The Altura Ridge Waterproof jacket neatly packages a heap of weather-combatting features in a simple and understated design. Despite the form-fitting shape, huge pockets and well-thought-out characteristics, the lack of airflow and value for money leaves a lot to be desired.
- Your buying guide to waterproof jackets
- Reviewed: 7Mesh Glidepath Pants
- Talking Tech: The all-new PNW Loam Pedals
Altura Ridge Waterproof Jacket | Construction
Being constructed from Pertex® 2.5 layer fabric, the Ridge jacket is designed to combat the elements. In a lightweight softshell, this jacket boasts 20k / 20k waterproof and breathable properties, which is reinforced with fully taped seams to prevent water from penetrating in.
However, it's worth mentioning that the back panel material is not the same Pertex 2.5 layer found on the rest of the garment, and there's no mention of this on their website. After contacting Altura directly, I discovered that this back panel is constructed from a much stretchier 2.5-layer waterproof polyester fabric, although no waterproof/breathability rating was provided. In keeping with the water-resistant properties of the Ridge jacket, the whole garment is finished with DWR treatment.
There are large gill-like vents on both sides to allow hot air to escape. Other features include an adjustable hood compatible with helmets, elasticated cuff tabs and articulated elbow panels to accommodate elbow protection.
The Altura Ridge Waterproof jacket for women is available in a navy blue colourway in sizes from UK 8 to UK 18. At the same price, the men's Ridge Waterproof jacket is available in dark green or blue and sizes from S to 3XL.
Altura Ridge Waterproof Jacket | How it wears
Starting with the fit of the Ridge Waterproof jacket, it has a relaxed style, full-length zip with adjustable tabbed cuffs. For me, I feel the fit was great with the length adequate for covering my waist while riding, and the sizing was pretty spot on, allowing me to layer up beneath when I needed to. I can also confirm to those who use hoods that the adjustable hood comfortably fitted over my helmet and didn't restrict my ride whatsoever.
The two front zipped pockets are massive, which is welcomed when stuffing gloves, bars, phones, wrappers and all sorts of riding paraphernalia. There's even a mesh pocket inside to separate your stash, which I used primarily for my phone so I can fish it out quickly and prevent it from bouncing around uncomfortably. Of course, stuffing these pockets can be useful, but when leaning over in a riding position, you can feel the weight hang - so keep that in mind before stowing away heavy or lumpy things.
I wore this jacket quite a bit throughout winter and even during a trip to Madeira, where the tropical climate is exceptionally quick-changing and turbulent. While Altura boasts breathability, I didn't find this to be quite as exceptional as I initially thought. While the gills are designed to allow hot air to escape, I found that I was overheating and constantly having to unzip the jacket to allow air to circulate. With the gills being somewhat ineffective, it leaves very little else to aid ventilation.
As for the waterproof capabilities, the Pertex 2.5 layer fabric did well to keep a majority of rainfall at bay. The taped seams further prevented rain from getting into the jacket, for the most part. The back panel felt less water-resistant, and so, after plenty of rainfall, my back began to dampen and grow soggier. Having a warm chest and cold back really kickstarted the cool-down process whenever I stopped mid-ride, which got very cold at times. So while the Ridge jacket is waterproof, it's only really the front that benefits from this ability. Now, this may be less noticeable if you wear a backpack, which would cover a great deal of this back area.
Altura Ridge Waterproof Jacket | Value & verdict
The Ridge Waterproof jacket is £140 in both the men's and the women's versions. When compared to similar 2.5-layer waterproof jackets on the market, the Ridge's value for money is hard to justify. The Fox Ranger 2.5L Water Jacket is priced at £100, providing 10K waterproof / 3K breathability, much less than Altura's 20K / 20K claims, but still offers a helmet-compatible hood, elasticated cuffs and two front zipped pockets.
The Endura Hummvee Waterproof, at £100, is a 2-layer jacket featuring an additional chest pocket, large zipped underarm vents and fully taped seams. And then for even better value for money, there's the Madison Roam 2.5L Waterproof, at £80. This jacket is constructed from 10k / 10k waterproof/breathable fabric, has two front and two rear pockets, packs down into its own pocket and even has a hood store for when it's not in use. Liam reviewed the Roam jacket and claimed it to be "a great value waterproof that fits and performs brilliantly, but can get warm."
With all that being said, Altura's Ridge Jacket is the pricier of the examples, boasting a higher waterproof/breathable rating. However, the back panel is not as water-resistant as the front, and the gills aren't as effective as other ventilation methods, causing it to fall short of its promises.
For a jacket that fits really well, has massive pockets for storing almost anything in and a design that's simple, elegant and versatile for the post-ride, it's a shame that it doesn't live up to its full potential. Airflow is lacking, and the less water-resistant back panel leaves you feeling vulnerable to the rain and the cold. With some refinement, I don't doubt that this could be a fantastic wet-weather jacket, but currently, and for £140, it's challenging to justify the cost.