PROVIZ REFLECT 360 PLUS CYCLING JACKET
The Pro-Viz Mens Reflect 360 Plus Cycling Jacket is a more tailored version of their 360 range and all the better for it. Better suited to longer commutes and even weekend touring, the cut and waterproofing offer excellent protection from the elements. That said, there are competitors offering superior breath ability. This might be a consideration, if you run a bit warm, or love to blast along.
Pros: Well made, decent cut, very waterproof, superb retro-reflective technology.
Cons: Breath ability good but not doesn't rival some shop branded competition.
Ok, so the shell and liner are 100% polyester, which is pretty much what we'd expect at this price point and no bad thing. Hard-wearing, simple to care for, and offers a decent level of performance. More interesting perhaps, is the reflective material impregnated within the outer fabric.
This I'm told are millions of tiny glass beads, which bring the garment to life, regardless of the angle, and from much further away. By day, its "modest grey" is stealthy and stylish, so works well with overtly technical rider wear, and indeed, street clothes. Waterproofing is rated at 10,000mm and breath ability 10,000+gm/24hrs, which is also competitive with similar designs commanding similar cash.
Standards of construction are very high. Taped seams run throughout, adjustable cuffs and mean its easily adjusted to forge a good, weatherproof seal with different gloves and allows for layering.
A fleece-lined collar also shuts out the elements, while providing some welcome, additional warmth. Typical of polyester garments, the 360+ features a mesh lining. These are designed to protect the shell from premature wear, while also assisting the wicking process.
Staying with moisture management, zippered pits and vented back also encourage airflow and expulsion of rider generated heat. I was surprised to find a mesh pocket with a Velcro closure here. I wouldn’t want to carry much weight here. A wallet tended to bounce around like a playful labrador, but it’s proven a useful stash point for notes and similar valuables.
Two sensibly proportioned breast pockets and a rear "poacher" are also fully waterproof, ditto the full-length zipper. This also features the zip garage to prevent chafing. The tags mean they're easily operated in gloved hands Ours didn't have one on the poacher, so I ran a black cable tie through the tag's drilling.
Since we're here, the breast pockets have comfortably swallowed a 6inch smartphone, wallet and "super zoom" compact camera. The poacher managed a multi-tool, mini pump, tube, keys, Co2 and energy bar, without feeling over-burdened. The rear is cut longer, in the cycling tradition with a "low profiled spray guard"
Before I get into this … I was pleased by the raglan sleeves, which promise optimal freedom of movement. The cut is described as tailored, which is somewhere between street and racing snug. Strikes a good balance in the main, although being picky, I'm for a slightly closer fit.
Traditionally Pro-Viz have erred on the generous. I'm 1m81 and 70 kilos and found the medium a good bet. Sufficient length in the arms, enough scope for winter weight base and mid layers, without feeling restrictive, or baggy.
Minor points aside, I've been impressed by the 360+ The cut allows easy transition from drops, tops and hoods, offering the back and vital organs excellent protection from wind, rain and chill. It has been persistently wet throughout the test period and I've returned from 2-3 hours riding in heavy rain, nigh on, completely dry.
The fabric has done a superb job of keeping the elements out, but given a steady tempo of 20-22mph, temperatures in the low teens, rider generated heat was slower to escape. Not that I've ever felt "boiled in the bag". As the mercury slid into single figures and the winds became intensely autumnal, I welcomed the additional protection.
At a more moderate 17-18mph steady, between 7 and 14 degrees, the fabric's wicking prowess kept pace. More than up to the job of middle-distance commuting, I've done a couple of all-nighter's and would be happy enough weekend touring, frankly.
Descending at 30 odd mph, the fabric was (marginally) more audible than some and I noticed some additional air resistance but nothing to write home about and besides, it’s not intended as a race garment.
The reflective technology is second to none. Graced by street or vehicle lights, it switches from subtle grey, to brilliant white and seemingly from any angle. Combined with the K-lite Bike Packer Ultra most traffic clocked me from a very safe distance and were more inclined to heed my right of way.
The 360degree presence (coupled with decent lights) made roundabouts and entering traffic flow feel a bit safer, although I'm always hyper vigilant. Misty conditions merit day-glow but my Abus lid covered that base and again, the jacket came alive under car headlights. Mixed terrain fun also confirms the fabric is pretty rugged. The inevitable brush with brambles hasn't left any calling cards.
The 360+ is very easy to live with and the clever top layer has also necessitated fewer machine washes, despite torrential rains, greasy roads and the odd mechanical.
Daily commuting in congested cities may taint it quicker. Otherwise, it’s simply a case of popping it in the washing machine at 30 degrees, minimum detergent and allowing it to dry at room temperature.
At 538g, it’s a little heavier than some, so I wasn't surprised to find it needing 3 hours or so. Besides, I've never returned home wet, rain just beaded away, leaving a small puddle on the kitchen floor.
Though the Pro Viz 360+ is very competent and wins hands down, when it comes to visibility. There are other jackets, at this end of the market, offering superior breathability. DHB Flashlight Force (£120) has been my autumn/winter/early season default for the last couple of years.
Breathability is 15000, compared with the Pro-Viz 360+ 10,000. Scotchlite reflective panelling is very effective (although admittedly, not to the same extent) and the day-glo colour options may swing those wanting a hybrid design.
When all's said and done, the Pro Viz 360+ is an excellent option for commuting and general riding. The retro-reflective technology is fantastic. On open roads, drivers clocked me, from 200 metres. Waterproofing and breath ability are similarly good, though not quite exceptional.