Adidas Agravic Alpha Shield Men’s Hooded Jacket Review

Adidas is getting people geared up for their cool weather missions. This review will cover one of the outdoor jackets in their Terrex line that is made specifically for aerobic activities like trail running, hiking or cross-country skiing.

I tested the Agravic Alpha Shield Hooded jacket for this review, but first things first. What the heck does the term “agravic” mean? A quick Internet search reveals that “agravic” pertains to the condition of zero gravity. Once an outdoor enthusiast puts on this jacket, they will quickly realize that the name is appropriate because of the fact that it is extremely lightweight.


Adidas Agravic Alpha Shield

Price:

$159 MSRP
Available colors: Shock Blue, Legend Ink, Carbon (tested), & Active Orange

Ratings:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Comfort & Fit

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5) Venting & Breathability

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Weight & Packability

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Wind Resistance

⭐️⭐️ (2/5) Protecting Our Planet

Overall Rating: 4.2

Summary:

I was impressed with the weight to warmth ratio of this jacket. I was also psyched by the way in which the fabric released sweat vapor while regulating my body temperature during aerobic activity. Overall, I enjoyed wearing this jacket on the trails for hiking, running and Fall season mountain biking. Keep reading to find out how it performed in each of the rating categories.

MY REVIEW

First impressions are important and Adidas did an outstanding job getting my attention in a positive way. When I removed this jacket from the packaging, the first thing I noticed was how light it was. At 6.3 ounces, it resembled the weight of a feather. However, the jacket left me wondering if it was going to be warm enough on early morning, Fall missions.

The lightweight fabric was super comfortable, even with the collar fully zipped to the top. I am wearing a men’s small in these photos and I am 5’7″. You can see that it fit great in the shoulders and was the perfect length in the arms and around the waist.

The design is form fitting, yet flexible enough to still be extremely comfortable while trail running or hunched over the handlebars on a mountain bike. The Polartech® Alpha and the Pertex® Quantum® Air fabrics are soft to the touch and seemed to have just the perfect amount of stretch for outdoor aerobic activities.

The fabrics are engineered to be air permeable for maximum breathability and warmth. Polartech® Alpha was originally invented for the U.S. Special Forces. They wanted an insulation that kept out the cold, but allowed for high-output activity without overheating in extreme temperature changes. Alpha was created with lofted-knit fibers connected to a solid mesh core. It allows for other outer fabrics such as Pertex® Quantum® Air, used in this jacket, to be paired with it for maximum performance.

The combination of fabrics in this jacket limit cold air intake while moving excess heat away from the body. As activity increases and moisture in the body increases, the fabrics move the moisture outward, keeping the body warm and dry. Adidas states that the more one moves during activity, the harder Alpha will work to regulate temperature. I found this to be true while trail running in 40 degree weather. This jacket kept me both warm and dry while layered with a thin, long-sleeve baselayer.

The only feature that I felt was missing from this jacket was pit zips. Adding a small zipper under each armpit would allow for greater venting capability on warmer days.

Pro Tip:

Use the bungee-adjustable hem and hood mechanisms to cinch the jacket up snug to your body. This will minimize the amount of air being let into the jacket. Use one hand to push the button with your thumb and use the other hand to pull on the plastic tab and cinch the bungee cord.

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On the bike, I could tell immediately that the resistance to wind was ok for a jacket of this weight. It does not fully break the wind and keep out all of the cold, but it cut out just enough air to keep the upper body warm and comfortable during early morning, athletic outings in Colorado.

Here’s a quick list of features about Agravic Alpha Shield jacket direct from the Adidas website:

  • Slim fit is snug through the body and arms
  • High neck
  • Long sleeves with elastic cuffs
  • Zip pockets; Wind-resistant overlay; Bungee-adjustable hem; Full zip with bungee-adjustable hood
  • Polartec® Alpha padding for lightweight warmth and insulation even when wet; Pertex® Quantum® GL for best strength-to-weight ratio

Pros & Cons:

👍 Pros

  • Great fit
  • Simple, yet effective design.
  • Lightweight and breathable.
  • Packs up small.
  • High neck and hood keep out the elements.
  • Unique cinching mechanism around the hem and hood.

👎 Cons

  • Price point is too high.
  • No pit zips
  • Made from 100% nylon materials that are new, not recycled
  • No fair trade certification

As far as protecting our planet goes, I did not see any mention of Adidas using recycled materials in the construction of this jacket. I also did not uncover any evidence in my research about this garment being fair trade certified. Unfortunately, this brought the overall rating down quite a bit, but I feel it is important to take this into consideration when rating or purchasing outdoor clothing. For more information about Adidas’ approach to sustainability, please visit their website as they are doing some great things in other areas.

