Powerful frontal thermal and windproof protection with stretch thermal back for conforming fit.
- Front fabric – Polyurethane-laminated polyester
- Back fabric – 88% polyester, 12% spandex
- Stretch knit sleeves for maximum stretch and comfort
- Comfortable stretch with a friction free fit
- Ergo Sleeve contours for natural unrestricted body movement
- Full separating zip with guard
- 2 front welded zip pockets
- 3M Scotchlite reflective accents for added visibility
- Tested size large
- Weight – 427 g (15.0 oz)
- Pit to pit – 50.9 cm (20.0 in)
- Sleeve length – 91.2 cm (35.9 in)
- Center back – 74.0 cm (29.1 in)
- Retail – $180
Sugoi has been around for over 20 years making hard-working clothing for endurance athletes around the world. They are located in Vancouver, BC, the city in which they began. Sugoi focuses on giving the user a technical advantage with intuitive designs and state-of-the-art materials. Sugoi focuses on the endurance sports: running, cycling, and triathlon.
Until the last year, I did not have much experience with Sugoi. I have seen their gear around from time to time and my wife Melissa has always been a fan of the gear. Finally
The Sugoi Firewall 220 Zip is not designed for one activity but rather is versatile enough to be used for several. I, therefore, tried to test the zip running, cycling, and cross-country skiing. I used it on days that were lightly raining or snowing and several windy days as well. Temperatures ranged from 25 to 45 degrees.
The Sugoi Firewall 220 Zip is a combination of materials that have been body mapped for optimum performance. Body mapping has become much more popular over the last few years for good reasons. Essentially it puts materials in strategic locations in order to get certain benefits based on the materials used. In the 220 Zip, Sugoi has used a polyester softshell material in the front, arms, and shoulders for protection from the elements and a fleece under the arms and in the back for increased breathability and stretch. The softshell front has a polyurethane laminate sandwiched between the layers of fabric. The laminate is what provides the wind and water resistance.
The 220 Zip has four pockets. There are 2 zippered hand warmer pockets with laminated zippers for protection from water getting in. There are also two drop in pockets on the inside that have been created by the pocket bags of the hand warmer pockets. At the bottom of the zip, there is an adjustable bungee that can loosen or tighten the bottom of the jacket. The bungee is adjustable on both sides with the adjusters located inside the hand warmer pockets. The Firewall has a full-length zipper that has been reversed to add some protection from wind and water getting in. It also has a full-length storm flap behind it to keep the wind from cutting through the teeth. The top 4 inches of the storm flap and continuing over the top has been covered with a soft fleece to protect your face and chin from abrasion.
The wrist cuffs are basic with no Velcro or elastic. They have a bit of stretch to them. There are a couple of other features on the jacket worth mentioning. On the inside of the collar there is a small loop for routing your audio cables. Since the Firewall 220 Zip is made for adverse conditions, Sugoi has added a bunch of reflectivity. The logos on the front and back are both reflective. There are also reflective accents added to both sleeves near the biceps and a long one across the middle of the back. This is not all, there are also large reflective areas located on each side of the lower back. There is no reason you should not be seen when out in lower lighting.
As far as sustainability goes, none of the fabrics used appear to be sustainable or green. There is no mention of it on the Sugoi website and companies generally try to mention it if they are. Sugoi does try to take a similar approach to some other companies in that they make items that will last a long time and therefore, need to be replaced less often. As far as the company goes, Sugoi does mention much on sustainability, but they do have several advocacy groups, pro teams, and charitable organizations that they support.
Arm Length (20%)
Ease of Movement (20%)
Torso Sizing (30%)
I am normally a size medium or small in most brands I test. Looking at the Sugoi sizing chart it would recommend that I test a medium. The only problem with this is that I normally get to test sample whatever the sample size is and for Sugoi this was a large. Even though it was a large I was surprised by how well it fit. There was a little room underneath, and I would have rather had a medium but the large by no means was uncomfortable. Sugoi gives this jacket a trim athletic cut which utilizes the stretchy fleece in the back and sides to produce a body-hugging fit. Ideally, it would be cut right next to the body without adding and compression. In the large this just meant that it was close to the body but not right against it. If you like a slightly looser cut, then I would suggest getting one size above what you normally wear.
