Product Reviews December 14, 2012

Altura 'Night Vision' Over Trousers

I've just taken a look out the window. Judging by the weather, Winter is officially here. Moreover, it's dark when I cycle to and from work, some places have had snow and it's raining much of the time. It takes more than this to put me off cycling, but a change in seasons requires a change of cycling attire. It becomes more of a duel between me and the elements. The Winter bib tights are essential. I'm wearing full finger gloves. My lights are on much of the time (another pair of electron's have been purchased). Plus, I'm wearing a pair of over trousers to keep my work pair dry. As with everything related to cycling, there's a baffling array of choices, so how do these shape up? 

I don't have much of a baseline to compare these trousers to. That said, Altura have done a pretty neat job on these. I principally bought the 'Night Vision' version because I've so far owned two fluoro 'Night Vision' jackets and have been very happy with both of them. I had originally wanted a pair of flouro trousers to improve general visibilty, but for some reason they had been discontinued. I looked at a (fluoro) dhb pair because in some instances their kit is super value. However, according to the user reviews, sizing was an issue. This immediately put me off. Whilst you can never have stand out enough in the dark in my opinion, I decided to give the black pair a try. As per usual, I bought them from whose returns policy is about as flexible as you could ask for, thus rendering it a risk free, £50, purchase.  

The trousers are a technical piece of kit. The material is flexible, tough and heavy rain-proof. (I've also come off wearing them and whilst I managed to graze my knee, the over-trousers showed no sign of damage). More importantly, I have yet to experience the infamous 'wet bottom' feeling wearing them. The cut is fairly tight, but not uncomfortable nor too restrictive. The waist-band sports an elastic drawstring, ensuring they stay in place. I've only used them on a relatively short commute; after a while you'd get warm in them since the fabric is not breathable, so they might not be suited to every occasion. The trousers are black but have silver reflectives the whole way down the side of each leg which are extremely  effective at night-time. At the bottom of each leg there's 25cm side zip to help them on over your footwear. There are two Velcro cuffs that then wrap around your lower calf to make sure the trousers do not interfere with the drive train. The trouser 'cuffs' at the bottom are kept in place by a pair of poppers which complete the snug fit. These offer two different leg lengths, so again, help improve the fit. It doesn't make them watertight, but it reduces the opportunity for water to spray up your leg - another unwelcome experience! In terms of outer-layers, these trousers, plus the Altura jacket and my pair of Shimano boots mean that I am kept bone dry for my ride to work. It's an effective combination. 

Altura's Night Vision over-trousers do exactly what's asked of them. Quite how long they will reman water repellent remains to be seen, but for now they are a perfect solution to the alternative of keeping multiple changes of clothing at work. Roll on the bad weather! 

Words - bikebritain ltd

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Registered No. 6993486

38 Salisbury Road
West Sussex
BN11 1RD