The Apex Bionic 2 is a simple softshell with a warm, windproof exterior and soft lining. There's nothing technical or hardcore about this piece, but for the right applications, it's perfectly adequate.
The Apex Bionic 2 out for a simple day hike on a chilly fall day.
This is the one category where this softshell performs well. It's thick, lined, and windproof, so it can keep you quite warm even in low temperatures. The lack of a hood, however, means it's not as ideal for more serious wind or moisture, though the material is decently water resistant. Overall, we find this to be quite good protection from the elements as long as you don't get into anything too serious.
The Apex Bionic 2 kept us quite warm while hiking on a cold day, though we had to supplement our own hood since it doesn't have one.
You will notice a common theme across our softshell review — fully windproof jackets don't usually breathe very well. The one exception in our review is the Mammut Ultimate V. It's a tradeoff that you need to consider when deciding on your purchase. The Apex Bionic 2 is no exception — while it kept us quite warm in cold and wind, we wouldn't want to wear this thick jacket for anything aerobic.
While this layer is great for simple chores and casual time in the chilly outdoors, it's not a layer we would choose for anything requiring much exertion.
Once again we see that, as a general rule, a thicker lining and windproof exterior translate to less mobility. The Apex Bionic 2 is a bit stiff and devoid of any real stretch, placing it pretty firmly in the casual, low-exertion category and not in the sweaty-and-technical category.
This softshell is flexible enough to have casual fun and not feel overly restricted in, but it's certainly not what we would reach for when climbing or snowboarding.
The Apex Bionic 2 weighs in at a hefty 21.1 ounces — especially heavy when you consider that it doesn't even have a hood. Its weight and stiffness mean storing this shell on your coatrack at home or the passenger seat of your car are fine, but it's not ideal for stowing in a backpack when space is limited and keeping ounces down is crucial.
This isn't a highly versatile jacket. Features are pretty minimal and it's not meant for anything very technical or aerobic. The most unique feature is the curved cuffs, which have a secondary inner cuff that is soft and stretchy. While they are cozy and comfortable, they cease to be quite as lovely if and when you get them wet. At that juncture, they stick to the skin and take much longer to dry than the rest of the jacket. But with clean lines and a classic sporty look, this is a decently good-looking layer for urban outings, though nothing to write home about.
The additional soft inner cuffs of the Apex Bionic 2 are nice, but a bit impractical, especially in wet situations.
The Apex Bionic 2 is best suited for strolling through chilly mountain towns, walking the dog to the park on windy days, or simple trail hikes that don't get too difficult. It's warm and windproof but lacks the kind of mobility and breathability needed for more serious endeavors. The lack of a hood also means that the jacket is best suited for non-technical excursions.
The plush lining of this jacket helped keep us cozy warm on chilly and windy days.
If you're searching for something casual and warm, this decently priced piece is a logical choice that won't break the bank.
For someone new to the outdoors or looking for a smart city layer to add to their wardrobe for the fall, the Apex Bionic 2 might be the perfect solution. It's windproof, warm, and decently stylish, though the lack of full mobility and breathability mean it's not what we would suggest for technical undertakings such as climbing or skiing. But for the price point, this is a perfectly acceptable layer.
Out on a chilly day hike with the Apex Bionic 2 we stayed warm and protected from the wind.