The Altura Podium Elite Jacket looks to pack a lot of performance and protection into a very light and simple looking jacket. Low weight and the promise of being ‘the perfect thermoregulatory tri-season garment’ are big claims to make – but the Podium Elite does a good job of delivering as a piece well-suited to changeable conditions. That said, it’s not perfect for prolonged rides in the cold and wet.
When I first pulled the jacket on, I just couldn’t get into my head that it was waterproof, windproof and breathable – that’s the Holy Grail, only genuinely achieved by a few items of clothing – because it’s a pretty light jacket.
As with all jackets, the fabric really makes it. The Podium Elite uses an own-brand waterproof and breathable fabric called Shield Technology. It has a 10,000mm waterproof rating, which is adequate for most rainy days – but not prolonged downpours, which will begin to penetrate the fabric. The jacket lacks behind the dhb Aeron Storm and Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell in that regard, but this is a lighter piece more akin to a jersey than a fully-fledged jacket.