Polaris Quantum waterproof jacket review

Eye-catchingly orange outerwear

BikeRadar score3.5/5

The first impression when you slip this jacket on – once you've recovered from its blinding orangeness – is how light and comfortable it feels, with none of the plasticky clamminess often associated with hi-vis waterproofs thanks to the full mesh liner.

The second thing you notice is less pleasing – although the peaked hood rolls down when not in use (which, let's face it, on a cycling jacket is likely to be most of the time, unless you don't wear a helmet), instead of being stowed in a zipped or poppered pocket it's secured in place with a Velcro tab to form a kind of padded collar.

This means the back of the coat sticks up much further than the front (a good couple of inches), which may be good for keeping out draughts but looks a bit odd and means it can rub annoyingly against the back of your helmet and/or the bottom of your ears.

This niggle aside, it's a well thought out jacket, with the aforementioned mesh liner combining with the highly effective Hydrovent fabric to keep rain and wind out, and minimise sweat build-up. There are drawstrings at the neck and waist, a dropped tail, a chest and rear pocket, and the Velcro cuffs are a good size.

Decent length pit-zips under both sleeves are surprisingly effective, meaning you won't 'boil in the bag' on cooler spring or autumn days – although, like most fully waterproof jackets, it wouldn't be our first choice for use in warmer temperatures.

The Quantum has a fairly slim fit, although with a bit of extra room at the front – handy if you've had one too many post-ride beers. The sleeves on our medium-sized test sample were a little short on anyone over 6ft tall. There are plenty of reflective logos, dots and piping to keep you safe at night, and the orange colour is highly visible.

So disturbingly bright, in fact – these pictures don't do it justice – that when we passed a group of threatening-looking street urchins on our way home from work they were too astounded to shout the usual Lycra-based abuse, instead yelling: "Orange!". If you prefer, it's also available in black.

Polaris quantum waterproof jacket: polaris quantum waterproof jacket
Polaris quantum waterproof jacket: polaris quantum waterproof jacket

CW has been riding mountain bikes for more than two decades now. He's the first to admit he's not the fittest or most skilful rider on the hill, but that doesn't stop him sweating up the climbs to have a blast on the downhills.
  • Age: 38
  • Height: 189cm/6'2"
  • Weight: 70kg/154lb
  • Waist: 32in/81cm
  • Chest: 40in/102cm
  • Discipline: MTB, commuting
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains and flowing singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Whyte T-129 S SCR, Stanton Sherpa 853, Pinnacle Dolomite 6
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston Old Peculier
  • Location: Bristol, UK

Related Articles

Back to top