Proviz REFLECT360 Men’s Explorer Running Jacket Review
You may remember that last year Proviz kindly supplied me with their brilliant REFLECT360 jacket and the REFLECT360 running backpack. I was very impressed with just how comfortable and bright these garments were and I still use them to this day.
I was delighted to be approached by Proviz to review their new range of running jackets, the REFLECT360 Explorer Jacket.
Retail price on this jacket is £99.99
Before I begin my review, I would just like to note that Proviz have very kindly offered all Running Bible Community members a 20% discount off of their products. Please enter the code RUNNINGBIBLE20 at the checkout.
The Explorer jacket includes the usual features you’d expect from a running jacket; Wind resistance, showerproof, side zipped pockets, zip pulls and ventilation. The Explorer also features a hood, which came in very handy the first day I tried it properly. Virtual London Marathon day!
The pockets are what you would expect from a running jacket. Enough room to fit some gloves, gels etc in. Both pockets are equipped with zip pulls and have a good quality seal around the zip.
The interior of the jacket is lined with back brushed polyester, which runs through the whole body of the jacket and the hood, but not in the sleeves. This provides a lovely feel when you are wearing the jacket and also offers some protection from the rain and cold.
If you’re familiar with the REFLECT360 range, you will note that this is very different to the lining to the flagship REFLECT360 running jacket. The lining of that jacket is a polyester mesh.
Proviz have included a large area of ventilation which runs from just below the hood line to midway down the back. This helps moderate the temperature inside the jacket.
The Explorer is made from a lightweight soft touch polyester, which gives the jacket a great feel. It is very comfortable to wear, I particularly like the inner lining. The quality of the jacket is great. It has a nice quality feel to it, unlike some of the cheaper showerproof jackets you find out there which feel and sound like you’re wearing a plastic bag.
The sizing is exactly what I would have expected it to be. I am a medium in most tops, but went up to a large (I usually size up in jackets as you’ll be wearing additional layers underneath….that and I needed to take into account my lockdown weight increase *eye roll).
Now, in case you missed the previous review, REFLECT360 technology means that the jacket contains millions of tiny reflective glass beads in the material. This produces a high grade multi colour reflectivity back from light sources, enabling you to be seen from quite some distance away. I really mean it, you can be seen clearly from a very impressive range, providing there is a light source pointing towards you to reflect back.
First impressions are that the Explorer jacket looks a lot more subtle than the rest of the REFLECT360 range. Whilst the brightness of this gear is generally what draws people to Proviz, a jacket that is in your face might not appeal to everyone. That is where the explorer range comes in.
The first thing you may notice is that this jacket is black, instead of grey. Proviz have given the Explorer range a completely different look.
The REFLECT360 range is famous for transforming you from a mere mortal into a blazing beacon of light. With the explorer, it is a little more subtle. The arms, neck and hood have a generous amount of REFLECT360 technology, but in a new, stylish multi coloured reflective camo design.
As I mentioned, the first day I wore the jacket properly to test it, was the Virtual London Marathon day. It was chucking it down in Bristol! Whilst I was unable to run the marathon due to injury, I did head out to support friends locally.
I walked around 3.5 miles and was out for around an hour. Now, not many shower proof jackets would have kept me dry on that day, but my body was surprisingly dry when I returned home. My arms however were not, they were soaked and pretty cold, but that is because the arms do not have the same level of insulation as the rest of the jacket. Either way, I am surprised that I was dry at all in that weather.
I wore the hood up (cap underneath to keep the rain out of my eyes). The hood actually remained up the whole time, despite the strong, cold wind. I didn’t expect it to stay up so well as there is no way of tightening it with a draw string. I rarely use hoods for this exact reason, so the hood is a thumbs up from me.
So, as a first proper test, I was impressed. Just be aware that the arms are less water resistant than the body, so if it is cold and wet, layer up. Unfortunately, I didn’t and my arms were cold in the wind and rain.
I have tested the jacket against numerous types of light to see how much it stands out.
Camera flash (in case the paparazzi are chasing you)
My overall opinion is that this is definitely a running jacket which I will be using often. I still own the REFLECT360 jacket, so I intend on using this one more on the colder nights as it felt warmer due to the lining and the hood.
I feel that this jacket may appeal to those that prefer a more subtle jacket for everyday use. Runners are often left with little choice of what to wear in order to be seen at night and be comfortable. We’re often left with the choice of luminous colours or the grey/silver of the pure reflective jacket, such as the REFLECT360. The Explorer offers a little more subtlety to our ever expanding runner wardrobe collection. Variety is the spice of life, right?
I would like to clarify that whilst I am stating that the Explorer is a little more subtle than the REFLECT360, I am in no way saying that it is not bright enough. As you can see from the pictures, the bounce back light from the reflective panels is still fantastic.
I should also point out that this review is in no way supposed to be a comparison test between the Explorer and the REFLECT360 range, they are very different jackets. It should be remembered that this is an extension of the range, not a replacement.
Would I buy it? Yes! After testing both of these jackets, I’d happily spend the money on them. I am yet to see anything out there that is as high a quality as what Proviz offer whilst providing breathability. I have found these jackets to be a very good balance of reflectivity and breathability.
If you’re thinking of purchasing some Proviz gear, it is likely that you already know the high level of quality you are going to get. If you want a little more warmth and protection then this could be the jacket for you.
Christmas is just around the corner. It might be time to start dropping present idea hints.
The Explorer range is not just limited to a jackets, there are also gilets, a beanie, shorts and a 30 litre backpack.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review and thank you again to our friends at Proviz for the opportunity to review and give away these products.
BE SAFE BE SEEN!
The Running Bible
Reminder, Proviz have supplied us with a 20% code which our community members can use. Just enter the code RUNNINGBIBLE20 in the checkout.
Please note that whilst I have been supplied an Explorer REFLECT360 jacket for free, the opinions contained in this review are my own and have not been influenced by anyone else.