Proviz has launched a new range of softshell hi-viz cycle clothing called PixElite.
The number of cyclists choosing to wear the super hi-viz Proviz cycling clothing seems to be fast growing. I have (easily) spotted many more riders at night wearing the original Proviz Reflect 360 Jacket.
You might have seen one of these jackets but not known what it is. The jackets make people highly visible, in a kind of ghostly fashion. In fact, itâ€™s an odd experience seeing a white jacket coming towards you â€“ and only being able to see the rest of the person when they are close up.
Now Proviz have launched another range called PixElite. While Reflect 360 is a fairly heavy-duty waterproof style jacket (see our review last year of the Proviz Reflect 360 jacket), the PixElite cycling and running clothes are softshell.
Proviz writes: â€œFollowing a huge amount of development, testing and research, this range utilises our PixElite technology that has reflective yarn built within the performance fabric. This range offers understated style along with high performance reflectivity at night.â€
Basically, the technology allows the reflective yarn to be integrated into the clothing and not stuck on as an extra layer.
Although not as all-over-reflective as the Proviz reflect 360 jacket, the areas that do shine are amazingly luminescent. Even in daylight, when you shine a light on the hi-viz areas they instantly light up. In darkness, they are incredibly bright.
The softshell jacket has a number of advantages, such as being made from a soft and breathable fabric. Proviz state: â€œItâ€™s a tri-layered blend of back-brushed thermal microfibre, elastane and polyester to give breathable and completely flexible performance fit.â€
The fabric feels like itâ€™s high quality. It is warming and fairly windproof but also nicely breathable because even on a cold day, cycling creates sweat.
The performance fit is accurate. If you want a jacket thatâ€™s a bit roomier I suggest you go up a size, or even two.
There are the usual cycling jacket features including three elasticated top back pockets, a middle lock-zip pocket and another zipped pocket at the front.Â Generously wide and close-fitting cuffs offer comfort against the skin and also help to stop the wind, rain or sleet form getting up your sleeves.
Thereâ€™s a non-slip silicone hem to preventÂ the jacket riding up your back and a zip â€œgarageâ€, which is basically an extra over-flap of fabric at the top of the zip that stops it rubbing your chin skin when fully zipped up.
If have only a couple ofÂ quibbles. The internal seams are a little rough on bare skin but I expect most people will be wearing the jacket on top of a long-sleeved baselayer, or similar. The hi-viz areas of the jacket make a rustling sound. I don’t notice it when I am cycling but I do when I am kicking about the house getting ready to cycle!
The cycling jacket is quite pricey at Â£119.99 but I have not seen anything else as good as this for offering softshell clothing visibility. (The waterproof jacket is a lot cheaper but I did find it to be a bit bulky â€“ and sweaty! â€“ for anything more than the average commute.)
The softshell cycling jacket will be very useful for all kinds of cycling so the cost could be justified for its versatility.
There is a men and womenâ€™s fit PixElite cycling jacket and also a running jacket, training hoodie, bib tights, gilet, long-sleeve jersey, running tights, gloves, overshoes, arm warmers and lots more that make use of this innovative high-shine fabric.
To be honest, I canâ€™t imagine (save for the cost) why we are not all wearing Proviz fabrics when cycling or running through our dark Scottish winter. Even when itâ€™s daylight it can be dull and being seen on the roads and pavements is very important.
Clothes for kids getting to and from school must surely be the next step?