Altura Nightvision Women's Over Trouser review
Great trousers with impressive reflective detailing, but let down somewhat by the pockets
Altura’s Nightvision Women’s Over Trousers offer great protection in rainy weather. With good levels of breathability and superb reflective detailing, it’s almost difficult to not recommend them. The pocket design isn’t great though; prolonged, very heavy rain eventually finds its way in at the hip. It’s real shame since many people will have a preference for pockets on a jacket rather than trousers, so they don’t necessarily need to be there.
Good for low light conditions
Pockets don't handle very heavy rain
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While the Altura Women's Nightvision Over Trousers aren’t the quickest to pull on in a hurry. For nine out of 10 occasions, they are worth the effort. They keep your normal clothes perfectly dry without causing you to overheat, making them ideal for commuters looking for the best waterproof cycling trousers for the job. Unfortunately, if the rain is exceptionally heavy, pocket ingress occurs. Given the increasing occurrences of storms that we seem to be experiencing, these trousers aren't really an 'all-weather' option and could do with being refined.
Altura Women's Nightvision Over Trousers: fit and construction
I followed Altura’s size guide to test a 14. I’d normally wear a 10 or 12. The guide is obviously taking into account clothes under the trousers. They are pretty baggy around the leg and hip for me, but I wouldn't want them shorter in the leg. I’d always suggest trying before you buy with over trousers. If that’s not possible, maybe sizing down here would be advisable, providing your legs aren't on the long side.
The waist band is a simple elastic affair. I could pull it well up my torso to provide plenty of protection.
At the ankle, there is an elasticated internal gaiter, then an outer cuff that's tightened with a Velcro adjuster. There’s a decent length of compatible Velcro on the trouser - you can pull the tab round far enough to give a snug fit at the ankle.
Altura has included two hand pockets. They are zipped, with a forward-facing, covering flap. The interior pocket is mesh. The toggles are long enough to handle with gloved hands.
The fully synthetic fabric is DWR treated and carries a 10K/10K waterproof/breathability rating, and the seams are taped.
Getting the Altura Women's Nightvision Over Trousers on is not a quick affair. The zip at the ankle creates room at the leg end, but the elasticated gaiter negates this. I’ve been testing with Giro Rumblers and Hoka running trainers. I could prise them over my (size 8) Rumblers, but the trainers had to come off to get the trousers on. I’d say anything bigger than a size 8 is likely to mean shoes off. Ideally, you want to be wearing these before leaving the house to avoid the hassle of trying to pull them on in the rain.
The Velcro adjuster (at the ankle) never failed me while riding, even in high winds; as mentioned, there is plenty of Velcro to to get a snug fit and keep the trouser out of the way of the drivetrain. The gaiter effectively keeps cold air out and protects the sock cuff. Run-off inevitably gets the feet wet after a short while.
In terms of protection, the trousers impressed for a 10K/10K rating. They held off moderate, continuous rain for well over an hour. Breathability is very good too. I was happy commuting and doing errands in dire conditions; I never once felt too cold (tested down to 3 degrees) or too hot. I haven’t had them out in temperatures over 8 degrees - we simply haven’t had those temperatures while I've been testing.
The pockets stayed watertight in light and moderate rain, providing I’d ensured they were zipped right up. The mesh lining means that if you access them, water will likely get in. In very heavy rain, the flap acted like a scoop and water penetrated the zips. The length of the jacket and direction of run-off from it influenced this ‘leaking’ too.
The pockets aren't huge, an ideal size for keys, which in turn can get caught up in the mesh. Overall, I've not been impressed with the pockets. I would always rather use a pocket on a jacket so, for me, these are pretty redundant and compromise the performance of an otherwise decent bit of kit.
Value and conclusion
For £64.99, you'd expect to be able to use the trousers in any conditions. Sadly, that's not the case with these due to the pockets. Something like dhb's Flashlight Trousers offer better value, at £50. If Altura modified the design at the pockets, or removed them altogether, they would be easy to recommend, and possibly cheaper due to a simpler manufacturing process.
Overall, the Altura Nightvision Women's Over Trousers are let down by poorly executed pockets. Even with the overall trousers keeping the rain off and offering good breathability, this flaw would put me off investing, unless it is addressed in future versions of the trouser.
- Sizes: 8-18
- Fabrics: 100% 'Sythetic Fibre'. Taped Seams. DWR Treatment
- Waterproof/Breathability rating: 10K/10K
- Made in China
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Emma’s first encounters with a bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
With a couple of half decent UK road seasons under her belt, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there, spending two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, working primarily as a domestique for Emma Johansson. When Redsun folded, Emma was offered the opportunity to ride with a newly formed Belgian team and home to the first year senior and budding rider Anna Van Der Breggen.
After retiring, Emma returned to teaching, setting up her own tutoring business. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. While the road bike remains her true passion, she has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been sightings of Emma off-road, on mountain and gravel bikes… As if all of this isn't enough, she's been working as a freelancer since 2005, testing and reviewing the latest kit and sharing her insight into the sport.
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