Although the choice for our Editors' Choice winner was clearcut (the Patagonia Houdini easily stole the title), the race for Top Pick was tight, with several models receiving neck-in-neck scores. However, the Adidas Shield stood out from the other models, thanks to its unique targeted insulation. This model features Polartec padding on the front panels and shoulders, which our testers found to be an incredible addition for slightly chillier days. This addition does add to the product's overall weight, but, unlike the other padded model in our review (the Marmot Ether), the Shield maintains its packability impeccably well, making it an excellent choice for a wind layer that adds just a touch of insulation.
Adidas Outdoor Agravic Alpha Shield Hoodie - Women's ReviewPrice: $159 List | $158.95 at MooseJaw
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Targeted insulation, low-profile hood
Cons: No chest pocket, heavier than most models
Bottom line: Our Top Pick for Cold Days, the Shield has added Polartec padding in key areas to keep you warmer, even when wet.
Material: 100% nylon ripstop
Pockets: 2 hand
Manufacturer: Adidas Outdoor
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Adidas Shield combines the wind-stopping benefits of nylon ripstop with opportunely placed Polartec padding that provides just the right amount of insulation to keep you warm on chillier days. With these traits, it snagged our Top Pick for Cold Days.
At $159, the Shield is one of the most expensive models in our review, alongside the Arc'teryx Squamish. However, because this model brings another level to the classic windbreaker with its added insulation in key zones, we feel that the price is justified.
Although the Shield was not an overall top scorer, it matches up to several other models who performed decently across all of our scoring metrics. If you're looking for a similarly performing model, but you don't want added insulation, consider checking out other high scorers, like the Eddie Bauer Uplift or Rab Windveil.
When it came to wind resistance, the Shield was not the strongest-performing model in our review. Because of this model's relatively thin fabric, reviewers found that in gale-force winds, it was possible to get chilled, whereas other models, like the Patagonia Houdini or Arc'teryx Squamish, were more capable of handling strong and unrelenting winds.
However, our reviewers felt that the insulation of the Shield was enough to offset the damaging effects of its thinner fabric.
Of course, this calls the age-old debate of breathability versus wind resistance into the spotlight. What the shield lacks in total wind protection, it makes up for in breathability. If you're looking for a piece that will have you fully protected (and you don't mind if it breathes like a garbage bag), the Shield might not be for you.
Because of the Shield's relatively thin fabric, we found that it was a bit more breathable than models like the Patagonia Houdini or Arc'teryx Squamish, which were excellent at keeping the wind out but did a pretty unimpressive job of letting perspiration out. Because of the Shield's unique combination of lightweight material, wind blocking benefits, and a bit of added insulation, it was our testers' favorite model to take out for a brisk run. (Especially because it only requires a full base layer underneath when conditions are fully brutal.)
Several other models in the test were comparable to the Shield when it came to breathability. The Eddie Bauer Uplift, Outdoor Research Tantrum, and the Rab Windveil received similar scores in this category. If you're looking for a decent balance between breathability and wind protection, any of these models would be a good choice for you.
Throughout our tests, the models in our review were exposed to pretty burly conditions, whether it was at the crag enduring brushes with abrasive rock, shoved in the bottom of our packs, or battling the elements. While no model showed significant wear at the end of the three-month testing period, our testers identified several traits in some of the models that were red flags regarding overall durability. The Shield was identified as a model that, because of its relatively thin fabric, has a higher likelihood of wearing down over time.
With that said, the Shield has very few extra features with a high likelihood of breaking down. It lacks wrist cuffs or a bulky and breakable hood adjuster and both the main zipper and the two hand pocket zippers are beefy and don't seem likely to fail anytime soon. One tester did note that the fabric was apt to get caught in the pocket zipper when opening or closing it; a flaw that could lead to rips in the material. If you're planning on being super tough on your jacket and need a tougher model, we'd recommend the Eddie Bauer Uplift or Patagonia Houdini.
Weight and Packability
The Shield is one of the heavier models in our review, weighing in at 5.8 ounces; a full 2.4 ounces heavier than our lightest and most packable contender, the Patagonia Houdini. This weight difference is accounted for by the added insulation present in the front panels and shoulders of the jacket, which, for most of our reviewers, was worth the extra weight. If you are a real ounce counter, consider the Patagonia model or the equally light but slightly less packable Eddie Bauer Uplift.
If you aren't turned off by the relatively negligible 2.4 ounces added by the Shield's insulation profile, this piece packs down efficiently and easily into a tight package. Our reviewers were surprised by how well Adidas designed the Shield's pocket packability, as it is nearly as tight of a package as lighter models (with less material).
Regarding versatility, the Shield was one of the more versatile models in our test, mostly due to its unique insulation profile and easy packability. This model transitions well from a chilly run to an alpine climb in windy conditions.
Although the Outdoor Research Tantrum was our reviewers' favorite for running, thanks to its innovative strap system, the Shield was a close second because it allowed the runner to forgo a base layer in most conditions. Plus, our reviewers loved taking this piece on mountain bike rides, as it offered more breathability than other models, while still protecting against breezes on the way down.
This model, unlike many others in the review, lacks a DWR finish, and it shows. Reviewers noticed that the Shield was quick to become saturated with light precipitation. However, despite this, this model (once again) shines thanks to its insulation. Where other models might last a little longer before becoming saturated, this model provides a little extra protection against wet conditions. Because of the Polartec padding, testers found that once saturated, the Shield could be compared with another model that was equally saturated, and the Shield would be warmer.
The bottom line is that if you're packing a wind layer, you probably aren't too concerned about prolonged precipitation. If it occurs, it will likely be something that quickly passes by, allowing you to dry out afterward. In these cases, the Shield will keep you warmer than models like the Rab Windveil or Outdoor Research Tantrum that lack insulation.
The Shield is best-suited for a wide range of activities in colder weather when you need an added layer of warmth.
This piece is a classic do-it-all windbreaker that can protect you on an exposed ridgeline just as well as it does when you're getting miles on a trail run or crushing the local single track.
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Most recent review: March 27, 2018
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