Review: Proviz Switch & Reflect 360+ - Bike Rumor
Hailing from a land that is already starting to slip back into autumn as the days are getting noticeably shorter again, London-based Proviz know a thing or two about trying to stay visible riding year round. They had a lot of success with the fully reflective Reflect360 series that was introduced last year, and have reworked their bestselling jacket to make it more breathable and performance-oriented while keeping the exceptional visibility and waterproofness. At the same time they’ve added a new Switch range this summer with reversible men’s and women’s vests and jackets that offer one fully reflective side and either black or high-vis on the other to suit a broader set of tastes.
Read on for a close look at both the Plus and Switch line-ups…
We reviewed last fall’s Reflect360 jacket and came away with a lot of positive thoughts. For the around town and commuting use it was great, but a more fitted and breathable cut would have been nice for longer and more intense rides. The new Reflect360+ does just that in both men’s and women’s specific cuts.
Starting with the same concept as last year’s model the 115£/155€/$175 Reflect360+ jacket goes a bit more technical. The update uses a new membrane for increased breathability and through-flow perforations throughout for even more ventilation. It also gets a new reflective material with the same visibility even with overall perforations.
The new jacket gets a more closely tailored fit with raglan sleeves for better movement and lighter materials overall to better appeal to cycling at higher intensity. The upper back vents carry over letting air out without letting rain in, and combine with front zip vents for max air flow. The front vents double as waterproof pockets in cooler weather. The jacket also gets an inside chest pocket and large rear pocket for storage.
The jacket uses a fabric designed by Proviz to maximize reflectivity, but look like a simple gray during the day. But when hit with lights at night it becomes shockingly reflective. The jacket gets taped seams for overall waterproofing, as well as a low-profile drop tail spray guard. It is mesh lined for comfort and breathability and gets a soft fleece-lined collar and an adjustable lower hem and cuffs. The machine washable jacket is claimed to weigh about 400g for a medium size.
The waterproof Proviz Switch line-up uses a two-layer, two-sided construction that yields a reversible piece of kit to do day and night double duty, always keeping you dry. By day, either a simple black version will be subtle while keeping you dry and warm or the hi-vis fluorescent yellow option will make you seen even in the light. Then when it gets dark, turn it inside out to bring out the reflective side that almost glows when it is hit my headlights and street lights.
The 105£/145€/$160 men’s and women’s jackets get perforated (reflective layer-only) backs to maximize breathability, much like the 360+. They also get two additional side vents to keep air flowing between the two layers. Another point we noted in the Reflect360 jacket review was that it worked so well off the bike that we wished it had pockets for our hands. Well, with the versatility of the new reversible Switch Jacket (especially the Black/Reflective one) our wish is granted for 2 side pockets.
The Switch fabrics were selected to maximize versatility. The reflective material comes directly from the Reflect 360 line, while the yellow and black lend towards breathability and durability. The Switch jacket borrows the taped seam, raglan sleeve, and dropped tail finishing details from the 360+.
A Switch vest is also available in both men’s and women’s cuts for about 67£/95€/$105. The vests get a chest pocket for each of the reversible sides, so one inside and one outside. The vest also gets a single zippered back pocket on the non-reflective side.
Like the Switch jacket, the vest gets a two-way reversible zipper to help manage ventilation. Again like the jacket, the Switch vest gets a fully perforated back, wrapping around the sides, to boost breathability. A Switch backpack cover is also available.
The 360+ jackets and Flouro Yellow Switch Jackets and Vests are available and shipping now. The Black Switch gear is expected to ship by the end of October. Everything is available through Proviz directly or through their regular retailers.