Adidas Supernova Confident Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Supernova is an affordable running jacket that is reasonably comfortable with great reflective properties; unfortunately, it is also heavier and less breathable than many of its competitors.
No matter how fast you run, you're bound to create some heat. And even if the weather necessitates a jacket, you still need to be able to vent off that heat. The Supernova has unique back venting that helps to let off some steam, but overall it is a bit too heavy for most runners.
One of the Supernova's best features is its rear vents. Across the mid back, this jacket features two large openings that let air through - a great step toward breathability. The Smartwool Merino Sport Ultra Light used similar venting, but we wish that the Supernova had placed some of these vents under the arms as well. This garment is a bit heavier than some of its competitors, which we felt to be a bit stifling during longer runs.
If we didn't need jackets to protect us from the elements, why would we even bother? We measured each jacket's ability to shield us from wind, cold, and precipitation to come up with its score for this category.
Our review team found that the Supernova did an average job of repelling wind and cold temperatures and a less-than-average job of repelling water. While we may not want an insulated jacket, this layer is a bit heavier than some of the ultralight models we tested like the Patagonia Houdini Air and Arc'teryx Cita SL, and the wind resistance is on par with most of the other jackets in this review. That being said, without a hood, this jacket would not be our first choice for nasty weather.
While many runners think of comfort as secondary to their success, we know that feeling good is key. Uncomfortable or poorly fitted clothing can cause chafing that slows us down and ruins our day. For this category, we looked at each jacket's cut, fabrics, and stretch. The Supernova Confident is a reasonably comfortable jacket that neither impressed nor disappointed us. Its polyester fabric is soft enough, but it lacks the luxurious feel of the Patagonia Airshed or Icebreaker Cool-Lite Rush.
The sleeves are sized well with some elastic at the wrists to help keep the jacket in place. Some of our testers preferred jackets with thumb loops, like the Arc'teryx Gaea. This layer also has essentially zero stretch. While we didn't encounter any rubbing or chafing, we did think that stretchier layers were better suited to running, such as the Smartwool Merino Sport Ultra Light or Gaea.
As conditions can be so variable, your running layers must be easy to carry with you. We've found ourselves taking our jackets on and off multiple times as the sun aspect and wind speed changed throughout a day in the mountains. We wanted to know how portable each jacket is, so we evaluated each layer's weight and packing size. The Supernova is not one of the lightest jackets in this review, but it isn't the heaviest, either. At 5.15 ounces, this jacket is heavier than the ultralight Arc'teryx Cita SL at just 2.33 ounces, but light when compared to winter layers like the 9.7-ounce Arc'teryx Gaea.
More importantly, this jacket does not fold into one of its own pockets, making for a bulkier carry. Whether you're stuffing this in a pack or carrying it in your hand, the ability to fold up into itself is key for limiting space. Compared to a garment like the Brooks LSD that folds up into its own pocket and has a nifty arm strap for easy transport, the Supernova falls behind in this category.
There are a few key features that make a running jacket so much more than a wind layer, and we used this category to point out which of these each layer contained. The Supernova has great reflectivity, with large sections of reflective dots on the sleeves and a big stripe across the back - by far one of the best features of this jacket.
This jacket has two side pockets, though the positioning is not our favorite. We found that items were more likely to bounce around when inside pockets versus a chest pocket. The Supernova lacks a hood, which limits its versatility; it's not our first pick for running in inclement weather.
The Supernova is one of the least expensive jackets that we tested. That being said, for a similar or lesser price, we found other jackets to be more breathable or to offer weather resistance. We also found greater comfort in other models of this price range. If you're on a budget, we recommend the Brooks LSD instead.
The Adidas Supernova Confident isn't a horrible jacket; it just has a hard time competing in a field of awesome garments. It's reasonably comfortable and breathable with great nighttime visibility, but it lacks in other features and weather resistance. This wouldn't be our first choice for a great jacket investment.
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