Half hoodie, half lightweight shell, the Alpkit Morphosis jacket is a brilliant weave of wind protection, comfort and breathability
The Alpkit Morphosis is an interesting garment that stands out from the best mountain bike jackets on the market. From the outside it looks like a bog standard wind and water resistant shell, designed to fend off the odd shower or chilly gust. Unzip it though to reveal sections of the jacket that are lined with a fleecy polyester, laid out in a small gridded pattern to offer insulation for cold weather. This is why Alpkit calls it the Morphosis, it’s undergone structural change from a simple winter jacket, the idea being it’ll work in a greater range of conditions.
It does work too. The nylon shell is moderately rainproof thanks to the fabric and its DWR coating, and although I’ve worn it and washed it repeatedly over the past three months it’s still going strong. The wind resistance is good, Alpkit says it’s designed to let six cubic feet of air per minute through the fabric, so it’s a little like porridge. It’s an interesting unit of measurement, usually employed for buildings, but we get the point – this is no bin liner.
Insulation is provided on the front, the back, inside the hood and down the font of your arms. It’s designed to keep your core and your arms warm while letting your sides and armpits dump heat and moisture when they need to. And while the Morphosis is intended as a multisport jacket, Alpkit has still managed to put the insulation in just the right place when you’re stretched out with your hands on the bars – the lining sits on the outside of the arm, sheltering the unlined inside. It’s great that the hood is lined too, because if you’re using it you know it’ll be pretty stinking out there, plus it’s big enough to fit up over your helmet when things are really blustery. Alpkit has plenty of the little details just right on the Morphosis, with a zippered chest pocket, two large side pockets, and drawstrings for the hood and the hem, and a zip baffle and comfortable neck opening (not to be sniffed at, plenty of premium jackets aren’t comfy).
There are a few faults, the elasticated cuffs that don’t close fully to keep out the wind, while 336g is actually pretty heavy for a jacket that isn’t completely waterproof. It doesn’t pack down very small either, and it’s not designed to zip away neatly into its chest pocket, a feature some rivals do.
I like the Morphosis, it’s warm without being sweaty and gives you decent protection against the elements. At £80 it’s just amazing value too.