Dainese AWA Hybrid Jacket & HG 2 Shorts
Words & Photos by Rob “The Rake” Dunnet
Dainese has been around in the mountain bike world for a long time and is probably best known for their protection. They have been putting a lot of effort into their clothing line the past couple of years and we’ve been impressed more than once. Last spring we received a care package from Dainese and have spent the better part of 2019 testing it out.
In our package with the new Enduro Knee Guard 2 that we reviewed a couple of months ago was the AWA Hybrid Jacket and the HG Shorts 2. The HG Shorts 2 are made from a mid-weight RipStop fabric that is durable, lightweight and offers a good amount of stretch. The shorts are made with an elastic material in the crotch and lower back to maximize comfort. The shorts also have an adjustable waist strap to provide a customizable fit. The HG Shorts 2 are available in three colors and in sizes from XS to XXL.
Dainese put a lot of thought into the AWA Hybrid Jacket. The jacket has Polartec Power Grid fabric on the shoulders, sleeves and acts as a fast-wicking solution to keep skin dry. The raised fabric grid creates touch points for the moisture to wick off the skin keeping riders dry. The jacket is lightweight and will stuff into a pocket, hydration pack or fanny pack. The AWA Hybrid Jacket was designed to allow air to flow through it but also to retain heat well. The AWA Hybrid is sized from XS to XXL and is only available in two color choices, however we found the sizing to be very small.
We reviewed the HG 1 line about a year ago and much to our pleasure, the HG 2 shorts sport many similarities to the HG 1 shorts. The HG 2 shorts have two large hip pockets that are big enough to comfortably fit a phone in. The pockets also have room for keys and a small multi tool. The shorts are lightweight breathable and stretch well. Overall they’re very comfortable and practical in terms of storage.
One of my worries with lightweight shorts is that they would rip apart in the event of a crash. Despite my concerns, the RipStop material that the HG2 shorts are made of is tough and after a full summer of riding in them, they still look new.
My only complaint with the shorts is that I wish they offered more adjustability in the waist. We believe the Velcro strip on the side of the shorts which lets the wearer cinch the waistband up, should be a little bit longer to make room for insulated bibs or padded undershorts.
After opening the box, the item I was most excited about riding in was the AWA Hybrid Jacket. Sadly, the sizing of the XL jacket I ordered was way off and I reluctantly sent the jacket to a medium-sized friend to test for me. I’m 6’1″ and 220lbs, and typically safe in an XL. The jacket fit more like a medium or small large.
I get that Dainese is known to size their jerseys and jackets on the slim side, but for an XL to fit this snug and short is a bit extreme. You may want to order at least one or two sizes up as the jacket runs quite small and it would be uncomfortable and look a bit weird if you wanted to fit a loose-fitting jersey under the jacket.
Sizing aside, we were quite impressed with the jacket overall. The AWA Hybrid Jacket is deceiving as it doesn’t seem like it would offer a lot of warmth with the amount of air flowing through the sleeves. On the other hand, the front panels of the jacket offer a lot of wind resistance and hold heat in well, and even with all of the air flowing through the arms of the jacket, they did hold heat in once the rider is warmed up. As most riders know, once you start climbing and heating up, letting some air hit the arms will help cool us down, but keeping the core warm is vital to staying comfortable.
There is a fine line between being warm and overheating however, and the front zipper of the AWA Hybrid Jacket does a great job helping regulate our bodies from overheating. We found that we were able to comfortably wear the jacket longer than many other jackets because of the capability of modifying airflow when needed. The advanced material used in the AWA Hybrid also wicks away sweat and is great at regulating body temperature. An added bonus is that the jacket will stuff into a hydration pack or waist pack without taking up a lot of space.
The Wolf’s Last Word
The HG 2 shorts have been my go-to shorts this summer and there isn’t a whole lot that I would change about them. The length is good, the sizing is good, and they work well. The material stretches well and stands up well to rips and tears. The color holds up well to washing and they look almost new after months of riding in them.
The sizing of the AWA Hybrid jacket was a huge disappointment to me. After looking at the measurement numbers on the Dainese website I was sure that it would work for me. For it to show up and be several sizes too small is a lot to look past. If ordering the AWA Hybrid double and triple check the measurement numbers or try one on.
AWA Hybrid Jacket – $199.99
HG 2 Short – $109.99
Shorts Are Light Yet Durable
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