As things warm up and the adventure beckons, having a great jacket will make exploring in the warmer months of riding that much better. Here are our favorite picks of 2016!
As a seasoned riding veteran can attest, the jacket you ride in can be your best friend. If you’re planning on doing some serious exploring this season, make sure you have the right jacket for the ride. Adventure jackets are the“Swiss Army Knife” of riding gear, offering utility, functionality and protection. Unlike a leather racing jacket, ADV jackets are designed to withstand the elements, be versatile, and carry tools, maps and other supplies necessary for a lengthy two-wheel journey.
With so many options to choose from, we decided to pick our favorite 6 jackets for warm weather adventure riding. As no two route is the same, no two jackets are the same either. Our list of favorites is fairly diverse with each jacket having its own set of features and seasonality. So let’s dive into what spring-summer ADV jacket made the hot list this season.
Klim is perhaps the most adventurous brand out there, consistently living up to a legacy known for premium quality, durability and innovative features. The Apex Air isn’t the most rugged or utilitarian jacket in Klim’s line up, but this jacket is ideal for the rider who needs the most air-flow capabilities. Tons of adjustable venting adorn the Apex, allowing the rider to go from early spring, to late August with just a few zips of a zipper. Even though the jacket emphasizes air flow, the Apex is no light weight utilizing premium goat skin leather on the elbows and shoulders and ultra-durable stitching throughout. Lightweight and flexible D30 armor is found in the shoulders, elbows and back to provide supreme protection and impact resistance. Premium protection, versatility and quality make the Klim Apex Air Jacket the most expensive jacket on our list, but anyone who’s ridden with Klim will tell you it’s worth the price tag.
The Kilimanjaro will take you anywhere you want to go, whenever you want to go. Firstgear has knocked it out of the park with their new PTFE laminate technology that offers waterproofing and breathability that rivals Gore-Tex. Multiple vents on the sleeves and shoulders that held open by Velcro straps allow a ton of air to flow through this jacket. Class-leading D30 armor in the shoulders, back and elbows give you the protection you need for both on and off road riding. At under $400, this jacket is an affordable, adventure-ready piece of gear. Spring showers and the summer heat won’t be a problem with the Firstgear 37.5 Kilimanjaro jacket.
Like the Kilimanjaro, the Yosemite jacket from Scorpion is ready for all conditions. What makes the Yosemite warm-season worthy is the ability to remove the two inner liners, and also the massive vents throughout. Down most of the length of the arms and the entire back panel are zippable vents, which allow a tremendous volume of air flow throughout the jacket. What makes it a great adventure jacket are the large cargo pockets on the front and back, as well as the heavy duty nylon used in high impact areas. Sas-Tec CE rated armor in the elbows and shoulders aid in impact protection. This jacket is ready for four seasons of weather, and with a waterproof and warmth liner included, you’re sure to love every minute in the saddle in this exceptional jacket.
Icon’s relatively new adventure line “Raiden” is heavily geared towards aggressive and high-movement riding. The UX jacket is the first of its kind, being entirely made of 4-way stretch material. This jacket is one of the most free-moving, and maneuverable jacket in its class. What makes this jacket impressively equipped for the outdoors is that the 4-way stretch happens to be waterproof and also very breathable. Pit vents and back exhaust vents allow even more airflow during the summer months, while a warm comfort liner to extends the seasonality if you run into cooler weather. D30 impact protectors in the shoulders and elbows are prepared to take the brute of the fall. If you ride off road a lot, or just want a very responsive jacket that offers weather and impact protection, the Icon Raiden UX is waiting for you.
Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to the Alpinestars Santa Fe Air Drystar jacket. The outside of the jacket features a poly-fabric shell with tough, tear resistant panels. Mesh panels and ventilation are in high-supply making the Santa Fe fit for warm season riding. Alpinestars integrates their new Bio Air protective inserts (CE level 2) in the elbow and shoulder pads, and even those are vented. Like the Scorpion Yosemite, the Alpinestars Santa Fe Air Drystar has a removable waterproof Drystar liner and a removable warmth liner for extended seasonality.
Don’t let the low price fool you, the Transition Series 4 jacket is more than adventure ready. Like the other jackets on our list, you’ll find built in armor, extensive cargo pockets, durable constriction and plenty of adjustability. What separates it from other jackets in its class, is that this jacket leans more towards spring, fall and even winter conditions. So if you live in colder climates or ride in the mountains where the heat isn’t too intense, this jacket will work for you. There are ample vents in the shoulders and back that allow great air flow, especially when the warmth liner is removed. For a more straightforward approach to adventure touring jackets, the Tour Master Transition Series 4 jacket gives you everything you need, at a price you’ll enjoy.