June 2, 2014

Review / Giveaway: Ironman Versa Convertible Jacket by Sugoi

My mom visited me in Colorado this weekend, and we’ve been mostly hanging out in Boulder as I try to sell her on moving here 🙂 But yesterday, I had a previous obligation that I had to fulfill – leading a bRUNch running group there. It wasn’t a long commitment – about 30 minutes for setup, 30 minutes for the run itself, and then an hour for brunch after. My mom ended up putting on her own workout clothes and going for a walk along Boulder Creek while I was off running, and then met up with us for brunch after. It was a gorgeous day to be outside!

Path along Boulder Creek
Just beautiful!

It was a pretty warm day for Colorado, but whenever I finish a run and then sit around in my run clothes, I usually get a little bit chilly. (Anyone else?) So I made sure to bring along a jacket that I could throw on after the run. Although I’m not an Ironman, or any kind of triathlete, I was pretty psyched when I was invited to try out the Ironman Versa Jacket by Sugoi. I had some shipping issues and so didn’t get it until a bit late in the season, but since this piece easily converts from a jacket to a vest, it’s actually perfect for summer hiking, and for throwing on post-run like I did.

Sugoi Versa At Brunch
Also pictured: a really cute pair of Onzie capris. Stay tuned for a review/giveaway of those next week!

The Versa comes in either passionfruit or black, but I thought passionfruit was a bit more of a fun color and very different than anything I already have 🙂 However, both options have reflective strips on them to help others see you when running at night.

The fabric is Argon,which I hadn’t heard of before, but really liked. According to the jacket’s description, “Argon fabric provides a woven ripstop barrier between the wearer and the elements. With a high air permeability rating and water resistance, Argon will keep the wearer warm and dry while the microfiber construction allows for warm vapors to escape quickly.” I didn’t test the jacket in rain, but I liked that it felt lightweight and breathable without being too stiff or adding too much rustle when you move. (Because how annoying is that on a long run when all you hear is whoosh-whoosh as your arms swing back and forth?)

There are two zippered pockets in the front, and although the inside is mesh lined to help keep them dry, the Argon fabric still surrounds the pocket – so it’s not like there is just mesh between you and whatever is in your pockets. That means you can carry money or whatever else in your pocket without your sweat getting all over it. Servers at post-run brunch establishments all over the country thank Sugoi for this.

However, my favorite pocket is the rear vest storage pocket. I love having a rear pocket on running clothes so that I can tuck stuff away without making my body look all deformed due to things poking out at odd angles! This too is zippered so that stuff doesn’t fall out, which makes it perfect for holding gels and other small essentials. However, I wouldn’t use it for something heavy like a phone unless you have the jacket zippered up and the bottom cinched tight around your hips, due to the bounce factor.

The coolest part about this jacket, though, is something that sets it apart from any other piece of running apparel I’ve tested: it can be converted from jacket to vest with magnets embedded in the hems!

Sugoi Versa Vest
This took me about 5 seconds to pull off the sleeves and convert the jacket to a vest.

Since there are just little magnets intermittently spaced in the hems, it’s really easy to pull them apart a little bit to make vents (like under your arms), or you can take the top of the jacket and sleeves right off and easily stow it in that back pocket. This is so cool! I am the queen of wearing the wrong amount of clothes when I go running, and this gives me an out to easily fix my outfit so it’s more appropriate for whatever weather conditions I’m in. I have never been someone to wear arm warmers, but I noticed that you could also take off the vest part and wear the top piece as kind of a shrug/armwarmer thing.

Sugoi Versa Shrug Front And Back
Fashion advisory board – is this acceptable?

The jacket fit me a little bigger than I prefer, but comparing to the sizing guide online, I do fit the measurements of a medium. (And, I should add it was totally comfortable in this size – I just generally prefer a slightly smaller fit.) If you prefer your jackets to be super form fitted like I do, I’d recommend going down a size when ordering. Just remember that this material doesn’t have any stretch to it, so you can’t go too small!

Late breaking edit: One other thing to consider is that this is an Ironman brand jacket and does have the Ironman logo on it. To be clear, I have never done any triathlon, not even a short little sprint triathlon. I feel really strongly about not wearing a race shirt for a race you didn’t run – that’s why when I received some free Boston Marathon jackets through work a few years ago, I gave them away to friends instead of keeping/wearing any myself. I got the impression that the Ironman clothing is meant to be accessible to all athletes, whether they do triathlons or not, but now I am questioning that and wondering if I should keep wearing it. Shauna mentioned this to me on Twitter, and she makes a really great point – I definitely don’t want to misrepresent myself as being an Ironman. Ironman triathletes put in so much more work/training than I ever could! But does the Ironman logo on a jacket make me look like I have done an Ironman, or is starting to become known as a general fitness brand (particularly now that they have “Ironman 70.3” and other shorter distances)? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

The Versa jacket retails for $135.95 at the Ironman Store, but Ironman has offered to give one lucky 50by25 reader a free jacket! You can have your pick of sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL) and colors (black or passionfruit/yellow). To enter, you’ll need to click through from your RSS reader and then follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open to all residents of the United states. It will close next Sunday June 8 at midnight, at which point I’ll contact the winner and they will appear on the Rafflecopter widget. Best of luck!

Note: Ironman provided me with a jacket just like the winner of this giveaway will be receiving. Otherwise, I received no compensation for this post, and all opinions expressed in this review are my own.


29 thoughts on “Review / Giveaway: Ironman Versa Convertible Jacket by Sugoi”

  1. Hey hey! Looks good!
    I will say since you mentioned it though, I would never wear IM gear (anything with an Ironman logo on it) unless I had done an IM, similarly to running Boston and wearing the jacket.

    1. Thanks, Baker! I am SO in awe of your Ironman accomplishments (not to mention your insanely fast running races) and would never want to pretend to have done anything similar, so really glad you weighed in.

  2. I feel the same way about wearing stuff for something I didn’t do. The jacket looks really nice, but I would feel weird wearing it. I love my Oiselle orange arm warmers which definitely helps out the “I’m totally dressed wrong for this run right now but I’m going to be freezing once I’m done” problem.
    But what really interested me is BRUNCH RUNNING CLUB! What?! Running and brunch sounds amazing.

  3. I don’t actually run with a jacket all that often so I’d be looking for something semi-stylish that’s more for wearing before and after the run if I need to do errands before going home. I also like the versatility that you described with the Ironman jacket.

  4. I prefer a lightweight running jacket with some water resistance so that I can use it in many types of weather. My current running jacket is actually a small-sized mens’ running jacket that I was encouraged to try on from the clearance rack at my local running store about eight(!) years ago. It fits well, but it is light enough to wear in warmer, but rainy weather and roomy enough to put several layers under it during this last, horribly frigid winter we just had.

  5. I probably wouldn’t be able to wear anything with the Ironman logo on it since I have numerous friends that have done an Ironman Tri 🙂 I also won’t wear anything to a race I didn’t run or work at!

  6. I look for something that is lightweight, comfortable and versatile. Great giveaway – I’d love to win.

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