Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Dressing For The Occasion

Update 23/11/11

It seems I used a biological cleaner rather than non-bio! I blame myself for my lack of interest in all things associated with the washing machine and ironing board. It's not that I won't have a go but it just doesn't get me excited. There were two bottles of Ariel Actilift Gel on the shelf. One was green and stated it was 'Biological' the other was purple and did not mention this fact (on the front). I went for the purple one. It transpires the purple one is biological as well (it says on the back). We have some dedicated non-bio powder available for future washes the OH informs me. Ah well, you live and learn.

The Pocket Rocket hasn't turned up this morning either. I contacted the subscription team and am informed it can take up to 28 days from when it is labeled as 'disptached' as this is not when it's actually posted. I have eight night shifts starting tomorrow. I think I'll be having a ride to a cycle store to get a new heavy duty commuting jacket today. Now, should I stick with yellow or get an orange one? They do catch my eye on the roads. So I've bought an orange 'Night Vision' from Wiggle. They were £12.00 cheaper than anywhere else. The LS jersey and some extra layers will have to suffice for the next couple of days. Hope it doesn't rain much!

A bit of a mini disaster last night. I decided to wash my 15 month old cycling jacket - an Altura 'Night Vision' in dayglo yellow with reflective stripes - and to say it didn't go very well is a bit of an understatement.
Altura Night Vision
I've always been wary of washing outdoor jackets and damaging the 'waterproofness'. It's not as if it is a fashion item and so I haven't really been bothered by the odd oil/muck mark or two it has picked up on its regular outings but well...it was beginning to smell a bit!

I followed the washing instructions - 40 degrees, non biological and no tumbling - shoved it in with a few other things and settled down to watch a film. When I came to take it out I was very impressed by how much cleaner the yellow was but wondered where the tissue like stuff had come from. There were certainly none put in the wash by accident. I soon realised this white stuff was the lining which was peeling off the inside of the jacket like dandruff  :-(

So I now have a very clean looking jacket which will still work as a hi-viz/reflective garment but will do very little to keep the weather at bay. Really not what I want at this time of year. I am due to get a new Altura 'Pocket Rocket' soon as a free subscription gift to Cycling Active (£22.00 for a six month subscription and a free jacket. £56.00 retail. Best price. I checked. Bargain!). I took this out last month and have been informed the jacket was dispatched on 21 November so I should be getting it soon.
Altura Pocket Rocket
I have also recently bought a long sleeve windproof cycling jersey. Both of these items were meant to be used primarily for dryish rides on the road bike. The beauty of the 'Pocket Rocket' is that it easily packs into a pocket of the jersey, something the 'Night Vision' could never do. It has great reviews but I know all these things are a compromise -  a lighter jacket may pack smaller but it will never be as good as a heavier, lined jacket in really cold and wet weathers.

So, do I go with this set up from now on or splash out on a new heavy duty replacement jacket? I appreciate a dedicated commuting jacket will mean I get more life out of the jersey/pocket rocket combo but I am a little curious to see how well the lighter set up will fare in the rain/sleet/snow at minus five degrees or so. Should find out soon!


  1. Sounds like you might have been unlucky. I have a two year old Night Vision, washed plenty of times, which is fine. My older mark 1 version is also still going strong with the friend I gave it to!

    I like the look of the newer Night Vision Evo, though they are a bit pricey. Hopefully the Pocket Rocket will suffice for you.

    Cheers, Don

  2. I would be contacting Altura for there thoughts. I wouldn't expect this to happen. In fact high quality waterproof jackets (e.g., Showers Pass, Gore-Tex) need to be washed regularly to maintain their waterproofness. I think I will stick to Showers Pass given your experience.

  3. Well guys, it seems I was not unlucky and only have myself to blame for this problem. It was a biological cleaner I used by mistake. See my update to the post. Bugger!

  4. Easily done. Just don't get all keen and iron the new one on the linen setting.... :-o