This year sees Polaris celebrate its 20th anniversary. Setting up shop on the edge of the Peak District in the early 90s, they were formerly specialists in mountain biking clobber but have since expanded to cater for all types of rider, adding shoes, bike bags and carry cases to their lines.
They dropped by the office last week to show us what they’ve got in store for later this year once the temperatures have fallen away, and the emphasis was very much on the road side of things.
We’ll start with the waterproofs, and the Aqualite Extreme (£49.99) jacket. It’s an update from the previous Aqualite and receives a number of upgrades, one of which is the price. Like its predecessor, it’s unlined which means it can be packed into its rear pocket for easy storage. But it has a much classier look this time around, and has a zipped phone/MP3 pocket on the front for those of you who listen to music on your commutes.
The Shield (£50) jacket might keep you dry during short downpours, but could never be classed as waterproof. It’s a lightweight (125g/medium) windproof jacket, constructed from a “micro dernier ripstop fabric”, which in the black option gives the air of a bin liner. It’s a much more attractive option in white, and again has an internal stuff pocket and reflective detailing, plus a rear vent and draw cord hem and collar.
Pulse (£144.99) is an all-new wind proof jacket for chillier mornings. Constructed from Hydrovent, a fully waterproof and breathable fabric, highlights include full length waterproof YKK zips and a transparent pocket for putting a not-included LED in.
The Tornado (£90) – an updated version of the Vortex jacket – is designed for the deepest depths of winter. It’s had a splash of red added compared with its all-black predecessor and should make you stand out a little more on dimly lit winter mornings. It features Vortex wind proof chest and arm panels, the breathable Thermatek fabric on the back and thumb loops on the sleeves.
Venom is more of an inner long-sleeve jersey, or as an outer layer during milder winter days, reflected in its £42.99 price tag. Available in cyan (pictured), white and yellow, its made from Thermostretch fabric and sports three rear pockets and thumb loops.
Last on the jersey list is the Etape (£50), but you’re brave if you choose it as an outer layer this winter. Available in white or black, it’s made from the quick drying Aircon fabric and would most likely be worn as a base layer throughout the winter. But its reflective trim and three rear pockets means it can be alternated as an outer layer in warmer climes.
The Bike Pod Pro (£475) is a 10.65kg, durable polypropylene bike carrying case. It appears to be a more solid version of their 6.7kg EVA Bike Pod (£249.99) and comes with a “Made in Britain” price premium. It’s actually a smaller case than the EVA, with dimensions of 1160mm (length), 866mm (height) and 260mm (depth). All clothing here will be available towards the end of August, but the case is already on sale. Those put off by a price tag of something that might not see the light of day very often will be eager to know they can be rented through Polaris’ website.