Sunday, April 5, 2015

Fieldsheer Adventure Tour Jacket (Hi-Viz)

Got a new jacket

To get right to the point, I took a big step when I got myself a textile motorcycle jacket. I love my leather, it's treated me well. It's comfortable, it's warm, it has reasonable venting for the hot season
(I've worn it in 110°+ weather and lived to tell the tale, and the Thinsulate liner and neck warmer carry me through 32° weather with no problem at all (I don't ride colder, I'm afraid of ice and I'm not ashamed to admit it).
Then, one day last month (stop me if you've heard the story before) I was out shopping for helmets and my wife convinced me to try on an extremely brightly colored yellow jacket. It was light, it was comfy, she liked it, and I decided to go for it. I figured I'd like it well enough, but I didn't expect liking it quite so much. I'm completely hooked on this thing, and I'm missing my black leather a little less by the day.

It's comfortable, light weight, extremely visible, and has kept me warm and dry through a couple of night riding heavy rain commutes. I'm now several months out from taking it through its paces in cold weather, but we'll get to see just how it continues to work through the warmer summer PNW months.

The Features

Compared to my leather I feel like I'm wearing a Swiss Army Knife around me on the road. There's
pockets and vents and snaps and pockets all over this thing. 

Protection from the rain

Getting to the point, I generally don't like riding in the rain. There's a visibility thing, there's a nagging worry about slipping (I slipped on something once, it was a bad year...), there's the concern about being less visible than normal, and there's the inconvenience of getting wet. The last bit, I just didn't think would make nearly as much of a difference as it does. If you wear leather you know that it's basically a sponge. You'll stay dry for a bit, but all the while the leather is soaking up water. The wetter it gets the harder it is to stay warm. When it finally soaks through you'll never dry out. This is the biggest thing that I avoid when commuting to work. If I come home soaked, I can dry out. It's hard to be taken seriously in the office when you're dripping all day. This jacket kept me bone dry. Heavy rain, back vent open, and nothing got through any of the zippers (and there's lots). Nothing down my neck, I'm impressed, dry, and warm. 

Cooling system

Vents everywhere. Large vents in the biceps (these have a snapping strap on one side to pull the vent open and Velcro to hold the flap back), zippered vents across the chest (with similar Velcro), and a large vent across the top of my back. I couldn't get much more air flow if I just dropped the jacket completely (which I'm very unlikely to do...That slipping thing I mentioned earlier came with a bone graft. I can't imagine adding a skin graft to the experience). I can already tell that this is going to be much more efficient than the standard black biker leather.

Carrying stuff

Pockets. Lots of pockets. The cold weather liner has a couple of inside pockets that I won't get to use until I'm needing to use the cold weather liner, but on the outside the pockets are big, big enough to carry a Nexus 6 with no problems, and tightly secured. Velcro for the front pockets, and zippers on the large hand warmers. 

Fine tuning the fit

I thought this was cool. Side Velcro straps to snug it or loosen it (my leather has cool looking, yet inefficient lacing), forearm straps with snaps snug up the sleeves to a comfortable fit that doesn't catch wind, Velcro around the wrists closes the sleeves up tight enough to fit inside my gauntlet gloves for cold weather. No sliding up and down in the wind keeps the wind out keeps the rider warm. 

Protective features

My leather, aside from being very heavy leather, does have reinforced patches in the shoulders and elbows, but that's about it. You take a slider in the leather you'll keep your skin, but there is nothing to cushion the impact. The Fieldsheer jacket has pretty significant armor all up the sides of the arms from forearms to shoulders, and across the back. Should one be unlucky enough to go down, one should be armored and nearly any point of impact. Plus, a good shell that will hold up to a slide. 
In addition this thing is bright yellow with red highlights, and that is supplemented with highly reflective Phoslite panels in the arms, front, and back.

Comfort (weight and range of motion)

Really, this is very straight forward. Compared to what I'm used to this jacket is very light. As far as range of motion, the only tightness I've got is reaching up to buckle my helmet. Range of motion in every other direction is open, and unhindered. Add that, the weight, and the ability to adjust the fit, this is an extremely comfortable jacket to wear.

I'd recommend this jacket any day of the week.  

Full Specs

Head on over to the Fieldsheer Website to check out pricing and specs. Maybe head on over to Revzilla.com for better pricing.