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Discussion Starter #1
I have been shopping for jackets online. There aren't many choices in my area of no where, so I'm here to ask some questions.

What brands do you like?
What do you look for?
I would like a 3 season jacket and leather is not my thing. Mesh or Textile?
What kinds of material are abrasion resistant?
What kinds of armour do you look for?

Sorry for all the questions but the more I look, the more confused I get.
 

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I was looking for three things in my next jacket. I was replacing a TourMaster Flex jacket in the original design.
1. Visibility. I wanted the material to be in "don't hit me" yellow, instead of "run me over" black. Plus black just gets incredibly hot.
2. Versatility. I had been spoiled with the first edition of the TourMaster Flex jacket. Unfortunately, the "improved" model of that jacket wasn't improved.
3. Rain proof removable liner.

If the jacket didn't come in a hi-vis color, I didn't even consider it. I wore a hi-vis vest and wanted to have that visibility designed into the jacket. The TourMaster Flex jacket in the original version had a unique design. The outside panels on the front, back and sleeves were removable, leaving you with a mesh jacket for hot weather. And of course you could always just unzip the panels partially and get great airflow. That versatility allowed me to have one jacket to wear in all conditions, rather than carry a warm jacket for traveling over the pass or in early morning hours, and then get a mesh jacket for when I hit the hot side of Eastern Washington.

The rain proof liner was also a big deal to me. It had been nice to remove my riding gear at the bike, and on a cool day to leave the rain/wind proof liner on as a windbreaker. The Flex jacket had a rain liner that was designed to be worn separately as a windbreaker. The reason to replace the jacket was the zipper finally gave way on this rain liner. I can't complain; it got a lot of use.

Having a separate rain liner means the vents in the outer shell actually allow air to pass through them. If the rain liner is built into the jacket, then the air flow is minimized as it tries to pass through that waterproof liner. Also, at some point you need to wash and respray your jacket with waterproofing spray. How do you get to that rain proof liner? Even Goretex needs to be treated eventually. Well, a separate liner allows you to easily spray it to keep it waterproof.

I found all that in the Olympia GT Air Transition jacket. The picture below shows one of the panels on the front partially unzipped. Rather than coming off completely like with the TourMaster Flex jacket, the panel tucks into an area at the bottom portion.



Olympia has come out with a new version called the Nomad. You could save a lot by finding the old version.



With the quilted liner zipped into the rainproof liner, I wore it all last winter with no problems. No leakage. It was good for a 45 minute commute in temps in the mid to high 30's. As the temperature dipped to freezing and below, I added a sweatshirt under it and stayed comfortable.

When you start putting on riding gear at a dealership, you'll see some differences in quality. The Olympia jacket was not cheap (although I got a discount off the listed price). If you look at the armor, you'll see it is some of the best available. For instance, instead of a foam pad in the back, you'll get "CE approved Motion Flex articulated back protector".

My only complaint on the jacket, is I wish it was about an inch or so longer. But it still covers the back with no gaps for rain or cold wind.

Chris
 

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I ride with the Joe Rocket silver mesh.



The jacket has good armor - is light and yet packs down small to fit easily under the seat for hot days and short sleeves. Decent reflective at night.

I use a liner for cooler days and a high vis Icon fully waterproof jacket for wet and extra warmth.



works from temps just above freezing to 90 - above that I lose the jacket unless I'm on the slab.
I only wear a ballistic jacket in very cold weather - find them too bulky and stiff.

I use Dri-fit technical shirts for riding - Columbia has good ones with big pockets - good sun protection and stays both warm and cool unlike cotton which gets chilly when you sweat .



For very hot days the technical shirt is all I bother with.
 

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I have the Tourmaster Intake and love it. Fits perfect, has two removable liners, use it year round here.
 

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Just in a quick glance at both, I'd go with the Tour Master Intake of the two.
  • The Tour Master has "Armor-Link mesh material and 600 Denier Carbolex® combine with 1680 Denier ballistic polyester in the impact areas". The Firstgear jacket just has "250 denier polyester mesh for total ventilation". The denier count gives you an indication of its abrasion resistance in case of a fall.[/*:m:5d7o5fwj]
  • The Tour Master jacket has an "articulated triple-density back protector"...a lot better than a foam back protector like the Firstgear has. (The Olympia jacket's back protector is CE approved, another step up in protection.)[/*:m:5d7o5fwj]
  • The Tour Master has an "Aqua-Therm™ two-stage waterproof and insulated liner can be configured or removed to best match comfort needs". The Firstgear jacket only has a water-resistant liner...and no insulated liner. If you thought you'd be caught in a rain shower potentially, you'd need to bring along rain gear with the Firstgear jacket. You could potentially not need it with the Tour Master jacket.[/*:m:5d7o5fwj]
The Firstgear jacket looks like a summer only jacket.

I'd recommend getting the lightest colors in whichever jacket you buy. I thought I'd pick up some warmth with black during the winter, so my first jacket was black. The color didn't do anything for warmth in the winter...but in the summer when I didn't need additional warmth, I baked. Plus, you're more visible in the lighter colors, especially the hi-vis yellow.

Chris
 

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Daboo said:
The Firstgear jacket looks like a summer only jacket.
Chris
+1 .....of course it has been hot in Minnesota lately. 8)
 

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Crabby,

You live in Minnesota and you've never heard of the manfacturer that makes the best textile motorcycle riding suit in the U.S.? Anyway, check out Aerostich aka the Rider Wearhouse.

I've had my two piece Roadcrafter suit for about 21 yrs and I absolutely love it. A few months after I bought it, I sold all of my other m/c jackets, including my leather one.

The 'Stich has everything that a motorcyclist needs in a riding suit (or jacket). So please, check our their website to see what they offer. The clothing is not cheap but it is made in the USA and it is absolutely top quality and filled with important features. Oh, and I've never needed to wear a rainsuit over my 'Stich while riding in rain.

I can''t say enough about how great it is. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have heard of them. But ya, the prices :( !
That could be a good reason to road trip to Duluth. I never really need a reason to go up there but this year they have had massive flooding and the town is really torn up.
 

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Crabbyco,

Forgot to mention. Every so often the Aerostich Rider Wearhouse will send customers emails advertising the returns that they are selling at a much reduced price. That might be worth looking into.

And rest assured, after you buy one of their suits or jackets, you won't be shopping around for another one from a different manufacturer for a very long time if ever.
 
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