Perfect for off-season and early-season training and Audax duties

Altura Night Vision Evo gilet combines comfort and safety in a lightweight, easy care package that squirrels into seat packs or poacher-style jersey pockets when not required. Sure, day-glow stretch polyester mightn’t set pulses racing but a host of discrete touches from detachable fibre optic strips to sensibly designed zipper tabs distinguishes it from competitor designs and means it’s a cinch to throw on/off on in the saddle. My only minor gripe is the fabric's tendency to absorb moisture.

Look beyond the attention-grabbing neon yellow and acres of shout-out-loud Scotchlite and there’s a host of subtle detailing. Take the fibre optic strip light. This system overcomes the tendency for clothing clip LEDs to tug or otherwise detract from the garments drag- cheating cut while allowing the gillet to join the household wash. Elsewhere a simple elasticated dongle means you don’t need super nimble fingers to whip it on and off in seconds – even on the fly – while perforated reflective "ghost mesh" panels combine side-on visibility and perspiration control.

Sizing is classically Altura. Almost without exception I take a size large in jerseys but our medium test sample graced my contours perfectly with sufficient length to prevent it gathering up and inviting chill when hunched low on the drops. As a performance garment, the thin fabric is deceptively good, offering excellent defence against gusty autumn winds even worn atop a thin long-sleeve jersey sans base layer. Sauntering through green lane and bridlepath, its equally nonchalant when teased and tugged by thorns and overgrown foliage.

Road grime, mud and other spray wash cleanly and it dries ready to wear in 20 minutes. Safety-wise, there are just a couple of reflective vests that come close. The day-glow burns through overcast October mornings giving a good 300 yards notice in congested town centres – more along secluded backwaters. Come nightfall, the sheer prevalence of Scotchlite brings the gillet to life, forcing larger vehicles to sit up and take notice – headlamps dip and, crucially, the side visibility ensures you're seen when tackling roundabouts and turning generally.


Perfect for off-season and early-season training and Audax duties

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Altura Night Vision Evo vest

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product 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?

"An evolution of the best selling safety vest the Evo vest offers a lightweight, sportier alternative with masses of reflectivity including revolutionary new Ghost Mesh reflective panels. Ideal for the fast commuter or safety conscious roadie."

No argument here.

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Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)


G-bitch [327 posts] 8 years ago

I've noticed loads of these cycle specific hi-viz items coming on the market - is there really any justification over a standard (as in meeting EU visibility/retro-reflectiveness standards) workman's hi-viz vest that's probably a bit on the dear side if it costs more than £4 ??
There's the added advantage of 'H&S madness' ensuring that most people will find one in the workplace, even if it's an office, to half inch for those night rides  4

chippenhamged [7 posts] 8 years ago

Tesco's own brand tabbard £5, does the job just as well

Tony Farrelly [2899 posts] 8 years ago

The point is here that this is a high performance gilet that is also highly reflective, a £5 tabard from Tesco may well be reflective but it's not a gilet is it?

John_the_Monkey [438 posts] 8 years ago

For a bike specific gilet, I'd want a higher neck than this though - along the lines of the Pearl Izumi Zephyr (that's the advantage over a bog standard hi viz tabard, imo, better fit & more windproofing). This seems to fall between two stools, I think - not really bike specific enough to be a better bet than the Hi-Viz tabard.

Incidentally, poundshop Hi-Viz tabards are a great source of reflective tape for saddle bags, training jackets &c if you're reasonably handly with a sewing needle.

stuke [335 posts] 8 years ago
chippenhamged wrote:

Tesco's own brand tabbard £5, does the job just as well

the problem with most hi-viz tabards is that they are not designed with wearing a rucksack in mind, the rucksack will cover most of the reflectives and render it useless in the dark. the reflectives on the night vision are positioned to take all this into account with the 'ghost mesh' at the rear sides plus the reflectives on the side panel. I wear the black version as in the dark all that matters is reflectives and it makes sure you stand out especially when paired with the rest of the night vision range

vorsprung [282 posts] 8 years ago

They've altered the law in France last year so that all cyclists have to wear an approved reflective/hi viz all the time

Altura make cycling specific clothin. You don't think they would ignore this potential gold mine?

Jon Burrage [998 posts] 8 years ago

all the time? When did this happen? I ask ebcause I didnt see anyone wearing them around the tour in July.

Fringe [1047 posts] 8 years ago

i suspect thats why they are all on strike, nothing to do with retirement age  4