Altura’s Firestorm is a lightweight, small-packing waterproof that’s different to most with its overall tonal reflective print.
In the daylight this is barely noticeable, unless you look up close where you can see the small dots. and it keeps things subtle looking too, retaining the jacket’s natural styling. At night, when a light hits the jacket, it glows like a beacon, so you stand out to drivers.
This makes it great for low light, riding in the dark and commuting duties when you want to be seen.
Altura has gone down the minimalist route with the Firestorm and done away with any unnecessary frills, seeing only a single central flap pocket on the rear. This is larger than a regular jersey pocket, so storage space isn’t overly limited, and when not in use you can pack the jacket into this pocket.
Being a small-packing and lightweight jacket also makes it easy to throw in a work bag or into a jersey pocket for general riding and training duties.
It comes with a semi-fitted cut that’s true to size with plenty of width in the arms and body to allow for layering or work clothes underneath. It’s not overly big though, so there’s not too much in the way of noise or flap.
It’s tailored with a high front and mid-length elasticated drop tail that has a silicone band to help keep it in place. It did ride up a little on my skinny butt, but this will depend on your individual body shape.
One slight negative for me was that the arms were a little shorter than most other waterproof cycling jackets. I found I had some exposure when wearing short cuff gloves, but with heavier weight winter gloves with more length this wasn’t an issue.
I did like the shape of the cuff, though, which allows you to tuck gloves inside.
Altura uses a breathable waterproof fabric with a 15,000mm rating, which is impressive for a sub-£100 jacket. Combined with taped seams it does a good job of keeping the wet stuff out.
Up front there’s a reverse style zip combined with a front flap and they do a solid job of stopping the elements getting through. It’s helpful Altura has included a tag on the zip puller to make life easier, especially on the fly when you want to adjust temperature control.
The collar is tall, and once again things have been kept to a minimum with no soft lining, but it sat fine. There’s no zip garage at the neck either, but fortunately I didn’t experience any irritation.
Another touch is the external reflective strip on the back of the neck that doubles as a hanger if you need to dry the Firestorm.
Breathability is okay unless you ramp up the power. After hard sessions, or fast commutes, I did feel a little damp on the inside, but it’s not surprising when you consider the price.
All of this combines to make the Firestorm a good, minimalist jacket that not only packs small, but does a top job of keeping you dry without breaking the bank.
It’s ideal for general winter duties yet light enough to stash as an emergency jacket for summer use. Most importantly, it will keep you seen.