Proviz Reflective Jackets: PixElite or Switch?

They've always gone the extra mile when it comes to visibility - now Proviz jackets are more tailored to meet the needs of different riders

Proviz have become renowned for making unbeatably bright reflective jackets. Their original, the Proviz Reflect360, is so bright it can light up a rider like a beacon on the road.

The only problem? They’ve not always been considered the most fashionable or breathable of jackets. Step forward: new options for 2016.

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Proviz have expanded the range, with the ‘Switch’, a reversible garment that holds visibility in prime position, and the ‘Pixelite’ which sill features bright fabrics but will appeal to those after something a little more understated and indeed sweat-friendly.

We sent both jackets to contributor Adele Mitchell to see what she made of them…

Proviz Switch Cycling Jacket

This is a dual-layer, reversible and waterproof jacket designed to be worn with the neon yellow visible for day, then worn inside out when it goes dark.

Whilst this fabric looks grey under normal light, it actually utilises millions of highly reflective beads that make it quite astoundingly visible in artificial light: you literally glow all over.

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What’s more, this jacket is waterproof, and features handy side pockets. It’s fairly breathable as the reflective material is meshed, and there are zipped side vents to aid air circulation, but won’t give the same level as more sport cycling focused garments.

Elastic cuffs help keep the wind and rain out – though I did find these were a little wide for me. The sleeves are generously lengthy to avoid drafts, which is great, but would have been more comfortable with a tighter cuff.

Proviz have built in a nice high collar too to keep you snug, as well as a drop hem at the back to act as a spray guard if you’ve not yet got around to fitting mudguards.

The cut is roomy enough to layer easily over your cycling kit or commuting clothes and this is a piece obviously created for those pedalling with the destination at front of mind.

This is a great jacket for winter riding when the weather is at its most grim: it is designed to make a real difference to your comfort and safety. It is practical, easy to wear and highly reflective. If you don’t much like the ‘digging up the road’ neon yellow look, you can opt to buy the jacket in black, with the same reflectivity on the reverse.

This one will set you back £99.99, and is available in sizes 6 – 16.

Proviz PixElite Softshell Jacket

This jacket is designed with performance in mind. It features a streamlined fit with stretch plus high performance reflectivity for night riding. The sports fabric that it is made from is manufactured in Italy and is designed to feel soft and fleecy inside while being windproof and breathable outside to help regulate your body temperature while you ride.

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There are highly reflective areas on the arms, sides, shoulders and lower back – these patchers are chosen because they are the most visible areas of the upper body when cycling at night. Cleverly the reflective yarn is built within the fabric rather than stuck on top of it, which gives a quality look and feel and doesn’t interrupt breathability.

The jacket features lots of great design details. There are three back pockets and a rear lock-zip pocket as well as a front lock-zip pocket on the chest. The deep cuffs give a snug fit to keep the draughts out, and there is a lovely silicon hem (reminiscent of up-market cycling shorts!) that doesn’t ride up and helps to keep road spray out. There is also a zip garage to protect your neck from chafing when fully zipped.

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Beautifully made, and really rather stylish, this jacket is a great addition to your winter ride wardrobe. One tiny criticism: I would have preferred a smaller logo on the chest – admittedly it is reflective at night but I think it looks a bit bold in daylight.

The PixElite costs £119.99, and comes in sizes 8 – 16. Note: Proviz recommend going up a size or two when you order ‘due to traditional Italian fitting/sizing’. This jacket is a size 10, and the rider in the pictures would normally wear size 8.

Which would you go for – the uber bright or a more understated roadie style? 

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