adidas Terrex Pro – softshell performance from an über label.
Value for money ****
I’m sure I’m not alone in this scenario, I’m in the first bin up the Midi, standing next to me are a couple of Euro Gods. Tall, thin, bronzed and blonde mini beards; impossibly tiny packs, those white Adidas shades and kitted out in Adidas clothing. Not t-shirts and running shorts but specific clothing designed for the outdoors. I know it’d be difficult to be as cool when you’re wandering around in the drizzle on top of The Ben, but I’d like to be given the chance to look as cool!
Adidas will need no introduction. They are a massive multi national company who kit out many of the worlds sporting superstars. What they not so famous for in the UK is their large outdoor clothing and footwear range. This is not so on the mainland where many of the top Euro stars are also sponsored by Adidas.
My first glimpse of Adidas and climbing came with that poster of John Dunne on The Big Issue in Pembroke. Wearing that white Adidas long sleeve top and looking über cool on what was one of the hardest routes in the UK at the time. That was enough for me to be out buying one and climbing in it all that summer, I’ve still got it.
Adidas have a large range of outdoor clothing which can be viewed here and I’m pretty sure you’ll be surprised at the range of gear on offer. What will, no doubt, frustrate you is that it’s very difficult to find over here in the UK. Well, good news! Adidas have decided that the UK deserve the outdoor clothing and that we are as cool as mainland Euro Gods. So watch out for it in the shops.
We were sent the 2011 Terrex Hybrid Jacket to test. 2011 seems to be the year of Hybrid jackets, we’ve seen and tested several. The buzzwords are Hybrid and Bodymapping, the idea is designers map the body and highlight areas where heat is lost and needs retaining. Jackets can then be made using different materials in different areas depending upon whether you need breathability or protection.
The main materials the Terrex Hybrid jacket is made from are Gore Windstopper Softshell and a stretchy fabric similar to Powerstretch. Windstopper Softshell is Gore’s new softshell material; a membrane fabric that has a smooth woven outer, a breathable membrane and a bonded fleece. The jacket is designed for active mountain use in both cut and materials.
The jacket is constructed so that the front of the torso is protected with the Windstopper, the forearms and back are constructed in the Powerstretch material. The cut was very athletic and worked well in all climbing situations. Adidas have defined the cut as Formotion, meaning that the seams have been located to ensure maximum freedom of movement and comfort. I certainly found the jacket comfortable to wear and didn’t find it restrictive at all. A well designed shoulder area meant carrying a pack was a breeze.
The hem had a drawstring closure and the lower end of the jacket fitted very well under a harness. There was no rise when climbing with a harness on, the jacket stayed put and didn’t move; always a good sign. I found the arms a little too long for my 5’9” average frame. I was given a medium which fitted my 38-40” chest really well, but the arms must be constructed for people with a positive ape index. With no sleeve tabs I ended up having to fold the sleeve hem up.
There were also pit zips on each side, which I thought was a little over the top. Windstopper is a membraned fabric so heat loss can be an issue when active. I would have thought that a hybrid jacket would have had a change of fabric at the pits. The pit zips did work well though and ventilated the jacket when needed.
The zips were all YKK and worked smoothly with no sticking areas. The zip tags were too small for an outdoor active jacket. I would have liked to see more burly tags that could be operated with gloves on, especially the main torso and napoleon pocket zips. I though the zips were designed to keep the jacket athletic and streamlined looking rather than for function.
The collar was well designed with movement in mind, the back of it having an area of powerstretch. This worked great with a climbing helmet on, the collar felt very comfortable when closed up and didn’t restrict movement at all. The pockets were all accessible with a harness on, but again the zips made the handwarmer pockets difficult to access at times.
The overall style was very nice, plenty of Adidas branding including the 3 stripes on the arms. These were printed on and I thought these would wear off if you were carrying a heavy climbing pack regularly. I would have also liked to see some Scotchbrite reflective decals for winter activity.
In conclusion, a well designed jacket that was probably a little too warm for mid summer but really came into it’s own during the spring, autumn and active winter days. A good cut, if a little long in the arm and very comfortable to wear. The hybrid nature meant that I was able to be reasonably comfortable when active and the Formotion styling gave the jacket good performance when climbing. Most of all you are getting great materials, design and branding from a label that is sure to become big in the UK.