I admit that when I switched from sport bike riding to dual sport riding, this is the jacket that I coveted from the word go. It’s not just because it’s mostly grey, I swear. I do love grey. The grey version of this jacket is light enough that it can almost be counted as “kind of white” which is good for safety (maybe? I’m not sure if “kind of white” is as visible as “white” but I like the color, so went with it). You can also get this jacket in black and high-viz neon, though that last seems rather hard to find.
Features. Man. Where to start. You could spend a few hours finding all the zippers and pockets and adjustments. Be a little careful when you first get this jacket because if you’re like me, you’ll be the tool who tries to carry her credit card in a vent instead of a pocket. (Hint: the security pocket has a red zipper pull.) If you’re super organized, you’ll be stoked to see that the removable inner liner has the same pocket configuration as the outer jacket. Other features include a dry pocket, an integrated hood (dorky! but keeps ya dry), lots of vents front and back, a custom-adjustable snap slider thingy to keep your collar snug, reflective taping – the list goes on. The one feature that didn’t work for me are the “handwarmer” pockets which are way too small for my hands. That might be a little-size issue – reminds me of trying to fit as many tools on my duty belt as possible; there’s only so much room on a small waist. Maybe the handwarmer pockets had to be smaller to fit on a smaller jacket or something.
The jacket comes with shoulder and elbow armor, sized appropriately as far as I can tell. It’s the fancy kind, too, lightweight and flexible and with a name that sounds like a Star Wars robot’s (D3O T5 CE). Entertain yourself by running up to hug your taller friends hard enough to clonk them on the jaw with your shoulder armor. It won’t actually hurt them like the hard-shell stuff does but they might whine a little. Good fun!
Sizing is S,M,L, XL which has its drawbacks compared to numeric sizing, but the sizing itself seems fairly accurate; I wear the same size I usually wear. I wanted to go up a size for layering purposes but found that the M size was cut not only to allow more room for a bigger person but to allow a larger-framed person, so it was too big for my shoulders by a wide margin. I went with the S which seems to suit me just fine and has enough room for a low-loft puffy layer in addition to the one that comes with the jacket. It actually fits a little better with something under it, because the compression straps don’t adjust as far down as they really should, but further adjustment would require further velcro and you all know how much I hate Velcro, so keeping it to a minimum is fine by me. The Firstgear site says the compression straps have “one-time adjustment” for a custom fit, but all I can figure is that you can have them cut and re-sewn to be shorter. Be careful and remember that no matter how many times you cut something, it never gets any longer.
Speaking of longer, I was stoked to find that the sleeves are long enough for me in the little sizes; a real concern when you’re average-height but below-average circumference. In riding position, the sleeves are the right length. With my hands above my head, they’re a little short, but let’s hope I’m not out riding fast enough that I end up like that.