ProView – Agravic Alpha Shield Hooded Jacket
I tested the Agravic Alpha Shield Hooded jacket for this review, but first things first. What the heck does the term “agravic” mean? A quick Internet search reveals that “agravic” pertains to the condition of zero gravity. Once an outdoor enthusiast puts on this jacket, they will quickly realize that the name is appropriate because of the fact that it is extremely lightweight.
Agravic Alpha Shield Hooded Jacket
Product Description: This hooded windbreaker insulates and lets you regulate your temperature as you hike or scramble up the trail. Breathable insulation and a wind-resistant shell provide lightweight warmth for aerobic activities like hiking and cross-country skiing. Breathable warmth - Polartec® Alpha padding for lightweight warmth and insulation even when wet. Lightweight and packable - Pertex® Quantum® GL for best strength-to-weight ratio.
Offer price: MSRP $159
Protecting Our Planet
I was impressed with the weight to warmth ratio of this jacket. I was also psyched by the way in which the fabric released sweat vapor while regulating my body temperature during aerobic activity. Overall, I enjoyed wearing this jacket on the trails for hiking, running and Fall season mountain biking
- Great fit
- Simple, yet effective design.
- Lightweight and breathable.
- Packs up small.
- High neck and hood keep out the elements.
- Unique cinching mechanism around the hem and hood.
- The price point is too high.
- No pit zips
- Made from 100% nylon materials that are new, not recycled
- No fair trade certification
I was impressed with the weight to warmth ratio of this jacket. I was also psyched by the way in which the fabric released sweat vapor while regulating my body temperature during aerobic activity. Overall, I enjoyed wearing this jacket on the trails for hiking, running and Fall season mountain biking. Keep reading to find out how it performed in each of the rating categories.
First impressions are important and Adidas did an outstanding job getting my attention in a positive way. When I removed this jacket from the packaging, the first thing I noticed was how light it was. At 6.3 ounces, it resembled the weight of a feather. However, the jacket left me wondering if it was going to be warm enough on early morning, Fall missions.
The lightweight fabric was super comfortable, even with the collar fully zipped to the top. I am wearing a men’s small in these photos and I am 5’7″. You can see that it fit great in the shoulders and was the perfect length in the arms and around the waist.
The design is form-fitting, yet flexible enough to still be extremely comfortable while trail running or hunched over the handlebars on a mountain bike. The Polartech® Alpha and the Pertex® Quantum® Air fabrics are soft to the touch and seemed to have just the perfect amount of stretch for outdoor aerobic activities.
The fabrics are engineered to be air permeable for maximum breathability and warmth. Polartech® Alpha was originally invented for the U.S. Special Forces. They wanted an insulation that kept out the cold, but allowed for high-output activity without overheating in extreme temperature changes. Alpha was created with lofted-knit fibers connected to a solid mesh core. It allows for other outer fabrics such as Pertex® Quantum® Air, used in this jacket, to be paired with it for maximum performance.
The combination of fabrics in this jacket limits cold air intake while moving excess heat away from the body. As activity increases and moisture in the body increases, the fabrics move the moisture outward, keeping the body warm and dry. Adidas states that the more one moves during activity, the harder Alpha will work to regulate temperature. I found this to be true while trail running in 40-degree weather. This jacket kept me both warm and dry while layered with a thin, long-sleeve baselayer.
Room for Improvement
The only feature that I felt was missing from this jacket was pit zips. Adding a small zipper under each armpit would allow for greater venting capability on warmer days.
Use the bungee-adjustable hem and hood mechanisms to cinch the jacket up snug to your body. This will minimize the amount of air being let into the jacket. Use one hand to push the button with your thumb and use the other hand to pull on the plastic tab and cinch the bungee cord.
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On the bike, I could tell immediately that the resistance to wind was ok for a jacket of this weight. It does not fully break the wind and keep out all of the cold, but it cut out just enough air to keep the upper body warm and comfortable during early morning, athletic outings in Colorado.
Here’s a quick list of features about Agravic Alpha Shield jacket direct from the Adidas website:
- Slim fit is snug through the body and arms
- High neck
- Long sleeves with elastic cuffs
- Zip pockets; Wind-resistant overlay; Bungee-adjustable hem; Full zip with bungee-adjustable hood
- Polartec® Alpha padding for lightweight warmth and insulation even when wet; Pertex® Quantum® GL for best strength-to-weight ratio
As far as protecting our planet goes, I did not see any mention of Adidas using recycled materials in the construction of this jacket. I also did not uncover any evidence in my research about this garment being fair trade certified. Unfortunately, this brought the overall rating down quite a bit, but I feel it is important to take this into consideration when rating or purchasing outdoor clothing. For more information about Adidas’ approach to sustainability, please visit their website as they are doing some great things in other areas.
The Final Word
Live without limits when you wear this incredibly light and capable jacket for early morning or late evening missions when the air is crisp and cool. I definitely recommend this jacket for anyone looking for a strong performing shell without the extra bulk and weight.
➳ Outdoor Prolink provided equipment and associated materials for this review. All photos are courtesy of LaGuardia Adventure Photography.