Shoulder season requires gear that’s flexible enough to tackle just about any weather conditions. This spring, I’ve been wearing the Sugoi RS 120 Convertible Jacket on morning assaults and have fallen in love with its versatility.
Sugoi RS 120 Convertible Jacket Features:
- Firewall 120 softshell fabric
- Wind and water-resistant
- Zip-off sleeves reveals jersey-style vest
- Three rear pockets
- Reflective details
- Semi-form fit
- Price: $149.95
Zips Away Like a Champ
Jackets with zip-off sleeves can be hit and miss. With this flavor, Sugoi has done something a little different. Instead of turning into a vest, the RS 120 converts into a weather-resistant cold-weather jersey and back again. The only catch? Well, for me, I have to stop to remove or replace the sleeves. In the end, it’s proven to be a minor issue since I’m not Alberto Contador.
Heading upwards into the Wasatch Mountains, temperatures can vary widely. While temperatures obviously drop as elevation increases, there are also known cold pockets that can turn an otherwise-comfortable ride into a freezing affair. Adding on top of that the rising sun — with its instantly-warm rays — and you’ve got the perfect combination for a jacket like the RS 120.
The fit is noted as “Semi-form,” and I’d say that’s accurate. The size Large I’ve been testing on my 5’11” 170 lb. frame has been excellent without any excess anywhere. As such, the jacket feels extremely efficient without any flapping — even at high speeds. The only miss is sleeve length where I think they could be cut just a little longer.
For me, visibility is just as important as function, so the Super Nova Yellow wins high marks from me. Black is cool and all, but I’ll choose visibility every time.
A Harmonious Fabric Combo
When pushing hard, the fabric combinations work in perfect harmony with the back panel wicking moisture — keeping things comfortable — with the front panel and sleeves keeping the cold air at bay. The block pattern on the back and underarms is a classic design that optimizes moisture transfer, so it’s no surprise it works so well.
I’m typically wearing this jacket with a summer-weight jersey underneath with much success. The extra warmth provided by the jersey kept my core warm on cold descents. On the coldest of descents, my arms did get a little bit chilly, but nothing terrible. It’s about what I’d expect.
Most of the time, jackets don’t feature a full three-pocket treatment, but here you get your standard rear pockets with enough room to stuff extra items on the outside.
I will add that due to the sleeve design, it can be a little tricky putting it back on after re-installing the sleeves, but once you get the hang of it, it’s no bother. That’s the only knock on the “un-vest” design. I really like the jersey-style when going sleeveless and found it extremely comfortable overall.
- Excellent mix of fabrics for the right amount of weather protection and breathability
- Hi-vis yellow color option
- Three usable rear pockets
- An “un-vest” design really works
- Packable enough to stash in a rear pocket, if needed
- Sleeve length could be a tad longer
- Putting the jacket back on — when sweaty — can be tricky
The Bottom Line: Sugoi RS 120
With a unique take on zip-off sleeves, the RS 120 gets the nod from me for cool mornings or variable conditions from spring to fall. The fit is spot-on and having three rear pockets is magnifico.