Apparel Reviews

Altura Thrermocool Base Layer

Altura thermocool base layer long sleeve top rated best Arguably nothing beats natural fibres for pure comfort, but when it comes to outstanding man-made tech we haven’t found better than the Altura Thrermocool Base Layer. This long-sleeve top – a blend of 73% Thermocool Eco (basically polyester), 22% nylon and 5% Elastano (Lycra) – not only fits snuggly without compromising movement, but comes close to being an on-board thermostat with an outstanding ability to keep the ride temperature regulated.


Fast drying, wicking away sweat from the skin and with a 10% antibacterial ‘Body Fresh’ yarn to deter bacteria and help keep ride-related stench at bay, the Thermocool’s real secret to success is its variable knit ‘body mapping technology’. Stripping away the sciency speak this basically means that the top is constructed with a range of fabric densities – a little like panels with a mesh-look – thinner along the sides and under arm, thicker across areas more prone to cold such as the back and shoulders.


Comfort is paramount, particularly when you’re battling the elements as much as the terrain, and Altura have worked hard to ensure this top is almost second-skin comfortable. The fit is incredibly close – almost compression gear close – yet it moves completely fluidly with the body and with no side seams to irritate and the why-doesn’t-everyone-do-this idea of embroidering the care instructions to the waistband rather than sticking in a flappy label the Thrermocool is as close to perfection as a base layer comes.


This is, by far, one of the most comfortable and responsive tops that Cyclo have ever had the pleasure of riding in. You’ll stay warm when the temperature drops and cool when the heat is on – that, surely, is the point of a temperature regulating base layer; if only all manufacturers realised this simple truth.


The Altura Thrermocool Long-Sleeve Base Layer has an RRP of £44.99 (short-sleeve alternative at £39.99). Further details and retailer information at



Altura Celebrate the Varium

Altura Varium JacketTo celebrate the launch of their new soft shell waterproof jacket, the Varium, leading apparel brand Altura have produced an inspirational little film to get us through the winter months. The film, created by Sam Needham a videographer and designer based on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, is intended to remind us that, ‘…there is no better way to experience the lands we live in, than to take to two wheels and immerse yourself in several hours of solitude, taking in the surroundings pedal by pedal, road by road.’ We certainly can’t argue with that.


Turning to the Varium, it’s a fully taped, stretch waterproof model, a highly breathable soft shell with all the niceties and design considerations you would expect from Altura – it’s available in three colours (red, blue, black) and hits the market at an RRP of £139.99. Cyclo will be bringing you a full review in the new-year, until then you can read our review of the Altura Night Vision Windproof Jacket here and then enjoy the film…


Varium from Sam Needham on Vimeo.


Apparel Reviews

Altura Night Vision Windproof Jacket

Altura Nightvision Windproof Jacket ReviewThe shortest of mid-winter days and gloomiest of conditions have given Cyclo the perfect opportunity to test out the new Altura Night Vision Windproof Jacket; we found we liked it. A lot…


For starters, although headline advertised as windproof (and it certainly is) there is also an incredible degree to which the Night Vision shakes off water; more than once, caught out on rain, it has shrugged off water without a care and left us dry and somewhat relieved. The water repellent panels to front, shoulder and sleeve did a better job of keeping out the elements than other jackets promoted specifically as waterproof. The stretch fabric moves beautifully on the ride, hugging the body without ever feeling restrictive and the cuffs, waist and neck closures are likewise snug without pinching or even, hardly, making their presence known. For extra comfort and warmth the collar and inner back and sleeves are thermal lined in a soft flock fabric.


However, there were two things that particularly made the Night Vision (forgive the pun) stand out for us. Firstly the incredibly generous rear pockets – two large, open ones and a small, zipped secure pocket for keys and valuables – which however much we stuffed them full of gels, bars, gloves and the like never bagged and seemed to continue consuming things like some bike-based magic act.


Secondly – and here the clue is very much in the name – the level of visibility is superb. Reflective panels and details across all parts of the jacket will have you glowing like Tron in headlights and if you opt for the eye-strainingly bright orange colour (black also available) it’s likely you could be spotted from space.


The spec on this jacket is admirable indeed and its ability to perform across seasons (autumn rides were a temperature-regulated pleasure) make the already reasonable £69.99 price tag something of a bargain. Available in seven sizes from XS to XXL (34-51” chest) the Altura Night Vision Windproof Jacket is available from, amongst others,


Apparel Reviews

Altura Ergofit Gloves

Altura Ergo Fit Gloves reviewNot that we’ve exactly had a scorcher of a summer, but things have certainly turned distinctly autumnal in the last few weeks and the nip to the fingers has been noticeable. Timely, then, that Cyclo has just taken delivery of a pair of Altura Ergofit gloves to put through their paces and with the manufacturer calling them ‘ideal for winter road riding’ now was clearly the time to get going…


The outer shell of the Ergofits comprises of 50% Nylon, 30%Polyester, 20% Polyurethane with the inner lining being 100% Polyester, the result is a good balance between responsive flexibility and ruggedness that suggests they would survive (and protect the hands) in the event of a spill. Although they don’t feel particularly thick the insulation against a near-zero wind-chill on our morning rides was more than adequate – Cyclo can’t quite vouch for the depths of winter yet, but so far so good with the rear-hand shell even managing to repel some lively showers.


The multi-panel design and well-positioned ProGEL pads added to both comfort and grip stability, whilst fairly generous Lycra cuffs tucked easily into the jacket sleeve to further fend off the cold. The lightly flocked, suede-effect material across the front of the hand extends around the outside of the thumb, useful for wiping away a little sweat (or winter nose-run), but beware of your aim as a swipe of the reverse side’s pad is a scratch best avoided.


Well priced at £34.99 the Altura Ergofits are available in sizes S-XX although only in the (admittedly natty) black and red colour combo. Comfortable, tough, warm and reliable – ‘ideal for winter road riding’ sounds right on the money.


For further details and to find a retailer see: