First off, if you haven’t read, laid eyes upon or know I recently reviewed adidas TERREX Agravic Alpha Hooded Shield Jacket, make sure you click on the link before or after indulging in the below.
So, my theme of out of season reviews continues and this time, I’m turning up the heat! I really am, it’s a down jacket after all. When the season keeps giving, keep testing and that, I can safely say, I have. It’s been bitterly cold in the UK this winter season and I’ve lived part of it in the TERREX Agravic Down Jacket.When I first unwrapped the Agravic, I was a little taken back. It was so similar in colour to a jacket I’ve lived in the for the past few years and become almost recognisable in. Coincidence?
But it was different. Oh boy it was and is.
It feels like the design team have been doing their research. To me, it’s like they have taken the fundamentals of what a consumer expects for a lightweight baffled jacket, then looked to overcome small problems that other brands have chosen to ignore historically. Baffles on cuffs and neck, stretch fleece panels under the pits and a raft of matte stealth reflective points spread over provide it an identity of its own, beyond branding and cut.
As I stated earlier, the Agravic is different.I’ve worn the jacket in from the Lake District, North Wales, Scotland…. even the dizzying arctic wasteland of Milton Keynes. The go to jacket when things were been between +5°C and -5°C, where a base layer or t-shirt was enough to hold nature at bay. The cut is longer than others, more practical for day to day use then many that stop at the waist, specifically designed for use with a harness. A small drop tail and lengthy arms, mean no matter what unique position you manage to get yourself into, it’ll keep you covered (with my hands in the hand warmer pockets, the back has ridden slightly up).As a sweaty guy, no point in hiding it, the polar fleece pit areas intrigued me. There to keep things ventilated when the going gets hot, they do genuinely work. Air can freely pass through and unlike other down jackets I’ve used, I haven’t had a saturated jacket and layer beneath it, getting vile in smell and unpleasant against the skin.However, this does come with a draw back. Due to the size of the fleece patch, on windy days, I do find the jacket partly inflating and if that wind is freezing in temperature, there is a noticeable drop in the air temperature contained behind the baffles of down. If you’re hanging off a boulder in sub zero temperatures like Shauna Coxsey, it works brilliantly, but for day to day use, I personally feel it could be refined.
If I had the design team to myself, I’d reduce the surface area of the fleece patch, so that when your arm is down it is completely covered in… down, not the best words to put together. With this, the surface area could be halved and still be as effective. I like the idea, just feel it needs some refinement.On the cuffs and around the neck, there are baffles, as can be seen above and below. They are great. The neck baffle is the stand out of the two. You don’t really notice it being there, when you put on another jacket and go into similar conditions, that’s when it becomes apparent. Soft against the neck, it seals in heat and manages to hold off wind chill well.A subtle feature, that works surprisingly well.
Two hands pockets and a chest pocket give ample storage and the hand pockets sit behind the down baffles, working well to provide a warm home.As you can see, the zips are relatively chunky and it means they do work well with light and intermediate weight gloves, with limited dexterity. One other bonus, is durability. No flimsy zip to twist, snag or break.
Body coverage is good, I’m 5ft 7″, in a size small, and I had plenty of glutes/upper leg coverage. Arms weren’t crazy long and the shoulders provide the right amount of room.The hood is a hot one. Adjustable, with the entry point hidden behind a further baffle for maximum heat retention, it provides a lot of heat and also wraps well around neck and cheeks. Just above the pull cord, there are also 2 stealth reflective details.Continuing the theme, the side/oblique panels, also contain a strip of stealth reflective material and the either side, the elasticated hem adjuster allow you to cinch down and lock in any escaping warmth.
The outer fabric of Pertex Quantam GL strikes a good blend of lightweight, windproof and breathable, but where the Agravic sets its self apart from the competition in the category is the down loft. This jacket lofts up a lot more than many others and is inherently warmer. I would still say this is a lightweight down jacket, but you would be fooled for thinking so when you saw someone wear it. The insulation is that bit more apparent. This may be in part due to the blend of hydrophobic down and Climaheat. Climaheat utilises hollow fibres that trap air, bolstering the natural insulation with synthetic.
For those looking to stash it in a pack on a winter exped or run, it stuffs into it’s own pocket. A great feature for organising your pack and keeping it ready for when its needed. I regularly ran with it in my 10 litre pack this winter as a “what if” when running as a group in the mountains. Although, I never used it in anger in this scenario, it was always ready for when we stopped for the day.
How would I summarise the adidas TERREX Agravic Down Jacket?
For me, it sits in a category of its own. Features for big expeditions, light and compact for day to day use, warm enough to keep most of winters misery out, yet not a sauna for when things aren’t artic. I like it. It encourages you to wear it in a multitude of scenarios and wants you to be active.
Personally, I’d like to see the polar fleece under the pits refined to reduce the effects of ice cool winds, but all in all, I can’t fault the remainder.
If you want to a well executed, well thought out jacket, that you won’t find at every crag and trailhead, this is a contender.
Jacket provided by All Conditions Media