Sugoi Men’s RS Zero Jacket Review

Reviews & Tech

02/17/2010| 0 comments
by Dave Osborne
Sugoi RS Zero men's cycling jacket.
Sugoi RS Zero men's cycling jacket.

Sugoi Men’s RS Zero Jacket Review

The challenge of cold weather cycling apparel is to provide warmth without bulk. Too many layers negate the purpose of breathable waterproof fabrics. I believe SUGOI has met this challenge with the introduction of the RS Zero line.

The challenge of cold weather cycling apparel is to provide warmth without bulk. Too many layers negate the purpose of breathable waterproof fabrics. I believe SUGOI has met this challenge with the introduction of the RS Zero line. My experience was with the men's RS Zero jacket.

The jacket was true to their sizing chart and was a race fit. The sleeve length was to my liking because it was long enough to partially cover the back of my hand. The overlap is perfect with gloves, leaving no skin exposed. The four way stretch fabric molded to all the contours of my body. The side pockets are placed in the perfect spot where your hand naturally goes when you reach around. The zippered center pocket easily opened and closed. The contrast of the black and white panels is an attractive design. It reminded me of Cervelo TestTeam kit.

When I held the jacket up to the light, you could see the different density panels. The side panels were the most translucent. The inside of the jacket first appeared as though it was a mesh panel but it was actually a print on the fabric. I have a feeling the mesh appearance has something to do with the Firewall 220 mid-weight fabric. Not only does it provide warmth, but it's also windproof and water repellent.

Looking good is half the battle, but I won't wear anything that doesn't function. My first weather test was at 14 degrees and a 26 mph wind. That's -8 degrees Celsius and a wind of 42 km/h for you foreigners. I'm glad the sun was shining because the black color absorbed the warming rays. I was wearing a thin long sleeve base layer and a short sleeve jersey under the jacket. Initially, I was chilled. After a few minutes of turning the cranks, the chill dissipated.  Because of the temperature, I kept a steady pace fearing that any coasting would turn me into an icecycle as I was perspiring slightly. I was waiting for the jacket to give up but it didn't. I kept it zipped to the top. I didn't feel the wind cut through any portion of the RS Zero. I wasn't experiencing a miserable cold and damp feeling. My face got cold, then my fingers. There were times I felt a chill but on a portion of my torso but it was momentary. Perhaps it was my speed or direction of travel affected by the wind direction. I wasn't cold or hot with the jacket. When I returned home, my base layer was dry which was a testament to the RS Zero's moisture wicking abilities.

On another test ride, it was more pleasant at 30 degrees (-1 Celsius) and a slight breeze. On this ride, I partially unzipped the jacket. I varied my pace and even stopped for a while without any chilling effects. Since my mind wasn't focused on numb face and fingers, I noted some positive attributes of the jacket. The race fit and flexible panels kept the jacket smooth on my body.

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