Big hood, big pockets and big sizes plus a decent Pertex fabric backed up with innovative venting gills make Altura’s Ridge look like a great blend of practicality and performance. We’d definitely suggest you try the fit before you buy though, particularly if you’re looking for the best MTB jacket for riding progressive MTB as well as gravel.
Design and performance
Altura’s Ridge (opens in new tab) is its highest performance Adventure waterproof uses Pertex Shield, a 2.5 layer (the .5 is a printed inner layer that helps durability and wicking) fabric with a decent-if-not-outstanding 20k waterproofing, 20k breathability rating as standard. It’s enough to mean we weren’t wetting out for a while even if we were working reasonably hard in sustained rain anyway. The eco-friendly DWR waterproofing treatment is still working after several rides and a couple of washes, which isn’t always the case and the fabric is abrasion tested, too.
The tall collar is backed up with fully taped seams and a big adjustable hood that will go over even the bulkiest helmets but cinches down with captured single-hand pull cords on the inside. That provides a very welcome sanctuary in a storm but there’s no strap to fully tie it down so it can ‘parachute’ at speed. There are more single-hand pull cords for tightening the dropped hem inside the massive front pockets which extend from chest to waistband. These pockets also have inner mesh pockets for a phone or other valuables and the zips have big plastic pullers for easy grabbing. The pockets don’t have any other mesh inside to act as extra vents, but there are cut holes under a separate flap above the top corner of each pocket. These act as an intake for four gills on each side panel which are shaped to pop open and draw hot air out with a Venturi effect as you stretch for the bars. This definitely adds a breeze down your flanks where fat is generally sparsest and blood vessels are close to the surface and so cooling is most effective. There’s no way to close the vents if you don’t need air-con however this could make the Ridge cold and damp down the sides even when it was fighting the weather off well elsewhere.
The body on our medium sample was generous around the gut and the cowl cuffed sleeves were long enough when walking about. A snug shoulder cut and minimal fabric elasticity meant stretching for wider bars or riding a longer reach/lower bar bike tended to bunch fabric under our armpits. It also pulled the cuffs up past our wrists even if we closed the rubber Velcro tabs really tight which isn’t advised on rougher trails or you’ll get arm pump very quickly. That definitely makes the jacket more suitable for a shorter, narrower bar gravel bike on tamer trails than pushing hard on a progressive MTB or getting low on a road bike. Athletically shaped riders who might want to downsize should also note that sizing only goes down to small but bigger bikers will be delighted to see it goes all the way up to triple XL. There are women’s size 8 to 16 options, too.
If the proportions work for you then decent waterproof performance with big pockets and hood make the Ridge jacket as useful for wet dog walks as gravel biking into the wilderness. The arm/shoulder fit limits the riding positions and bikes it works well with though so definitely try before you buy. The permanent gill vents weren’t a positive for every tester and/or every weather situation either.
Tech Specs: Altura Ridge Pertex waterproof jacket
- Price: £140
- Weight: 375g (medium)
- Sizes S - 3XL
- Colors: Dark green, dark blue