Field Tested: Sugoi Zap reflective jacket

bt-fieldtestedThere is a coming revolution in cycling apparel, not just in high-visibility colors (which are oh-so-hot right now) but in reflective garments. The technical capabilities to print on or impregnate materials with reflective details has taken huge leaps in the last few years, and it’s leading to better products and safer cycling.

A lot of companies tout their jackets, bags, hats or shoes with reflective stitching or other “hits,” but few can come close to the new Zap jacket from Sugoi, which has thousands of micro glass beads inserted into the shell to make the entire jacket pop under light. This Pixel fabric has every inch of it covered with small, reflective dots that look like any sort of printed pattern during the day, but glow intensely under a streetlight or when reflecting a car’s headlights.

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The Zap is built around Sugoi’s semi-fit, which is athletic enough for riding but certainly not a race fit. I found my normal size was plenty roomy enough to wear over a bulky sweater for commuting—the perfect application for a reflective jacket. I was impressed with its water protection abilities as well, and the drop tail is unusually long to keep your rear dry.


This photo was taken with a camera flash during the day. You can see how bright the reflective fabric is.


While it may seem like a simple jacket, the reflectivity has made it absolutely my favorite lightweight wind and rain shell. I feel safer riding in the city knowing that I’m glowing like a light bulb, while I can still feel comfortable walking into a coffee shop without looking like I just stepped out the movie Tron.

Sugoi has launched a whole line of Zap products, including gloves, hats, booties, knickers and other accessories. The Zap jacket is available in both men’s and women’s versions too. The men’s version we tested comes in red, black or high-vis yellow for $150.



Check out the Zap jacket in action here:

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