Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jackets

Three years ago today I rode my first motorcycle - one small duck walk across the parking lot, one giant leap...oh wait...someone already used that one...sort of

Happy anniversary to me. It's been a great three years!

Okay, enough of that and on to my lame little jacket review.

I hate bulky, heavy coats. I haven't owned a winter coat for years. Hate them, but if I'm going to ride a motorcycle I'd better have a jacket that's up to the job. My first jacket was a Tourmaster Flex.


Tourmaster Flex
The Flex has a textile outer shell with mesh underneath, and comes with a quilted liner. This has been my warmest jacket and my coolest, suitable for temps from the low 20s F up to the 90s F. The downside of covering a wide range of temperatures is fit. With all layers added it's heavy and restricts arm movement. As a mesh it's very comfortable, but almost too loose. It has snap adjustments to help with fit. It’s listed as water resistant, not waterproof, which seems strange to me. Why make a jacket to cover such a range of conditions then not make it waterproof? That being said, I’ve ridden with it in the rain and have never gotten wet. I suppose it takes a while to get through all those layers. It’s a little baggy around the torso, but the forearm of the sleeves are tight on me. Using this jacket with my heated liner makes a very tight fit in the sleeves. The cuffs have a zipper that inhibits opening the cuff wide when putting on gloves. Then the cuffs don’t want to fasten tight enough to seal well. The elbow pads hang a little low on me, and they can pinch at times.

I like the concept of the Flex, cold to hot in one jacket, but I’m looking for a suitable replacement with better fit and comfort. More on that later.


Tourmaster Trinity
I bought the Trinity in a bigger size so I could add layers in winter. There would be no adding layers in the Flex. It's too tight in the sleeves. The trinity is about 2 sizes too big for me now. It’s waterproof, though I’ve gotten wet in it once when rain got up under the sleeves. It's not as warm as the Flex. The textile material is lighter and lets in more air, but If I add a wind layer under the jacket that seems to help. Because it's big, its comfortable, and I can move my arms pretty well. That loose fit also may be why I feel more air getting in.

The neckline has a flap that is supposed to velcro shut, but with a buff or the neck of my heated liner up, the flap won’t fasten and generally manages to get in the way of everything, tangling in the strap of my helmet or velcro-ing itself to my helmet liner.

I don't like the bulky cargo pockets. It takes both hands to work the zipper, and I like pockets that I can easily slip my hands into. None of these issues are deal breakers but, the jacket is too big for me these days (I was heavier when I bought it). I'll probably keep it as a back up coat, and as a jacket for our daughter when she wants to go for a ride.


First Gear Mesh.
This was a “fun” purchase. It was on clearance for cheap. Pink is a love-hate color. Some women wont’ be caught dead in pink, others will do the whole pink ensemble thing. I can do a little pink if it's not over done. I was okay with a pink jacket when I had a silver helmet. Now that I have a pink, flowery helmet, it seems over the top to add a pink jacket. Silly I know, but that’s how it is.

Leaving the color issue behind, the jacket itself is a perfect fit. Padding stays where it belongs, and nothing is too tight or too baggy. Cuffs are comfortable as is the neckline, and it has nice simple pockets that open easily with one hand. For fit and comfort this is my favorite.

The jacket comes with a waterproof/windproof inner liner that doesn’t quite cover the front along the zipper. I have other liners to use, so it’s no big deal, but I don’t think the supplied liner would be completely waterproof. If you find one cheap enough, it makes a nice summer jacket for when the sun is guaranteed to shine. It comes in other colors.

I have a new jacket added to the closet.  Oy, what a gear whore!! More on that (the jacket that is) in another post.

Be safe out there

10 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Taking the bull by the throat and life by the horns. ;)

    Great reviews. Confirms that jackets are just difficult. I've found that I never try to get a multipurpose jacket. Mesh for summer. If it is going to be hot, don't worry if it rains, otherwise bring a windbreaker do go over the jacket. In the winter the solid jacket and heated gear. For the short transitions when heated gear isn't quite needed I will zip the liner in.

    I have a feeling different climates require different approaches. Again, great reviews. Thanks!

    -Lori

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  2. I've had the same jacket since I started riding again (almost 3 years ago). When I'm at Bob's Honda/Yamaha I do like to try different jackets on but so far mine feels like a comfortable baseball glove. I haven't tried a pink one on yet though, but that would look nice on you! ;)

    Congratulations on 3 years of fun/safe riding!

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  3. First of all, let me add my congratulations on 3 years of (year 'round) riding. I also still have the same jacket that I started with, a Firstgear Kilimanjaro. I think I just selected it from the online description, pictures and comments. Never seen one or tried it on before it UPS dropped it off. Still completely satisfied though I did pick up a Firstgear mesh last year but have only used it a couple of times.

    Good reviews.
    Richard

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  4. Kudos to you on your 3 years.

    Glad I am not the only one with jacket troubles. Sounds like you are up to #4, now I don't feel so bad with 3. I find fit is the hardest.

    We all need to get together for a virtual swap meet. I have 2 to donate......

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  5. Hi Lori,
    Thanks. I debated a multipurpose jacket, but recently picked up another to replace the flex (promise to review it in the future). Here in Oregon it's not unusual to go through the whole range of weather in a single day...or a single afternoon...or on your lunch break!

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  6. Hi Mike,
    lol, Ron still has his first jacket too and has no thought of replacing it. In a daring move he did purchase a mesh jacket when summer rolled around. Very decadent for him.

    Yes, you must try a pink jacket. Pink is a nice compliment to silver. I'm pretty sure bobskoot would approve.

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  7. Thank you Richard,
    What is it with you guys!!
    Actually, Ron just told me his coworker is a guy and he has (count them with me) 6 jackets! Don't know why, but somehow that makes me feel better. :)

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  8. Hi Trobairitz,
    Thank you.
    Virtual swap meet - good idea! I've got some mesh pants and a few gloves to get rid of too!

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  9. If it makes you feel better, I also have a leather jacket that I've never worn while riding so I'm not sure it counts as "riding gear".

    Richard

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  10. I can't tell you how many jackets I tried before I bought the 'Stich. It's expensive but how many jackets that don't work does it take to pay for it?

    Besides, then you could have a distinctive trademark as well. People will make comments like this one:

    Watch out for the one slightly odd fellow in a bright yellow jacket, always tearing up the track and taking photos...rather dodgy that one! ;)



    Although I'm not sure if the trademark is the bright yellow jacket or being odd! :)

    Congratulations on the milestone.

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