Hands-on Gear Review

Salomon Agile Review

The Agile seemed geared towards short urban runs in rainy climates.
Saloman Agile
By: Brian Martin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 10, 2017
Price:  $80 List  |  $53.97 at Backcountry - 33% Off
Pros:  Weather protection
Cons:  Uncomfortable, breathability
Manufacturer:   Salomon
45
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 12
  • Breathability - 30% 5
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 5
  • Comfort and Mobility - 20% 3
  • Portability - 15% 4
  • Visibility - 15% 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Our Verdict

The 2017 Salomon Agile has knocked on the door of making a high performance running jacket but hasn't yet crossed the threshold. While the Agile performed ok in many of our tests, it was regularly bested by several jackets in each category. The jacket looks great on the outside but lacks the comfort, breathability, and weather protection that some of the others displayed. That is not to say the Agile isn't a good jacket. If we were rolling out of bed and doing a two mile run every day and just wanted something to throw on over our t-shirt, the Agile is fine. On the days when we were going for distance, and going for speed, this jacket was left all alone.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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We put this jacket through the wringer. We took it on runs around town in both cold and downright frigid temperatures. We ran in rain, sun, and high winds. Running around town, we felt like there was adequate protection from the occasional light rain shower and we never started out running feeling like we were too cold.

Performance Comparison



Breathability and Venting


The Agile is one solid piece of ripstop nylon. It has vents along the shoulders and upper back to allow for airflow. Unless you are getting a strong headwind the vents to perform as well as we would like. For comparison, wearing the Outdoor Research Boost, you can feel the moisture being evaporated from your body. Wearing the Agile you get the sense that if you don't titrate your output, you will be overwhelmed with moisture inside the jacket. The Patagonia Houdini Pullover has similar characteristics as the Agile but breathes and performs better in many other categories.

The Agile is made of thicker nylon than most of the jackets we tested. It is equipped with small openings for ventilation along the shoulders. We felt these vents were inadequate.
The Agile is made of thicker nylon than most of the jackets we tested. It is equipped with small openings for ventilation along the shoulders. We felt these vents were inadequate.

In the end, the Agile had less than adequate venting for aerobic activity but more than adequate for walking, or even walking fast. If breathability and venting are a top priority, which they should be, the Agile will need some tweaks to the design before it can be a contender with breathable jackets such as the OR Boost or the Arc'teryx Incendo.

Weather Resistance


The Agile, earning 5/10 for weather resistance, had a similar DWR infused nylon that most of the jackets we tested utilized. Within the first mile of running in moderate rainfall, we stayed dry inside the jacket. Once we hit mile three things started to go downhill for the Agile and for us, since we were inside the Agile. Water started to permeate the nylon and the resulting two miles were difficult. The jacket continued to take on water and we went from a pleasant dry run to a cold and wet remaining few miles home.

On days when the rain was intermittent and the Agile had time to dry, its performance was adequate. When we compare the Agile to a jacket such as the Arc'teryx Incendo the weather proofing inadequacies are more apparent. The Incendo does a fantastic job and shedding water and keeping the runner dry. The Agile with its chunky seams, allows water in quicker, and dries slower.

Comfort and Mobility


The Agile is a good looking and functional jacket and again if you are taking this garment on runs up to 3 miles there really isn't anything wrong with it. In that amount of time, the bigger abrasive seams won't have time to bug you and the lack of movement in the shoulders and arms probably won't be an issue.

As we examined our perceived comfort of each jacket  we looked into why certain aspects of each jacket are comfortable or not. Top image Outdoor Research Boost. Bottom image Agile. The different stitching styles proved to create dramatic differences in comfort.
As we examined our perceived comfort of each jacket, we looked into why certain aspects of each jacket are comfortable or not. Top image Outdoor Research Boost. Bottom image Agile. The different stitching styles proved to create dramatic differences in comfort.

When we went on longer more involved outings, the Agile felt restrictive and uncomfortable to take off and put on. The seams on the insides of the shoulders and arms are on the abrasive side. This jacket is best suited for those who want to throw something on, run their couple miles, and be done with it.

The shoulders were so restrictive when we lifted our arms  the entire jacket would ride up.
The shoulders were so restrictive when we lifted our arms, the entire jacket would ride up.

Portability


The Agile is the only jacket from our reviewing field that didn't have a small stuff pouch to transport the jacket. This furthers our recommendation that this jacket is best suited for donning at home, doing your run, and putting the jacket back on the coat rack. It does stuff down quite small but you would need to find a stuff sack to contain it. The Agile tipped our scale at about 5.8oz which is fairly light and certainly far from being a burden if you stuff it in a backpack. Though it wasn't a burden in the pack, when compared to the ultralight jackets such as the Montane Featherlite 7 one can see how dramatically lighter a jacket can be and provide the same or better performance.

While the jacket did stuff into its pocket  it was baggy and had a one sided zipper. We found it easier to leave it unpacked.
While the jacket did stuff into its pocket, it was baggy and had a one sided zipper. We found it easier to leave it unpacked.

Day and Night Visibility


Supposing you get one of the brighter versions of the Agile, it does have pretty good visibility. At night we found the reflective tags on the chest and arms to be adequate, and none of the colors are dull earth-tones which we would avoid for a running jacket.

The Agile had decent low light visibility and reflective markings on all sides  which we like.
The Agile had decent low light visibility and reflective markings on all sides, which we like.

Best Applications


The Agile is best suited for rainy climates in which you might only run a few miles at a time. Because of the comfort issues, wearing this jacket for marathon distances would be unbearable. The weather resistance was adequate and could potentially make this jacket decent for bike commuting or another activity where you could easily control your heart rate. For high output running, this jacket lacks the necessary venting and breathability.

Value


For $80, the Agile isn't bad value for money. You get a decently water resistant jacket with good reflective markings for safety. There are other jacket options such as our Best Buy, the Patagonia Houdini Pullover that offer some superior features for a similar price. When we take into consideration that you can get a jacket like the Outdoor Research Boost for a few dollars more the value does drop. Shop around and you might be able to find a better deal on the Agile.

Conclusion


The Salomon Agile running jacket is best suited for short runs around town when the only times you are going to put on and take off the jacket are at your house. It offers DWR treated nylon to keep the light rain and mist off your back while maintaining a semblance of breathability. We wouldn't necessarily take this jacket on long excursions or on runs where you know there will be hills involved as the breathability and venting just isn't made to handle that much extra heat and moisture. Overall, the jacket is solidly made and looks good.

Brian Martin

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Most recent review: June 10, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (2.0)
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