What first struck us about the Alp-X SO was the light, non-bulky feel of the Gore Windstopper fabric – it’s very sleek and wears that way too. Riding through the worst that the end of our UK summer dished out we can attest that it keeps a chill wind at bay, and it kept us dry even though it’s not billed as waterproof.
The cut is slim-ish but because of stretchy inserts where it matters we never felt compromised in range of movement across the shoulders – in fact the articulation and comfort in the riding position is second to none. Sneaked into the raglan shoulder seam is a zip. This allows you take the sleeves off, extending the Alp-X SO's use as a gilet (they fit into the pockets too – in case you feel the need to switch midride).
Because it undoes from just underneath the back and up the front, you can also use it as a pit zip. But best of all, and to prove the smallest detail can make all the difference, we love the slim Neoprene-like seals at hem, collar and cuff. They emphasise the lightweight feel but are very effective. Overall, the Alp-X SO is a great jacket.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike