Altura is a small British clothing company that has quietly been turning out nicely designed and decently priced mountain bike clothing for a number of years. It might not have the pedigree of some more well-known brands, but what it lacks in kudos it makes up for with functional clothing that is well suited to adverse weather conditions, with prices that won’t send the comments section into overdrive.Altura Three/60 Windproof Jacket Details
• Altura Shield and Thermo thermosuede fabric
• ErgoFit 3D
• Zippered chest pockets
• Internal media port
• Relaxed Fit
• Size: S, M, L, XL, XXL
• Price: £99 UKAltura Five/40 Waterproof Shorts Details
• Altura Shield technology
• Reflective trims
• Relaxed Fit
• Zippered hand pockets
• Size: S, M, L, XL, XXL
• Price: £69 UK
• Contact: Altura
The Three/60 Windproof Jacket is one of a number of jackets Altura offers to suit different requirements. This one is made from Altura’s own Shield windproof and water resistant fabric, a mid-weight material with a thermosuede lining to provide a little extra insulation to keep you warm on chilly rides. The jacket has a relaxed shape and there’s plenty of space for layering. You get three zippered pockets on the front, the chest pocket has a media port for listening to tunes on the trail, and there’s a hood for when the weather turns really bad.
For the Five/40 Waterproof Shorts, Altura has used its own waterproof fabric with all seams taped to keep out the rain. They have a relaxed fit and easily accommodate a set of knee pads, and there are two velcro adjusting tabs on the waistband. The back is cut high and there’s a stretchy horizontal panel of fabric across the top of the butt to improve the fit. A pair of zippered hand pockets provide storage options or somewhere to keep your hands warm when waiting for the uplift. The waistband is lined with a serious of snaps that are compatible with padded short linings that Altura also offers. Performance
I’ve been grinding through the winter mud and seemingly constant rain for a few months now and the jacket and shorts have coped impeccably. They’ve been caked in mud, dragged across the ground and put through many washing machine cycles and are still going strong.
While it’s not waterproof, the jacket is water resistant enough to cope with short showers and some light rain, and it shrugs off puddle splashes. But where the jacket excels is in dealing with cold and windy conditions. It provides adequate insulation for coping with really cold rides and means you get away with minimal layers, helping to boost the comfort. A generous fit means there’s space to accommodate a few layers underneath if you do need extra warmth. It passed my breathability tests for fast-paced rides, with just a long sleeve base layer underneath proving a good setup.
It’s a well-shaped jacket with a good length in the arms and body, and it's comfortable for all sorts of riding from XC blasts to a day in the bike park. You don’t get a stack of features but just enough to make it nice to live with, such as the tall collar to keep your neck covered up on colder rides and the hood when you need to hunker down against bad weather. It's a shame the hood isn't removable, but it's unobtrusive if you never use it. The chest pocket is an ideal place to store your smartphone so it’s easily accessible for a spot of Instagramming. Elasticated cuffs stop cold air sneaking up the arms.
I’m a fan of waterproof shorts for winter riding. I don’t know how I managed before Gore invented the concept all those years ago. Altura's fabric is a bit heavier than summer weight shorts, but they don’t feel heavy, and the material keeps you dry and is tough enough to not instantly wear out with all the grinding paste of mud. While breathability is reduced compared to normal shorts, I never got too warm; there’s two massive vents at the bottom of the shorts that provide plenty of cooling air.
When it comes to fit, Altura got it right with the Five/40 shorts. They’re loose enough be really comfortable on the bike, whether you’re doing an all-day cross-country ride in adverse weather, yet sit well with knee pads when sessioning the jumps and downhill tracks. The fit is easily adjusted with the large velcro bands on the waist. The raised rear panel provides lower back protection when you’re plowing through deep puddles and kicking up loads of spray. Pinkbike's Take:
|Altura's jacket and shorts are a comfortable outfit with impressive adverse weather capabilities. Both pieces have held up well, and still look box fresh despite being regularly dragged through countless muddy rides. Best of all, the prices are easier to swallow than what many other bike brands charge for a similar level of performance. - David Arthur|