The Altura Night Vision 2 Thermal long sleeve jersey is a great option if you want a warm top that looks great during the day and even better by night thanks to an array of stylish reflective panels. A well-thought-out design to suit the everyday rider.
For winter commuting I was always a fan of the Night Vision (NV) range, owning the bib tights and jackets because they were just so damn visible in amongst the heavy rush hour traffic. This NV2 Thermo jersey has a much more discreet way of making you seen; it's a little less shouty but still with very impressive results.
The NV2 Thermal has two reflective strips running either side of the centre of your back, but rather than being the usual silver Scotchlite type, they are actually black until light is directed at them. It doesn't quite bounce the light back as effectively as a more traditional reflective (you can see the difference as Altura has used silver reflectives for the label on the rear pockets) but you still show up well from a decent distance away.
The sleeves receive the same treatment, with a strip down each one from shoulder to cuff, and it's positioned for visibility from the front with your hands on the hoods. It'd be nice to see another one 180 degrees from this, though, to aid rear visibility especially when signalling.
You'll find a couple of other little details here and there too, to catch the light, and the whole setup offers good coverage to show following drivers there is a human being up front.
The use of the black reflectives means you don't look like some DayGlo high-vis warrior during the day, which I like, but if I was going to be using this jersey for riding at all times of the day, I would definitely go for either the yellow or red option over this black one.
From a performance point of view the NV2 has a lot going for it. The cut is what Altura calls semi-fitted, and using its Ergofit 3D body mapping system the jersey is designed to be perfect for riders in the saddle. It's close enough to the body to remove excess flappy material without being restricted to those riders with a body fat percentage in the single figures. A jersey for the average sized man, shall we say, although the arms are noticeably slim fitting so if you are muscular you might need to size up to be comfortable.
Sleeve length is good when stretched out, so you'll definitely have plenty of material still tucked inside the cuffs of your gloves.
The tail is dropped a long way to stop it riding up and exposing your back when hunched over in the saddle, and the front arches up to stop the material bunching up. The hem is held in place by silicone gripper.
The fleecy material that Altura calls Thermo is soft against the skin and seems to do a good job of trapping body heat. With a winter baselayer beneath it I could easily see it being useful to just below freezing. Going for a lighter, mesh-style summer option means you won't get overwhelmed in sweat up to the low teens Centigrade.
For storage you get six pockets, three of which are your traditional affair, big enough to carry your usual ride tools and spares. They are taut too, so you don't get any sag from heavy items. Either side of these there are two smaller ones which, thanks to their position, are ideal for things you might need to grab when in the saddle, gels, bars or your phone for instance. They're also particularly handy if you're carrying a backpack, as you can still access them.
The final pocket is a zippered valuables one on the back which is ideal for cash, debit card or keys. None of the pockets have a water resistant lining, so bear that in mind if you are carrying electronics.
At £59.99 I'd say the Altura offers good value for money – the fit is well thought out, the material works nicely and the overall quality is very good. It's standing up well to daily wear and tear, so durability shouldn't be an issue either. You can get cheaper – Btwin's 700 Warm is half the price, for instance, with plenty of features too, but I would say that the Altura has a more precise cut and the material used feels nicer than the 700.
You can also go much pricier; the Rivelo Felcott jersey shares a lot of similar details with the NV2 – well, other than the reflectives on offer, which is after all the Altura's USP, but the Rivelo is £100.
In conclusion, I'd say if you want a warm race style jersey to get you through the chilly months then the Altura NV2 is a worthy contender, and if you want to be seen at night then it's one of the better options.
Medium-weight jersey for chilly rides, especially in failing light, having the added benefit of discreet reflectives
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Nightvision 2 Thermo Long Sleeve Jersey
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?
Altura says: "A Sport Fit jersey in Altura Thermosuede fabrics that offers superior thermoregulation and easy access rear storage pockets. Our popular Peloton jersey now offered with Darkproof ® Technology to provide maximum dark light visibility."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
*Altura Thermo™ technology using thermosuede fabrics delivers body warming insulation and warmth, to maintain core thermoregulation, keeping you warm, dry and comfortable
* Altura Darkproof® technology offers superior retroreflectivity. NV360° performance offers 360 degree reflectivity for maximum dark light visibility
* ErgoFit™ 3D patterning engineered for a more comfortable riding position
* 5 easy access rear pockets with an additional zippered pocket
* Integrated silicon grip delivers enhanced fit
Fit is close without being restrictive.
Spot on with what the sizing chart on the website says.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Its dark colours resist mud stains and a simple 30 degree wash keeps things clean.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The reflectives work well and are sensibly positioned, plus the material offers warmth without being overwhelming should you get your layering wrong.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
A well-cut jersey that'll cross many seasons with sensible layering.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Normal reflectives offer better visibility.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but in the yellow or red to stand out better in daylight.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It's another well made and nicely cut jersey from Altura that offers plenty for the money.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.