it justice. The quality and quality of the reflection when lights shine on any of these elements is nothing short of astonishing! I used the jacket yesterday evening and was asked by quite a few other cyclists, a jogger and a dog walker where I got it from.

Okay, so it is brilliant in day and night. What about the waterproofing? I was out and about yesterday and was caught in one of the many thunder storms. I didn't have any over trousers on, so the bottom half of me was soaked. The top half, with this jacket on...totally dry. Water just beaded off. I got home and was thinking that this is the best cycling jacket bar none.

There are also side zips to open if you get hot. Considering it is still summer here in the UK, yesterday in the thunder storm was hot and humid and I didn't feel too hot or sweaty inside the jacket. There is certainly a degree of breathability.

As I type this I still think that this is the best cycling jack I have owned. My only regret is that I had not bought one sooner. For me this jacket is bordering on perfection!

Link to Proviz


  1. Followed the jacket for most of Sundays ride and it looks fantastic ;-)

  2. Perfection is in the eye of the rider: for short commuting the Proviz is a winner but, due to a lack of breathability, it fails as a touring jacket or anything that involves longer distances. ALL coated fabrics -- the Proviz is coated polyester -- create wet conditions from the inside out. Pit zips just can't keep up with the perspiration/sweat that builds up under the waterproof exterior. I took the Nightrider out for a 50 mile trial run yesterday in drizzle and moderate rain (at about 10 to 12 degrees C) and was soaked to the skin after 20 miles. As much as I like about the jacket -- and the list includes looks, lighting, visibiltiy, waterproofness, cozy fleece collar, fit -- it is no Holy Grail at a good pace over longer distances. Note: Proviz actually includes a label that states Not for Professional Use. I assume that also includes touring and long distance rides. I'm still in search of the ultimate rain jacket and will now be turning my attention to the pricey line by Showers Pass. For short commuting distances in the city -- at a slow to moderate pace where breathability isn't as big of an issue and visibility is a must -- the Proviz works as it was designed to. For anything longer, give it a pass (Showers Pass?).

    1. I recently cycled from London to Whitstable wearing this, 67 mile at about 12 degrees C. In fact I cycled closer to 82 miles in total. I didn't find the jacket uncomfortable and didn't suffer from the soaked to the skin you did. I also cycled at an average of 12.8 mph over the 67 miles. As for the not for professional use, I'm not. Are you? As far as I am concerned it is still the best waterproof jacket I have owned and for the price a bargain.

    2. Hmmmmmm....was it raining while you did that distance at that speed? Maybe it's a case of YMMV? If you sweat a lot during activity -- and I was pedaling along at a pace a little over yours -- perhaps this jacket won't work. If you normally run on the dry side, you've shown that it might just be the bee's knees. At any rate, for the reasonable price -- and that includes the Triviz light which can be used on its own -- a cyclist should give it a go. If it doesn't work out, it'll make one heck of a reflective rain jacket to tuck away in your vehicle.

  3. It just dawned on me why I was sweating profusely in the Proviz and you weren't (or minimally): I was doing that 50 mile run with an old steel mtn bike that weighs 32+lbs and it was loaded with another 30+lbs for touring/training! Perhaps that explains the differing viewpoints/requirements? I was pushing the jacket to its design limits or beyond -- you weren't. Readers of this fine blog should keep that in mind when weighing the evidence.


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