Albion has just released a new collection called Zoa, which includes pieces of kit with features that extend their use beyond cycling.
The Zoa range consists of three items: an insulated jacket, a rain shell and a ‘burner’, which resembles a scarf.
Albion has previously released products under the Zoa name, but this new collection uses materials from the fabric company Pertex.
Pertex is said to be a world leader in lightweight and durable technical fabrics. It has partnered with the likes of Patagonia and North Face and its fabrics use recycled yarns.
This is the first time a cycling brand will have used Pertex’s Shield Air fabric, a breathable three-layer material said to be designed for intense activity.
Graeme Raeburn, lead designer at Albion, says “Zoa products answer a direct need for cycling-specific clothing geared towards the outdoors and adventure, and feature a number of considered details to make time spent on or off the bike using them easier and more comfortable.”
Zoa Insulated Jacket
Albion says the Zoa Insulated Jacket is suitable as an outer- or mid-layer jacket.
The jacket uses a sandwich of recycled fabrics: PrimaLoft Gold Eco insulation in the middle with Pertex Quantum fabric on the outside and inside.
Albion says the Pertex Quantum uses thin yarns and has a tight weave, trapping air better and maximising the effectiveness of the PrimaLoft insulation. Quantum also has a durable water repellent coating, which should provide extra protection in light rain.
Albion has equipped the Zoa Insulated Jacket with plenty of zippered pockets. There are two hand-warming pockets, a chest pocket and a rear pocket that doubles as a stuff sack. Albion says when the jacket packet is packed down into the stuff sack, it can double as a pillow.
It’s not just plenty of pockets that make the Zoa Insulated Jacket stand out from more traditional cycling mid-layers. The jacket’s fit is said to be suitable for off- and on-bike use, plus it has a hood with eyelets for helmet straps.
The jacket is available in black, orange or black and orange. It costs £185.
Zoa Rain Shell
The Zoa Rain Shell uses Pertex Shield Air Fabric throughout the main body of the garment.
Some cycling rain jackets opt for two-layer fabrics to keep breathability levels high. But despite Shield Air using three layers, it’s said to be suitable for intense activity.
There are a number of pockets on the jacket, and the side pockets have a mesh liner so they can be unzipped for ventilation.
The cuffs of the jacket have zips that extend up the arm and the design is said to be good for on-bike use, as well as providing ventilation if needed.
Reflective trim completes the jacket and, like the Zoa Insulated Jacket, it’s available in black, orange or a combined black and orange colourway. The Zoa Rain Shell costs £260.
This isn’t the first time Albion has used the term Burner to describe an accessory.
While the brand’s previous Burner was a rectangle that mimicked the old trick of stuffing a newspaper down a jersey for warmth, the Zoa Burner looks more like a scarf.
The new Burner uses the same combination of Primaloft Gold Eco insulation and Pertex Quantum fabric as the Zoa Insulated Jacket. It has a built-in stuff sack and weighs 50g.
The burner is available in black or orange and costs £35.