All the materials used in the zip were comfortable against the skin, even when I wore it without a baselayer. I had no issues with chafing or irritation. The seams on the inside are not flat locked, but I was not able to tell when I wore it. One thing I did appreciate was the zipper guard that covers the full length of the zipper and over the top to protect your chin. The bottom of my chin seems to be very tender so this guard can make a big difference for me. At the bottom hem, there is a bungee cord that can be adjusted to change the fit. I tightened it a little on the large but do not think I would have had too much on the medium. I like the fact that it is there as it allows the user to create a personal fit. On my bike rides and cross-country skiing, I would tighten it up more so I would not have to worry about wind coming up from below. When running I loosened it for more air flow. It is nice having that option. The wrist cuff, on the other hand, does not have any adjustments which I missed on occasion. It is sized really well, enough that I almost never felt like I needed to tighten it up. Only when cycling would I liked to have been able to make it snugger. The little room around my wrist allowed wind to come up my sleeve on occasion.
Since the Firewall Zip has been designed to be active I have really appreciated the design and how they used fabrics that do not inhibit movement. When wearing the jacket on all my adventures I never felt like it was restricting me. It stretches, moves, and protects whatever you are doing. Best of all it does so while looking sharp.
Weather Resistance (15%)
I really have been a big fan of body mapping as it is able to put fabrics in strategic places. The Firewall 220 Zip I feel like has done a great job of this, for the most part. The only part that I wish was different is the forearms. They currently are entirely softshell fabric, and I wish they were a mix of the softshell and fleece for more breathability. I will touch on this below. I tested the Firewall 220 Zip in temperatures ranging from 25 to 45 degrees. I would have taken it out in colder conditions, but we really have not had any thus far in Bend. At least not during times when I normally get out for training. The zip has been warmer than I expected it to be. I think most of this is because of the softshell panels which cover all the areas that are exposed to wind from the front. The zip is not made for standing around for long periods in; you will get cold, but once on the move you warm up quickly.
For me this warm up was too much. Even with the breathable section I felt like I overheated in nearly all conditions. Even on a leisurely ride in 25-30 degree weather I would break a sweat underneath. For the most part, I always wore a thin baselayer underneath the zip except for a couple runs I did with only the zip. In about every case I would get very sweaty underneath. As far as the reasoning for this, I think it is due to the polyurethane laminate. In my experience, these types of laminates are not able to breathe well enough during intense activity. They do an outstanding job keeping water and wind out but also tend to keep most of your sweat in as well. The only way for it to get out is for the sweat to evaporate and pass through as vapor. So when you stop you will dry out fairly quickly but when on the move, you will be sweaty underneath, at least I was. In areas where there is more fleece, I could regulate temperature better and not sweat as much. I mentioned above that I wished the sleeves were less of the softshell material, and that is because my forearms would get very sweaty with the sleeve not having any breathable panels in the forearms.
Sugoi makes a very solid product. You can tell that the materials and stitching are well done. In all my testing, I have not had any issues with durability and feel like the zip will last a long time. I like the two hand warmer pockets but do wish there was a chest pocket. I like to carry my iPhone or iPod in a chest pocket rather than a lower one as it seems more stable. One curious thing about the hand warmer pockets is they do not have an audio out. Rather if you want to use a pocket for your tunes, you need to use one of the drop in pockets on the inside. There is a loop at the neck to help route your wires so they stay out of the way. I did like that addition. What the Firewall 220 Zip is really good at is being seen. Of all my running and cycling jackets, this one has the most reflective elements. There is really no reason for you not to be seen.
Overall, I have been really happy with the fit and feel of the Firewall 220 Zip. Both fabrics have some stretch to them, but the fleece is very stretchy. This helps the zip move well whether you are running, skiing, or cycling. The zip also does a good job blocking wind and providing some protection from rain, but it does not breath as well as I would have hoped. When working hard I found that I would sweat quite a bit underneath. The zip has an adjustable bottom hem for adjustability but is missing adjustable wrist cuffs. I think this works well for people who are cold easy or need it for very cold temperatures. For me, it was too much for anything above freezing, especially when the sun comes out. The Sugoi Firewall 220 Zip retails for $180. It is well-made and looks good. As always, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- Body mapped construction
- Adjustable bottom hem
- Trim fit
- Well made
- Main fabric has good weather protection
- No adjustments on the wrist cuff
- Missing a chest pocket
- Main material does not breath well
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