When the nice people at Proviz asked if there was anything I wanted to review, I jumped at the chance and was sent one of their 'Nightrider LED Cycling jackets. Sadly, I had to send the large sized jacket back and that an XL was sent out in its place. The jacket is a much closer cut than my much older Nightrider one so keep this in mind if you think about getting one.
The XL arrived and trying on it felt a much better fit. It is a much closer fit which in my opinion is a good thing as I am not a fan or jackets that have lots of extra room, seeming to act like a sail in the wind when cycling.
Finding it difficult to photograph myself in the jacket, I managed to persuade my good friend Dr John to be my muse for last night when a few of us cycled from the London Eye to Canary Wharf and back to see the 'Winter Lights Festival' before it ended today.
|Plenty of reflective strips|
There are several features to this jacket but of course I need to start with the LED. The LEDs are built into the arms and back. The back has five red LEDs and each of the arms have three white LEDs. They are powered by a small, matchbox sized battery pack which weighs 45g. There are three modes constantly on, rapid flash and flashing pulse. Battery is connected by a small port connected to a ribbon cable that is sown into the jacket. The battery has its own pocket and once in can be turned on, off or to run through the various options. It is a practical design that just works. Incidentally, I didn't really notice the battery pack at all when it was in place.
|The selling point is the LEDs|
|Very small you would notice this battery pack is there|
|A neat little storage pocket for the battery pack|
|The on/off switch can be accessed by pressing on this part of the jacket|
The LEDs are themselves embedded in some of the excellent Proviz reflective strips that are in abundance all over the jacket. Just these reflective strips alone are very good when cycling at night, but the addition of the LEDs - which really can be seen from some distance away - makes things even better.
One thing to mention. While cycling along for for over 2 hours last night, Dr John said that he didn't notice the lights on the arms and they were in no way distracting. I have to report that this was my experience too but following Dr John and taking photos I was certainly aware of them and could see them from quite a few angles as well as some distance too.
I have a 360 and 360+ jacket as well as a 360 gillet. They are truly excellent for night riding and still offer some reflective benefits even in daylight. The retina burning yellow of this jacket in daylight makes this an excellent for being seen. For those who like to run lights during the day, you can quite happily have the LEDs on whenever you choose.
In the past I have owned jackets with no pockets which I found inconvenient at times when wanting to stow away an Oystercard for example. This jacket has three front pockets (two on the side and one on the chest) and a large rear pocket. These are incredibly useful but none look to be fully waterproof.
|One of the two side pockets|
The jacket is lined with a soft cotton mesh that in addition to aiding air flow makes the jacket very comfortable to wear. I wore the jacket for a fairly brisk 40 mile cycle and this lining together with the 25cm underarm zips and shoulder/back vent I didn't feel that I was sweating greatly or boiling in the bag as some jackets make you feel.
|Soft mesh lining|
|Zipped side vents on both sides|
There are of course some other little finishing touches that some jackets just miss for some reason. The full length zip is waterproof and its own zip garage at the neck to avoid irrigation and chaffing. The zips all have short lanyards with plastic ends attached to make things easier to grab hold of with wet, cold hands or when wearing gloves. The collar is lined with micro-fleece making things more comfy and warm in colder weather.
|Comfy lined collar|
The jacket retails on the Proviz website for £124.99 and at the moment is a web exclusive. You are getting quite a lot of jacket for that but Proviz are extremely good at periodically offering some discount codes so if you keep your eyes peeled you might be able to get it for less than that.
I liked this jacket and I like Proviz as a company. They are always innovating and bringing lots of products that cyclists, runners and walkers that bit more visible. The only thing I think they could improve would be to have an orange version of it! Many thanks to Anthony the co-founder of Proviz for sending this out to review. A link to the Proviz website can be found below.
Additional info. One of my readers pointed out that the review was missing information about whether the jacket could be washed. Many thanks to 'Bean.' The jacket can be machine washed at 30 degrees.