Review by Drew Rohde

During the cool winter months, layering is an absolute necessity and the Specialized Trail-Series Alpha jacket is a real winner. Choosing the right jacket to compliment the outside temperature and your ride can make all the difference for an enjoyable winter ride. Originally developed for US Special Forces, Polartec Alpha is the MVP when it comes to the Trail-Series Alpha mountain bike jacket. This soft-shell jacket offers medium protection in the rain and wind spectrum but really shines when it comes to keeping you warm without overheating in cold temperatures. We regularly wore this jacket when temperatures were in the mid-30’s with nothing but a long-sleeve jersey underneath. Check out the video to learn a bit more about the jacket and where we think it excels.

Specialized Trail-Series Alpha Jacket Review

The Trail-Series Alpha Jacket uses Polartec’s new Alpha and Alpha Direct synthetic insulation and lofted fibers. The Alpha and Alpha Direct insulation provides lightweight warmth and breathability in a semi-puffy style garment that is super comfortable, even directly against the skin. The soft, inside liner quickly evaporates sweat keeping you warm and dry. The Trail-Series Alpha Jacket has a casual style, putting it right at home on the trail or enjoying a post-ride beverage around the fire pit.

So how does the new insulation in the new Trail-Series Alpha Jacket work? Polartec’s Alpha and Alpha Direct starts with a highly efficient insulation fabric. The patented technology is uniquely suited to create warmth without weight, and exceptional breathability, compressibility and dry times via high-loft fibers in a low density knit. They offer a combination of unique performance attributes that are highly valued in all activities where versatility is a benefit.

• Superior breathability to provide comfort in all activities: does not restrict the movement of moisture vapor
• Provides warmth without weight and bulk
• Dries quickly to minimize heat loss
• Packable
• Easy Care
• Versatile; appropriate for a broad range of activities a mid- or outer-layer depending on product design

• Polartec Alpha Direct Insulation increases breathable performance in this super lightweight mid-layer.
• Alpha technology eliminates the need for a backing fabric, which allows the fabric to be in direct contact with your skin.
• Lofted fibers keep you extremely warm, while allowing sweat and heat to expel from your body.
• Exterior shell fabric is engineered to breathe even better and move moisture from the insulation to the exterior to dry—keeping you dryer than ever before.
• Relaxed Fit Trail Jacket is loose and comfortable, and also provides plenty of room for layering underneath.

The Wolf’s Last Word

Specialized’s Trail-Series Alpha jacket is spendy, but justifiably so in our opinion. It features some impressive technology and comfort and does what it claims. We never like forking out tons of cash, but when it comes to staying warm, comfortable and happy on the trail, sometimes it’s worth paying the premium. The Trail-Series Alpha jacket keeps me warm when it’s cold, manages heat when the temperatures rise and is comfortable while being casual in appearance. It’s not a rain jacket for sure, but if you’ve got cold, dry days with an occasional light sprinkle, this is definitely a recommended item. 

Price: $225
Website: Specialized.com

We Dig

Versatile in different temps
Comfort and Fit

We Don’t

Some people may want more colors


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