Adidas Agravic Alpha Shield Men’s Hooded Jacket. Live without limits when you wear this incredibly light and capable jacket for early morning or late evening missions when the air is crisp and cool. I definitely recommend this jacket for anyone looking for a strong performing shell without the extra bulk and weight.

Visit your local shop or order online. Head on over to their site now and check out this great jacket.

➳ Outdoor Prolink provided equipment and associated materials for this review. All photos are a courtesy of LaGuardia Adventure Photography.

Ride Concepts Livewire Mountain Bike Shoe Review

Ride Concepts advertises their shoes as premium footwear for mountain biking. I set out on this review to either confirm or deny this claim and to give an honest rating based on my experience using their product.

I had the privilege of testing out the Livewire model for this review. The Livewire is part of the men’s Session Series products from Ride Concepts. The models in this series of mountain biking shoes cover park pumpers, single track riders and casual cruisers.


Ride Concepts Livewire

Price:

$100 MSRP

Ratings:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5) Comfort

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Traction

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5) Durability

Overall Rating: 4.6

Summary:

I was pleasantly surprised with my experience testing these flat pedal shoes. I wore them in a number of different situations including cross-country and downhill riding as well as post-ride walk around town.

The Livewire is a do-it-all, flat pedal, mountain bike shoe with an impressive amount of technical capability and comfort.

MY REVIEW:

Overall, I found myself more impressed on each ride with this mountain bike shoe compared to others shoes on the market.

The first thing I noticed about the Livewire was the build construction when I pulled them out of the box. I noticed that the soles looked extremely durable and I could tell that all of the glued seams were there to last.

The toe box was cleverly constructed with molded toe protection and a durable mesh top cover.

As I loosened the laces and slipped my foot inside, I felt the wide tongue mold around the top of my foot.

The heel cup fit snug and I had no slippage when walking. The shoes felt like they were custom fit to perfectly match the shape of my feet.

The insoles felt soft and comfortable, both under the ball and heel of each of my feet.

Pro Tip:

After you lace up these shoes, don’t forget to place your tie loops underneath the included elastic band. It is located on the tongue between the third and fourth lacing holes and has a pull tab for easy use. This will keep you from catching those laces on your pedals or in your front chain ring.

What about on-the-bike performance?

On the bike, I could tell immediately that the DST 6.0 soles were not going to fail me when riding aggressively. They were tacky, yet firm, and the hexagon lugs matched up well with the pins on my flat pedals. On climbs, my feet stayed connected with the pedals on both the downstroke and the upstroke. I asked myself, “Why do these feel just as good as clipless-pedals and shoes?” Traction was amazing both on the pedals and on rocks when hike-a-biking uphill on gnarly sections.

When descending rocky, technical terrain, I never felt like my feet were going to slip off the pedals. I could place my feet on the pedals at the beginning of a downhill, quickly twist my heels back and forth a bit and then I felt connected and in total control. The shoes performed amazingly well in dry, wet and muddy conditions.

Bunny hopping and launching off rocks was satisfying in these shoes too. They gave me complete confidence that my feet would stay positioned correctly and that there would be no slippage upon landing. This proved to be true each time I launched into the air.

Here’s a quick list of features about the Livewire:

  • Rubber Kinetics | DST 6.0 HIGH GRIP Rubber Outsole
  • D3O High Impact Zone Insole Technology
  • Durable, synthetic upper with anti-abrasion mesh
  • Custom molded toe and heel guard protection
  • EVA midsole provides support and shock absorption
  • Fully gusseted tongue prohibits intake of dirt and debris
  • Modern lifestyle Performance Fit
  • Approximate weight – 16 oz (455 g) 

Pros & Cons:

👍 Pros

  • Excellent comfort on and off the bike.
  • DST 6.0 Rubber performs well in all conditions.
  • Comfortable insole and form fitting outer shell.
  • Convenient elastic band to keep tie loops tucked in.

👎 Cons

  • Long tongue tends to rub against top of the ankle until broken in.
  • Elastic band should be a different color. It’s hard to spot but a great feature everyone should use.

Ride Concepts Livewire Mountain Bike Shoes. I found them to live up to what is being advertised. Ride Concepts could very well produce the most comfortable, most durable and most reliable mountain bike footwear on the planet. I highly recommend these shoes. They took my riding to the next level.

Visit your local shop or order online. Head on over to their site now and check ’em out.

➳ Outdoor Prolink provided equipment and associated materials for this review. All photos are a courtesy of LaGuardia Adventure Photography.