Here in the UK, we are all about the weather. Whether it’s light drizzle, spitting, light rain, heavy rain, bucketing down…but you don’t hear us complaining about it 😅. British cycling success at the Olympics and Paralympics has had a significant impact on Briton’s hunger for biking. Whatever the weather cyclists are out across the country commuting to work or cycling for fun and exercise. The cycling market is huge, in 2018 research said its economic contribution to the UK economy is worth at least £5.4 billion per year. So it’s no surprise to see so many new cycling brands starting-up with people spending more and more on bicycles and kit.
Albion is a conscious cycling brand and although not all their products are made from sustainable fabrics they are well aware of their impact on the planet. Their products are designed for cycling in Britain for British conditions. They strive to make hard-wearing, well-made products that stand the test of time. All of their packaging is made from non-single-use plastic and where possible they use responsible fabric solutions. They are forever looking to find more and more sustainable solutions as their brand goes from strength to strength. Albion makes sure that the factories they use have good conditions for staff and pay them fairly. Most of their clothing is produced in Italy and China. Best of all they are so confident about their quality that they offer free lifetime repairs on all products.
Recently I purchased the Zoa Jacket and have been happily surprised by its versatility. The jacket arrived in the tiniest of packages. When the postman turned up with a little cardboard box I was left scouring my memory to try and remember what late-night purchases I’d made recently. Even when I read that it was from Albion I thought that they must have sent me the wrong product. Low and behold my Zoa jacket was rolled inside and after removing it from the bag it sprung into life. The jacket comes with a packable stuff sack that makes it super handy for the changeable Yorkshire conditions. It’s also light weighing in at just 445 grams.
The Albion Zoa Jacket is a versatile insulated jacket with a hood. It can be used as a functional outer or mid-layer and works both on and off the bike. Unlike some cycling wear, I would happily wear this into the city or out on the hills. Recently I wore it on one of my government-approved exercises In the surrounding countryside. Whilst I was walking, the weather did the cycling from the sun to rain, to windy driving hail over the space of a couple of hours. It’s not the warmest jacket I own but was perfectly adequate when you are cycling or doing other activities in cold wet weather.
It’s made using Clo™ Eco Vivo recycled breathable insulation and a bluesign® approved recycled nylon outer fabric and lining, making the jacket lightweight but warm, wind, and weather-resistant. Other features include an adjustable hood, with eyelets for helmet straps. A 2-way front zip. Zippable handwarmer pockets and a zippable chest pocket, along with a handy zippable rear pocket. The hem has an adjustable shock cord and there’s also some reflective detailing for good measure.
The jacket does come up a little bit small. I am a medium to large and ordered a large, it fits snug with not too much room for other mid-layers but I guess you wouldn’t want too much else on if going for a bike ride. All-in-all I’m pleased with the purchase and excited to see this exciting British performance brand develop and evolve in the future.