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Altura Icon Rocket insulated gilet review

24 Feb 2022
Verdict:

A cold weather outer layer offering exceptional performance for the price

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Light • Windproof • Packable • Water-repellant • Well fitted • Warm • Affordable
Against 
More colour options might be nice

So often the best cycling kit comes with a caveat, and more often than not it’s the price. However, this is one of those rare occasions on which you’ll read an effusive review with no ‘what ifs’, because the Altura Icon Rocket insulated gilet is that uncommon combination of high performance at a price that suits most pockets.

If you’re looking for a comfortable, well-fitted weatherproof layer for those mornings and evenings when a jacket would be overkill, you absolutely need to consider investing in this gilet.

Altura Icon Rocket insulated gilet: Design and specs

Autumn and winter call for specialist kit, and the Altura Icon Rocket insulated gilet fits the bill nicely.

The shell of the gilet is made from Pertex windproof fabric, which – as the name suggests – is there to keep the chills out.

It’s a fairly high loft insulation and combines with a double-layer fleece material on the chest area to supply a barrier against breezes.

 

Although the gilet is not claimed to be foul weather-protective, it will shrug off showers by virtue of its DWR coating, backed up by a taped, full length frontal zipper (the associated pullers for which are extremely chunky and pleasing to use).

The cut is described by Altura as ‘semi-fitted’ – essentially, there’s ample room for a long-sleeved jersey to be worn beneath, but not so much room that the gilet will flap around in use.

Details such as the reflective strips to the rear are welcome, as is the sizeable rear pocket, which very useful acknowledges the fact that most gilets render your jersey’s storage redundant.

Given the fairly padded nature of the Altura Icon Rocket insulated gilet, you might expect it to be bulky, but the whole shebang tips the scales at a respectable 154g.

Altura Icon Rocket insulated gilet: Performance

A gilet has to be good both when you’re wearing it and when you’re not wearing it, and the Altura Icon Rocket insulated gilet stuffs into a jersey pocket with relative ease. Once worn, it really does do the job.

There’s a small amount of stretch under the arms which ensures movement isn’t restricted, plus the warmth provided by the double layer of chest insulation is a godsend on chilly starts.

Add to this the high, Polartec fleece-backed collar and you’d struggle to find a more cosy layer for transitional seasons.

A dropped rear hem stays anchored to your jersey, and that rear pocket is particualrly accommodating – I’ve used it to stuff my sunglasses into when the evenings have drawn in with unexpected quickness, and to store arm warmers which had been rendered obsolete by unexpected sunshine.

I woudn’t trust it with valuables, however, due to its side-opening layout… Crucially, while I’ve been kept insulated, I haven’t over-heated. A thinner stretch fabric applied to the rear of the Altura Icon Rocket insulated gilet allows the spriting away of hot air.

Altura Icon Rocket insulated gilet: Verdict

The Altura Icon Rocket insulated gilet is unobtrusive in use, providing a satisfyingly insulated layer to ensure that your core temperature is maintained on cold rides.

Keeping the chills at bay is a surefire way to prevent concentration from dropping off, allowing you to focus on the ride – and navigating the notriously slimy road surfaces of autumn.

I’ve ridden in gilets that cost three times the amount this one would set you back, and some of them can’t top it for performance.

Yes, £60 is still £60, but if your means are straitened – or you want to pick up a gilet as a ‘just in case’ purchase – this is the one to go for.

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£60

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