With the end of Daylight Savings, those of us who train outside after work are faced with some dark days of riding.
Earlier today we offered up some time-tested night riding tips for staying safe and having fun. Now we’re taking a look at a garment that should increase your chances of returning home incident-free.
The Proviz Reflect360 Cycling Jacket makes you more visible to motorists by an order of magnitude. The reflective material has a shine during the day, but absolutely glows at night when hit with any light. The true value of such reflectivity is that you are visible from any angle, not just from where your lights are pointed. This is invaluable at intersections, where traffic merges and even on curvy roads.
Proviz Sports offers jerseys, vests, backpacks, arm warmers, gloves and jackets, all in its super reflective material. We tested the waterproof $140 Reflect360 Cycling Jacket, just one of 80+ cycling garments the company offers for men and women for extreme nighttime visibility.
Like other popular reflective materials, the Proviz Sports material doesn’t beg for attention during the day.
But at night, the jacket screams for attention and then some.
The jacket is packed with features a cyclist can appreciate. There are two external chest pockets and an internal chest pocket, all of which fit an average-sized phone or wallet.
The zippers have zipper pulls, the cuffs have velcro adjustments to keep them snug to your waterproof cycling gloves, and the waist has a cord-pull adjustable waistband.
This model isn’t very breathable. To combat the inevitable sauna effect, Proviz builds in generous pit zips.
Out back, there’s a vent that just might release some steam, and below that, a large pocket. When the skies open up, there’s a generous rear tail protects your pants from getting soaked with spray.
Up top, the collar is sufficiently tall and has a soft fleece lining. When everything gets dirty, you can throw it in the washing machine.
While riding, the Reflect360 Cycling Jacket shines, literally and figuratively, because it fits like a cycling jacket. No, it’s not a race cut for scrawny World Tour climbers, but has a form that matches the cycling position, and features a cyclist will appreciate.
The only complaint I have with this garment is that it’s not very breathable. That limits its comfort for extended, high-intensity night rides. It’s fine for cruises around town, mellow rides to work, or short, cold weather warm-ups. The waterproof material also makes for a good course pre-ride jacket when it’s cold and sloppy, but once you start your openers, you’ll also be reaching for the zip pulls to open up the venting.
Thankfully, for $35 more, Proviz offers its Reflect360 Plus Cycling Jacket which features a breathable material. Unless you’re trying to save money on sauna fees, that’s probably worth the premium, although we haven’t tested that model.
Is the Reflect360 a good value? If you poke around the usual channels, you’ll find reflective jackets for much less than $140. If being seen is your only goal, perhaps those items will meet your needs. But for commuting in the dark, wet weather riding and riding to and from the Wednesday night hot lap sessions, the Proviz Sports Reflect360 will be my bright and warm insurance policy. I hope I’m worth it.
More info: provizsports.com