Sugoi Alpha Hybrid ReviewMarch 16, 2018
- Soft and comfortable
- Good warmth to weight ratio
- Zipper pulls are challenging with heavy gloves
- Semi-fit limits layering options
The Sugoi Alpha Hybrid is constructed with a DWR-treated exterior that provided good water-resistance in moderate snowfall only. When riding at higher exertion rates in moderate snowfall, the body heat generated caused a higher melting rate of snow on the jacket, which soaked through the sleeves.
Alpha Hybrid provided a very good degree of wind-resistance in gusts up to ten miles per hour. In gusts above that testers noticed the wind penetrating through.
The Alpha Hybrid is designed with a longer tail which provided excellent extended coverage in the back.
Though the Sugoi Alpha Hybrid is geared more for cold-weather running, where the arms are moving and have a higher propensity for sweating, breathability was excellent.
It is constructed with Polartec Alpha insulation in the core and back panels and breathable, stretchy MidZero breathable thermal knit fabric in the arms and side panels. The soft, brushed inner side of the arms and sides of the MidZero fabric increases airflow to encourage moisture transfer. We found this combination of Polartec core warmth with the stretchy breathability of the MidZero fabric in the sleeves to be the second highest of all the jackets in the test.
The Sugoi Alpha Hybrid is insulated with Polartec Alpha active insulation in the core and back and MidZero fabric in the sleeves and side panels. This combination of body-mapped fabrics work to regulate core body temperatures during higher-intensity activity by increasing airflow to encourage moisture transfer, which contributes to its warmth factor.
A comfortable mid-rise collar sits well below the chin. We found that despite its snug fit, it was very comfortable and did an excellent job of keeping the warmth inside.
However, the Alpha Hybrid is a semi-fitted jacket so layering is limited. We found the best warmth when paired with a mid-weight merino wool baselayer only and was very comfortable riding in temperatures as low as twenty-two degrees with windchill.
The Sugoi Alpha Hybrid is a well-constructed, quality jacket with tight seams. On its own it has the ability to last a cyclist through many years of rides and washing machine cycles. The MidZero construction on the arms and side panels, though soft, would still be able to hold up on contact with tree branches and bushes but likely rip in a high speed impact on trails not covered in snow. Zippers are decent quality but tended to get caught in the fabric.
The Sugoi Alpha Hybrid is an active cold-weather jacket for cycling, running and/or skiing. It has a longer rear drop-tail design to repel snow that gets kicked up from the rear tire. Its longer sleeves and stretchy fabric do an excellent job of providing coverage in all cycling positions.
When wearing with gloves, the thumb loops block all cold air from penetrating the sleeves. Its semi-fit allows for a degree of layering without bulk.
A zippered arm pocket easily holds an MP3 player or a small smartphone. Two zippered hand pockets are nicely sized for carrying snacks or small tools. However, the zipper pulls are only moderately glove-friendly when wearing midweight insulated riding gloves. With heavier gloves, the cyclist will need to remove them before zipping or unzipping.Continue Reading
All cycling jackets were tested on six-plus mile commutes to work each way on designated urban bike paths and bike lanes, as well as fatbike rides up to eighteen miles. The test period ran from early January to mid-February in temperatures that ranged twenty degrees below zero with wind chills to twenty-five degrees above zero with gusty wind, as well as rides in falling snow.
Marie Malinowski is a Minneapolis-based mountain biker, bike commuter, backpacker, and trail runner who covers our cycling accessories categories.