Polaris Vortex II jacket review£75.00

Simple and effective windproof

BikeRadar score3.5/5

The Polaris is a simple but wonderfully cost effective ‘whatever the weather’ top. The back of the arms and body are made from fast wicking but instantly cosy Thermastretch fabric, and it has enough stretch to give a mobile but close fit on a variety of body shapes despite the simple overall cut.

The front of arms and body are made from a fleece-backed windproof laminate, which will deflect wind chill, shrug off showers and even delay a proper deluge long enough to keep you warm for a while.

The tall neck and a gripper strip on the dropped hem keep your precious body warmth in, although the long, stretchy cuffs can get soggy in really wet weather.

There are four rear pockets, with plenty of room for snacks and spares, and there’s a zipped subsection for keys or cash on the drive side pocket.

While it doesn’t look as flashy as similarly priced competition, its performance – and therefore value – is really good. It even comes in kids’ sizes to stop your nippers getting nithered.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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