Before departing for Scotland in October I decided it was time I brought myself a new mountain biking jacket as my old jacket (coincidentally also Altura) had seen better days and getting on the small side now. So hence I went shopping in search of a new bit of kit. Spending nearly the whole day trying jackets on with brands such as Endura, Fox, Troy Lee Designs, Gore and Raceface, I finally found the Altura Mayhem 2.
It is certainly a good looking jacket. Appreciatively not everyone likes colourful gear (or the colour red for that fact), but it stood out. The red and black with neon yellow highlights really works well together and tells people “this guy knows what he is doing”. Saying that it is not so bold that you would look better suited sitting on top of a Christmas tree rather than a bicycle. Picking it up, I was reassuringly surprised on how light the jacket was, as some feel more like motorbike jackets. The seems looked neat and tidy, the zips were waterproof, it was a good first impression.
What do Altura say about their Jacket?
The ultimate all day trail jacket, providing protection from the elements, constructed from highly durable waterproof fabric.
Price – £119.99 rrp
• Altura Shield™ technology is engineered to provide protection from wind and water whilst still offering high levels of breathability
• Altura Draft Venting ™ strategically located venting zones allow for enhanced breathability and thermoregulation whilst in the riding position
• Altura ErgoFit™ 3D patterning engineered for a more comfortable riding position
• Zippered hand pockets and chest pocket
• Internal media port
• Waterproof/ Breathability rating: 20k/20k
• Relaxed Fit
Fort Williams UCI World Cup track seemed like the perfect place to test out the Altura Mayhem 2. The ground was saturated so hence there was plenty of overland flow as the water tried to wiggle its way down the mountain side. For me that meant lots of spray coming off my tyres. Luckily I was equipped with a shiny new jacket. The Mayhem 2 was extremely comfortable to wear, both on and off the bike, thanks to the Altura ErgoFit 3D design. I only had a jersey underneath the jacket despite the weather being brisk, however I did not feel the cold whilst riding. When I stopped for lunch I did get slightly on the cool side but that was to be expected. The jacket kept me dry from all the spray coming off my tyres and I should add when cleaning, mud came off easily with a wet cloth. Equipped under each arm (if the weather gets warmer) is a ventilation zip, although that was not needed in my case. I was really pleased with my first outing in the Altura Mayhem 2 jacket and I made it home warm and dry.
Water-resistant not Waterproof
As I was so pleased with my first outing in the Altura Mayhem 2 jacket, I decided I would wear it for a day of hiking to see how it would fare. The challenge you ask? I’m in Fort William, so Ben Nevis of course. For those that don’t know Ben Nevis (part of the Nevis Range) is the tallest mountain in the UK, sitting at 1345 metres above sea level according to Wikipedia (1397 metres according to my Suunto Traverse). Setting off it was soon clear I had picked the wrong day to climb Ben Nevis. Very poor visibility, -1 degrees C, heavy rainfall and wind speeds of 45 mph with gusts of up to 62 was what Benny had to offer me.
Climbing the first 900, I didn’t really notice the rain however as I started to climb higher it was like having a bucket of water chucked over me. With in a short amount of time my jacket had wetted out and I was soon soaked through. Once I broke into the cloud bank, the temperature plummeted and I could really feel how soaked through I was. I put my hood up in attempt to hold what little heat was left in the jacket. Unfortunately the hood is what lets this jacket down. Being the same material as the rest of the jacket with no reinforcements, it has no structure or strength and it flaps around in the wind. Several times it would blow off my head, exposing me once again to the bitter weather. Saying that however, the hood does have draw-cords attached which meant I could elasticate my hood to my head and summit the mountain.
All in all the Altura Mayhem 2 is a great lightweight waterproof jacket. It has everything you would expect a premium brand like Altura to offer. It is comfortable, affordable, and can tackle those wet days riding.
So okay, perhaps it couldn’t handle Ben Nevis but I am not sure I would be riding in those conditions. Concluding, it is the perfect jacket for the damp days out riding. It is packable so can be chucked in your rucksack yet comfortable to wear all day long. MBUK ‘Best Value’ Jacket Award Winner. I would certainly buy this jacket again and would certainly recommend it to the mountain biking community.