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Although it’s described as a jacket, the Sugoi RS Zero is really more of a halfway house between a jersey and a jacket – it’s a close-fitting mid-weight top, if you like. Snappy, huh?
Most of the panels are made from Sugoi’s Firewall 220 fabric which is a polyester – stretchy width-ways – with a polyurethane laminate hidden in there to keep the cold wind out. The seams aren’t sealed so you don’t get proper waterproofing but road spray and drizzle just roll off and the waffle-esque inner face provides good insulation. It’s very breathable too and, with a full-length front zip to help it out, it keeps you comfortably sweat-free unless you really crank up the effort.
The other fabric – the black stuff on our version – is a polyester/spandex mix and that’s used for less exposed sections on the underside of the arms and for some of the back panels too. It’s super-stretchy so you get a close fit without feeling restricted, although we had to tuck the ends of the sleeves into our gloves to stop draughts getting in.
The neck has a fleece lining for extra comfort and there's a chinguard to stop the zip from scratching while down at the bottom a silicone gripper helps hold the hem in place. There’s no adjustment at the waist but we can’t imagine you’ll need any; you’d need to be incredibly thin for it not to sit snugly enough there. You get three pockets around the back, one of them zipped for stowing your valuables securely, and there’s quite a bit of reflective trim too, which is always handy.
We’ve been wearing the RS Zero over just a base layer and it’s been great, the windproof layer helping to provide a surprising amount of warmth for something that’s so low bulk. You could easily sling a mid-layer under there for days when the mercury’s really low, so it’ll get a whole lot of use before spring.
Available in sizes S-2XL and in black/white and matador (red).
Windproof and water resistant, this breathable top provides plenty of winter protection in a mid-weight package
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Make and model: Sugoi RS Zero jacket
Size tested: L
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, it's been one of our most used items of clothes lately
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, it's versatile enough to be a good buy
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 36 Height: 184cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: Specialized Tarmac Pro My best bike is: Van Nicholas Aeolus
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.