We put Bontrager's high-vis summer jersey through its paces
With a price tag of a penny under £130, the Bontrager Velocis Halo jersey is the joint most expensive jersey in Bontrager’s extensive range, with the high price justified by the extra features that make this jersey so eye-catching, literally so if you’re riding in it after dark.
In effect, this is a Bontrager Velocis jersey (RRP £79.99), so where, I hear you ask, has that extra 60 quid come from in the price? Well, the Halo part of the name gives something of a clue, with a design that is meant to improve your night-time visibility.
At first glance you might think that the only thing that improves the visibility of the Bontrager Velocis Halo jersey is its high-vis yellow design, but the central rear panel and the hems of the sleeves are perforated with reflective “Pixels” that shine incredibly brightly when lit up by car headlights (or camera flashes).
This sort of technology of great if you want the peace of mind that you’re more visible when riding after dark, but don’t want to wear kit that looks ridiculous when seen in the cold light of day, and despite still being quite high-vis, I quite like the appearance of the Bontrager Velocis Halo jersey.
What I’m not sure about is how much night-time wear you could get out of the this jersey in typical British.
As I’ll come on to in a bit, the Bontrager Velocis Halo jersey is very lightweight and highly breathable, so you probably wouldn’t want to wear it when the temperature is much below 15ºC. Now, I don’t know about where you live, but around here the only time of year when it is 15ºC at night is for two or three months at the height of summer, and then you’d have to be out at 8, 9, or 10pm to begin to use this jersey to it’s full potential.
Watch: our favourite cycling jerseys of all time
Personally, this means that I will only use the Bontrager Velocis Halo jersey properly on a handful of occasions, maybe when riding back home after an evening crit or a week night chaingang. On every other sort of summer ride, the standard, much cheaper Velocis jersey would do just as good a job.
Putting aside the high-vis tech, how does the Bontrager Velocis Halo jersey perform?
Well, this is a very good jersey for summer riding. Even though this is not explicitly marketed as an aerodynamic jersey, the fit is sleek, with minimal loose material hanging down from the front when riding low on the drops, and with a snug fit around the arms and the shoulders.
Ventilation is also excellent. The back of the shoulders and the side panels of the Bontrager Velocis Halo jersey are perforated with tiny holes which do a great job of letting hot air escape, while the zip is naturally full length, so you can fully undo it if you’re climbing in really hot conditions.
Not so impressive, however, are the pockets. As with almost all cycling jerseys, the Bontrager Velocis Halo jersey comes with three open rear pockets, but I found them to be positioned too high up the back, making them difficult to reach while riding, and also quite small, not having enough capacity to carry everything that I wanted to take for long weekend rides. Slightly better is the zipped valuables pocket, which is sweat-proofed to stop your phone getting wet when you’re working hard.
For more details visit the Bontrager website.
The Bontrager Velocis Halo jersey is a good, lightweight, aerodynamuc summer jersey, with clever high-vis technology that does a great job of helping you be seen after dark. However, this added visibility adds an awful lot to the price tag, and it's such a light jersey that you're not going to be using it after dark too often anyway. The standard Velocis jersey seems like a much more sensible investment.