Clean Style, Comfortable, and an Amazingly Useful Jacket
This jacket was quite a surprise to me. I was not out looking for any new gear when I came across it at a local dealer a few weeks ago. This gray jacket with subdued moto styling caught my eye among the sea of colorful jackets with all kinds of technical fabrics, zippers, external armor, logos, etc. hanging all over the place.
Fit and Styling
This is a clean jacket that is all-day comfortable on and off the bike with styling that blends in with the general public. One of the few jackets I have that is comfortable even zipped all the way up (fantastic collar.) I’m a pretty tall guy and the arms and torso are a perfect length. Most people would never know you’re wearing a technical jacket with all of the vents closed.
I tried on my usual size 2XL (I’m 6’8″, 285lbs, 47″ chest and waist with a long torso.) Shockingly, the 2X was too big and I went with an XL (I say shockingly because I don’t own a single piece of XL clothing.) While it does run large, there’s not a lot of room for me to layer up, so go for your normal size if you tend to wear thicker layers. I wore it on a 2hr ride with a Klim 2.0 thermal and long sleeve t-shirt and was very comfortable. If I had tried a hoody instead of the thermal it would have been too uncomfortable at the waist.
Airflow and Seasonal Use:
I ride in central Florida year-round and have already ridden it in temps from 55 to 80. When you open up all of the vents it flows an amazing amount of air. Outside of a mesh, it would be tough to find another jacket that can circulate this much air around you. When you open the two vertical exhaust vents that run the entire length of your back, the air escapes effortlessly thanks to the size and design of them. I would safely say that you can be very comfortable up to 80 degrees (probably even a little higher if you don’t deal with high humidity and heavy traffic.) As for cooler weather, I was okay for 2 hrs in 55 degree temps with my thermals. If had to ride longer, I would have been better off getting my normal size and layering in some heavier clothing.
I bet you’re thinking this is super gimmicky and not well thought out. I know I was when I first read it on the tag… I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve used it to carry extra gloves, rain gear, a base layer, misc. stuff when we were out shopping, etc. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a replacement for an actual backpack, but it sure does come in handy when you least expect it. Just think about all of the times you’ve wished you brought a tank bag or backpack because there’s something you didn’t plan on picking up while you were out. Now you’ve always got options. The only thing to keep in mind is if you need to expand it for a large load, the two large vertical exhaust vents are what you’re actually opening for the expansion…so not great in cold air.
The sas-tec flex armor they use in the shoulders and elbows is the most comfortable armor I’ve ever used. It’s not an exaggeration to say I don’t even know it’s there. That being said, it’s not the most confidence inspiring stuff due to how thin it is. It’s rated CE level 1 and it’s sitting in all of the right places, but I guess I’m so used to thicker armor that I’m not sure how well it absorbs impact. On the flip side, I’m not distracted by any discomfort so that in-and-of itself makes for a safer ride in my opinion.
If you like the look of this jacket, give it a try. I think you will probably be just as surprised as I was with the overall great quality and design. It instantly became my new favorite jacket and will be my go-to whenever I don’t need either a mesh or an insulated option.