I know it’s May, bordering June and I present an insulated windproof jacket…..
There is method in the madness. For the first time in 5 years, the UK has had a real winter and with that, the opportunity to really test winter products. I was still able to use this at the end of March and early April! When I first received the adidas TERREX Agravic Alpha Hooded Shield (could be a little snappier) I wondered if it would get much use, given my warm blood and shorts/tee combo I sport most of recent winters.
But with temperatures plummeting well below zero, even in the tropical heights of Milton Keynes, it became a regular feature of early morning runs. For some context, I purchased a Polartec Alpha running jacket a few years ago, and have never worn it. It was too warm, I was too warm and the vast majority of the jacket was constructed from Alpha breathable synthetic insulation.
The Agravic Alpha is different. Much like a cycling gilet, their is protection at the front, while breathability is optimised at the rear. A movement based hybrid.I’m 5ft 7″, 11ish stone and run 50 or so miles a week. I’m wearing a size small, which provides enough room for an additional base layer below, without flailing out like a spinnaker in the wind. The cut provides complete freedom of movement, leaves your arms free for scrambling on technical terrain and has enough length to cover your glutes on chilly days.Although designed for the trail, I’ve worn this as a casual lightweight mid layer in changing seasons. You don’t have to reserve it for wearing only tights or split shorts.
The main fabric is Pertex® Quantum® which is tough, light and windproof. Despite being able to shrug off an altercation with a rock face or aggressive bush (they do exist), it breaths well and I sweat like a I’m trapped in a steam room year round. The shiny panels house Polertec’s award winning Alpha insulation and the matte areas, are the more breathable panels, without.The synthetic insulation takes the edge of cold climatic conditions, without trapping so much heat, you saturate the jacket and find yourself in a worse situation then when you started. On baltic mornings, the lowest I ran in was -10°C, it aided raising the temperature one the opening mile, where I was feeling the cold vastly…. it was much easier when I carried a bit more body fat!
Once up to temperature, the high collar and full length zip allowed for temperature regulation, providing additional ventilation when required. On the occasions wind snapped across, forcing blunt heavy blows of bone chilling air across my face, the collar protected my neck.Now, if you have a jacket with a hood, it better work. Despite my mini height, I fit a medium, often large, helmet or beanie. Throughout life, I have been plagued by ill fitting hoods. Clearly designers feel small chaps have tiny heads. I’m happy to report it has a full size hood and its a big one. An adjuster cord on the rear, provides full adjustment, meaning you can cinch it down in the harshest of winds or over a beanie/buff/cap. I do love running in a trucker in the rain, far more efficient then a small brim.As a contradiction to what I said earlier, there is no insulation in the hood…. yeh, yeh, its not matte in colour. Having a windbreaker hood, rather then synthetic insulated windproof allows for greater versatility. Add a hat for warmth or wear without, if you need only hide from wind, rather then temperature as well.
The hood pass the test, the collar adds additional protection and it has enough slack for rotating your head on the fly.
Beyond these key features, there are two hand pockets, with chunky zips. A great move for use wearing gloves and for durability. At either side, a hem adjuster provides quick cinching at the waist, for keeping heat in when required.Oh and if you are eagle eyed, you will have noticed the “Pack it” pocket, hidden within the right hand pocket. For those looking to throw the TERREX Agravic Alpha in a trail pack, it packs/stuffs down into its own pocket for easy storage. I may have missed this when taking the photos….. sorry.
Overall, the adidas TERREX Agravic Alpha Hooded Shield is a great windbreaker for more extreme conditions. For the summer months, unless you are naturally frozen, it will be too hot to use. But for the winter months, where it has been designed for, on colder days, especially slower runs, the Agravic Alpha offers enough warmth, without a heat or weight penalty. For those who want to know, my small is 175 grams.
A surprise and a pleasant one at that, the TERREX Agravic Alpha protects against the worst when a full down jacket is too much. As hybrids go, this is one of the best out there. Normally when things get cold, I opt for a waterproof for protection. This season, the Agravic Alpha changed this habit.
For those wondering where the running shots are? Well, when it’s that cold and I’m on my own in the early hours, moving and keeping extremities warm takes priority.
Provided by All Conditions Media