The Proviz PixElite softshell jacket is impressively visible after dark while not being garish in daylight. It'll also keep you warm in most conditions and dry in light rain, although the sizing is rather small.
Extremely visible but not bright yellow
Plenty of pockets
Concerns over durability
Sizing comes up very small
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The Proviz PixElite softshell jacket is an impressive jacket for riders who want something that will keep them safe when riding in the dark, while not looking ridiculous when riding during the day.
>>> Buyer's guide to the best winter cycling jackets (video)
If you’re familiar with some of Proviz’s other work such the Proviz Reflect 360 jacket, you might expect its top-of-the-range offering to be so bright it would dazzle car drivers approaching from behind, having you leave a trail of destruction in your wake. However, the Proviz PixElite softshell jacket takes a much more subtle approach.
The collar, shoulders, arms, side panels, and rear of the Proviz PixElite softshell jacket are covered in tiny reflective patches that just look silver or grey when viewed in daylight, but when lit up by car headlights do a quite astonishing job of lighting you up. There is simply no excuse for a driver not seeing you in the dark if you are wearing this jacket.
The only slight concern I had was with the durability of the reflective material. I reckon I’ve used this jacket once or twice a week for the past few months, so can hardly be said to have tested it to destruction, but have seen a quite a few of the reflective dots rub off. Not enough to compromise the visibility of the jacket yet, but this might become an issue with daily use, particularly if you’re commuting with a rucksack.
Watch: buyer's guide to winter jackets
Putting aside its visibility, the Proviz PixElite softshell jacket does a half-decent if not exceptional job of protecting you from the element. It’s warm, but not exceptionally so, meaning you’ll be fine down to low single figures, but might need an extra insulating layer for anything colder.
And it’s a similar story in the wet, where the Proviz PixElite softshell jacket is billed as water-resistant, meaning that it’s fine through drizzle and light rain, but does begin to struggle pretty quickly if anything heavier starts to fall.
One thing to look out for is the sizing. If you’re looking to use the sizing from some of the other pieces in the Proviz range as a guide then forget it. While items like the Proviz Reflect 360 jacket come up incredibly large, the Proviz PixElite softshell jacket comes up rather small, so if you want any wiggle room for winter indulgence or are packing a bit of extra muscle on your arms, then it might be worth going up a size from normal.
>>> Seven tips to get your bike ready for winter (video)
Everything else on the Proviz PixElite softshell jacket is difficult to fault. There are three good-sized open rear pockets, plus a zipped security pocket that is positioned centrally so anything heavy you stow in there isn’t going to pull the jacket to one side or the other. It also has a great fit around the collar and cuffs, meaning that there’s no chance of the wind getting up there.
The price also seems fairly reasonable for what is a very good soft-shell jacket, especially when you consider that similarly designed (but not as bright) softshells from more stylish brands will often cost more than £200.
For more details visit the Proviz website.
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