Ronhill Trackster Review

Ronhill Trackster Origin

Back in September I started a mini-series on cycling trousers when I tried out the DHB roubaix tights and the Altura Winter Cruisers. It’s now time to finish what I started and round up the series with a quick look at some boggo standard tracksuit bottoms to see how they compare.

I’ve obtained a pair of the popular Ron Hill Trackster Classic and a pair of the Ron Hill Trackster Origin track suit bottoms. These are suitable for a wide range of sports activities and are a particular favourite of runners. I find they work just as well for cycling though they don’t have any padding which is not a problem for me on my 35 minute commute. Padded shorts could be worn underneath if necessary.

They are made of a thinner material than both the DHB roubaix tights and the Altura winter cruisers that I tried last year. For me the fit is absolutely perfect – They are not baggy and nor do they have the sprayed on figure hugging look of the stretchy DHB tights. I’ve used them down to 0°C and I think they will be fine at lower temperatures than that perhaps backed up with a pair of long johns worn underneath on the really chilly days. The material is quite breathable so they are also fine for warmer days.

Ronhill Trackster Classic

The material has been treated with some kind of water repellent which somehow prevents it getting saturated when it rains. I’ve worn the trousers in a light rain shower and it does seem to work. Furthermore they dry really quickly when they do get wet.

At size 34 waist, the medium size fits me perfectly. In most respects the trackster classic and the trackster origin are identical. The classic has a very small inner pocket which can be used to stow away a set of keys but little more. The origin has a more useful rear zipped pocket. In addition the origin has some reflective trim on the rear of the calves. Both have elasticated waistband and a drawstring cord.

To conclude, I’ve found the Ronhill Tracksters perfect for pretty much any weather conditions and I now tend to choose these over all the other cycling trousers I’ve tried. They’re much cheaper than all the others too! See the links above for some purchasing options.

Altura Night Vision Evo Jacket Review

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I’ve been cycle commuting for over 20 years and used quite a few jackets in that time . I recently bought an Altura Night Vision Evo cycling jacket which is one of the most popular jackets, and is the best I’ve used so far. The Jacket is a little too warm for the summer months but I tried it out for the first time last week on one of the cooler and wetter mornings.

Altura Night Vision Evo has fleece collar and mesh lining
Altura Night Vision Evo has fleece collar and mesh lining

The jacket is not the cheapest on the market but it does have a luxury quality feel about it. It’s made of a soft waterproof material and the collar is fleece lined for added comfort. Much is written about special materials with amazing wicking capabilities that magically transport away sweat but to be honest, with a few steep hills on my 7 mile route I tend to sweat in anything including the most expensive jackets. This one has a mesh lining though which I found makes the jacket more comfortable to wear and does help to avoid that clammy boil in the bag feeling. It has vents at the rear and it also has two zips which can open out the jacket at the sides for extra ventilation.

An annoying flaw with my last jacket was that it had no pockets (and neither do my panniers) which meant I was often stuck for where to keep keys etc. The Altura Night Vision Evo has no such problem with pocket space and has four in total; two in the standard place, one rear and one pocket in the chest area.

Altura Night Vision Evo Rear View
Altura Night Vision Light Stick

On the visibility side, Night Vision Evo is superb. It is available in 3 colours; red, black or the usual hi-viz yellow which unless your cycling route takes you predominantly through rapeseed fields is the most eye catching. It has numerous reflective areas to the front, rear and sides. It comes supplied with a free “lightstick” rear light which fixes by velcro to the rear of the jacket. It features steady and flashing modes and runs from a CR2032 lithium battery cell. It’s not particularly bright and Altura clearly state on the label that it shouldn’t be relied on (i.e. must be used in conjunction with a proper light). I doubt it’s particularly robust and would probably break if sneezed on. I guess it’s handy as a backup light though and is O.K. as a freebie but isn’t the reason you’d buy the jacket. I gave mine to my kids to play with. They were delighted with it!

The jacket is not overly bulky yet is reasonably loose fitting allowing for layers to be added underneath as the weather cools in winter. It has good wind and water proofing. It belted down with rain on the day I tried it and I’m happy to say I remained completely dry. There are a couple of poppers for fitting a hood which can be purchased separately.

Altura Night Vision Evo Front

On sizing, with any clothing I’m normally a large. I bought the large size of this jacket and it fits me perfectly. All in all, other than the gimmicky light, I can’t find anything wrong with this jacket. Highly recommended.

The Jacket is available here and here. Ladies sizes are also available.