Sitting somewhere between an outer and a mid layer, the Surface Snugflex Hoodie is a useful, unobtrusive bit of kit for city riding.
At first look, there's not too much to distinguish it from a normal full-zip hooded top, and in many ways that's the point. It doesn't scream 'cyclist' at you, but has some useful features that make it suitable for riding. Number one, the material: the outer is a thin, fairly stretchy, synthetic fabric, which feels a bit odd at first touch. However, wear it in a shower and you soon see the point: rather than penetrating through, rain beads up and sits on the surface. There's a storm flap on the zip (ie, a piece of material inside that stops water hitting the zip running straight through), and most of the important seams are taped - so it's right to say that this is a pretty showerproof jacket. Inside, it's fleecy and welcoming, and the material, though lightweight, seems to keep a bit of the wind out. I wore it as an outer layer on warmer, more autumnal days, and with another layer - usually a waterproof - over it when it was colder, and it worked well. Sweat-wise, it isn't the wickiest material ever, but the front zip provided all the ventilation I needed if things were getting too cosy.
The rest of the Snugflex Hoodie's cycle-specific features are understated. There's a small drop at the back hem, for a bit of rear protection, and drawstrings to keep it snug. The double 'draught excluding' cuffs are, to be honest, cosmetic more than anything, but the sleeves are cut long enough not to ride up when you're on the bike, so cold winds up the arms weren't a problem. Oh, and then there's the hood. A neat single-sided elasicated drawstring very effectively pulls the hood close to the head, so that it doesn't flap about, and keeps your head nice and warm.
Fit-wise, the Snugflex Hoodie is very good. My medium was exactly as I thought it should be, and, though not voluminous, it's definitely a casual cut. I liked the bright blue detailing too.
A great bit of casual riding kit, with some good technical features, for only a bit more cash than a normal hoodie might cost.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Surface Snugflex Hoodie
Size tested: Black - M
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Says the site:
"A slim cut, pedal friendly, fully zipped hooded top.
The double woven, four way stretch Snugflex jacket is the softest, cosiest technical hoodie around. The sweat wicking, showerproof fabric will keep you dry and warm and details like its taped seams, internal storm flap, armpit eyelet vents and fitted hooded collar make the Snugflex the best casual riding hoodie out there."
That all makes sense to me.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Again, from the Surface site:
"Peachy inner, tuff outer faced
Double woven, 4-way stretch
Sweat wicking management
Quick drying, shower proof Snugflex material
Armpit eyelet vents
Internal draft excluder cuffs
Slim fit, fitted hooded collar
Internal storm flap
All taped seams
Lightweight but seemed robust - no problems during test period.
Did everything it said.
£60 or so - and in many places less - seems like good value to me.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The hood, the looks, the comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing in particular.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Strato road or fixed commuter hack. My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,