When the right combination of fabrics combine, the results are like magic. In this case, Sugoi has employed top-shelf Polartec Alpha insulation and mixed it up with some great fabrics of their own to deliver the Alpha Hybrid Jacket.
Sugoi Alpha Hybrid Jacket Features:
- Polartec Alpha insulation for lightweight and breathable warmth
- Lightweight woven shell for breathable, wind and water resistance
- MidZero fabric on the sleeves, sides and center back panel
- One chest pocket and two front hand pockets
- MSRP: $170
Mixing warmth and protection for winter training
As apparel designers have adapted to the latest fabrics and insulation technology, jackets have evolved. From that, we’ve seen body-mapped insulation, softshell materials and hybrid designs that utilize the best of all fabrics for specific uses. It’s with that purpose that Sugoi created the Alpha Hybrid Jacket.
The Alpha Hybrid is purpose-built for low-speed, high-output winter activities like running, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. With Polartec Alpha insulation in the body and back panels and breathable, stretchy MidZero fabric elsewhere, this one is along the same vein as The North Face Animagi Jacket (which I love). The combination of core warmth with stretchy breathability in the sleeves is a great combination for cold-weather running — so long as it’s not super windy or stormy.
For starters, Sugoi does struggle a bit with fit across the board. In general, their garments tend to fit snug with an occasional need to upsize. This is particularly true for their top-end cycling bibs and jerseys. The Alpha Hybrid does sport a “Pro Fit”, which means it should fit close to your body without excess material to get in the way of movement. For my 5’11” 170 lb. “normal dude” frame, the size large was a good fit. It was neither snug nor loose with sleeves the right length and a little extra coverage below the waist — particularly due to the dropped hem. I think I could have gone with a medium, but the sleeves could have been a little short.
Something I do appreciate is the height and diameter of the collar. It’s absolutely perfect as it sits well below the chin and fits snugly enough to keep the warmth inside — something I enjoyed on a few snowy trail runs with temperatures in the mid-20’s. At those temps, the wind can be a little biting in the sleeves, but core warmth is maintained — so long as you’re not traveling at excessive speeds. On a few fatbike rides, I did get going 20+ mph and at those speeds, the wind can penetrate the jacket. Just keep in mind that’s not the intended purpose and breathability is one of the best attributes of this jacket at running speeds. The face fabric is treated with DWR, so at least your core will stay dry and warm if you do get caught in a deluge.
What’s interesting about running in the cold is that your arms get sweaty, so it makes sense that the sleeves utilize the breathable MidZero fabric. I’ve found that this hybrid approach is spot-on for my perspiration tendencies while running. On a few warmer days in the mid-40’s, I had to unzip the front of the jacket about halfway, but otherwise, I have been fine with it fully-zipped. The body-mapped fabrics and insulation work well — nice job, Sugoi!
I’ll also add that the anti-microbial properties of this jacket are great. I tend to keep it in the back of the Subaru and, even after multiple uses, it has yet to develop any unbearable odors. The generous front pockets extend all the way down to the hem, so items sit well — including my iPhone 5s.
A few things I’d like to see improved would be a better zipper pull for the main zipper — it’s really tiny and hard to grab on-the-fly. And, I’m always a fan of thumb loops on sleeves — not sure why they weren’t spec’d here.
I’ve found the Alpha Hybrid to be awesome when paired with the Sugoi Firewall 220 running tights.
- Polartec Alpha continues to shine
- Excellent hybrid design for winter running
- Very comfortable jacket that moves with you
- Targeted fabrics deliver excellent breathability
- Should have a larger zipper pull on the main zipper
- Thumb loops would be nice
The Bottom Line: Sugoi Alpha Hybrid
For cold-weather running, it’s hard to beat the proven hybrid design of this jacket. Selecting Polartec Alpha is a great choice and the complete package simply works. If you run, hike, snowshoe or XC ski in the winter, this is a solid option.
Buy Now: Available at MooseJaw.com
When it comes to winter training, it pays to have the right gear. The Sugoi Alpha Hybrid Jacket is a great example of "the right gear" with its great mixture of breathability, warmth and comfort.